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EC Investigates CE Vendors in Antitrust Probe

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The European Commission (EC) launches an investigation to determine whether Asus, Denon & Marantz, Philips and Pioneer are manipulating online retail prices.

EU AntitrustAccording to the press release, the companies are accused of breaking EU competition rules by stopping online retailers from setting own prices for "widely used" CE products such as notebooks, hi-fi products and household appliances. Making the situation worse is pricing software automatically adjusts retail prices to those of the leading competition, bringing a wider impact to overall online prices for CE products.

Philips says a preliminary probe has been going on since 2013, and it is "[continuing] to engage and cooperate fully with the European Commission."

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Futuresource: Global Home Video Spend Reaches $251bn in 2016

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According to Futuresource Consulting the global video entertainment market is in good health-- combined home video and pay-TV spending totals $251bn in 2016, a 3% increase over 2015.

home entertainmentThe report covers consumer spending across digital video (SVoD, TVoD, EST, Pay-TV VoD), packaged video (DVD & Blu-ray) and pay-TV. It points out pay-TV accounts for 86% of global video entertainment spending, with the pay-TV share of the market remaining stable as growth is in-line with spending on both physical and digital home video.

The analyst also forecasts overall video entertainment spending will reach $250bn by 2020 with a CAGR of 3%. A "standout" performer in both present and the future is SVoD, with subscriptions reaching 236 million by end 2016, a number set to double to 485m by 2020. Netflix dominates that particular market, even if it is challenged by Amazon and global entertainment companies including content producers, hardware manufactures and telcos.

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CEDIA Sells Off Its Annual Trade Show

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CEDIA EXPO 2016

CEDIA announces the sale of its USA flagship trade event, just two weeks before the ISE 2017 in Amsterdam which CEDIA co-owns.

With 19,000 attendees visiting more than 500 exhibitors (and 100 of them first time exhibitors), CEDIA 2016 was clearly a successful event.

So why sell it? Obviously CEDIA decided they weren't in the trade show business. It's hard when you have a big annual event. It's "only once a year" but you need staff working 12 months on it. That drains the profitability of the event but also drains valuable staff resources.

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Have Your Say in CEDIA Membership Survey

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CEDIA wants to close the year with members' opinions as it opens the 2016 online membership questionnaire-- a survey offering a chance to win an Amazon Echo.

CEDIAThe questionnaire features 20 questions divided in two sections, one focusing on member business, and the other covering their experiences with CEDIA. It is designed to help the organisation better understand its members, and thus covers the size of business, areas of expertise, geographical scale and training, as well as membership engagement.

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SnapAV Snaps Up Autonomic

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SnapAV continues with the acquisitions as it buys Autonomic, the company best known for the Mirage streaming players, as well as multiroom amplifiers, mobile device apps and in-wall keypads.

SnapAV AutonomicFinancial details of the deal are not available.

“We are thrilled to add Autonomic to the SnapAV lineup,” SnapAV says. “This is a company that focuses on the custom channel and has shown continuous expertise in the media streaming category. Autonomic has the right products, people, and culture to make this deal a success for everyone involved, including our dealers.”

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Monitor Audio Acquires Roksan

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RoksanLoudspeaker specialist Monitor Audio acquires fellow British high-end audio manufacturer Roksan, with a Facebook post announcing claiming the two companies' product portfolios share "incredible synergy."

"Like Monitor Audio, Roksan is a British company committed to superior audio performance with a reputation for design excellence, premium quality and exceptional value," the announcement reads. "We are excited about the possibilities this acquisition offers."

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MIT Monitors Appliance Power Consumption

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MIT joins forces with the US Office of Naval Research (ONR) to develop a cheap and portable system to monitor how much electricity household appliances, lighting fixtures and electronic devices consume.

MIT power savingsThe system consists of 5 small sensors placed above or near power lines coming into the house. The sensors pinpoint each light or appliance based on power use, before pushing the data to a companion app in realtime. Each sensor is self-calibrating, and can pinpoint the strongest electrical signals. In turn the system can distinguish between each type of light, appliance or device based on unique signals.

The result allows users to check the power consumption of a specific device during a specific time, and as such can reveal when a refrigerator goes into its defrost power or how regularly a water heater switches on and off each day.

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