Casual Home Theater Set to Buzz in Fall and Winter

It will soon be the season of the year-end sales war once again. Despite fears of a post-Athens slump, sales of flat-panel televisions and DVD recorders continue to be robust, but other audiovisual products seem to be having a difficult time.

In this situation, the good news is that sales of digital audio players have been achieving rapid growth. It is only just the beginning here, however, and a little more time will be required before these products can become a solid support of the industry.

In the summer sales war, air-conditioners and refrigerators sold like hot cakes, and products related to the Athens Olympics also did well. In the year-end trade war, therefore, it is hoped that the ample funds accumulated by retail stores will be a positive factor in lifting audiovisual equipment. I am rather surprised to hear talk from some quarters that conversely they are having a hard time financially because price reductions for air-conditioners were greater than expected, but the fact remains that the situation this year is different from usual. The summer sales campaign was, after all, a good one.

As for the year-end trade war, a lot of expectation, as before, is being placed in flat-panel TVs, DVD recorders, and other digital AV equipment. A major issue will be actual figures, and this is going to lead to a price war. Any sales campaign centered on the sale of single products alone is probably going to run out of steam.

I think that one of the leading actors in the year-end sales war this year will be casual home theater. I firmly believe that the time is ripe. I have been proposing home theater in this magazine for more than a decade now. There are various types of home theater, such as the casual type and the theater-room type, but it is casual home theater that is raising great expectations as a market-creating type. This factor is going to push up and diffuse the higher strata.

The year-end sales campaign provides an excellent opportunity to firmly show the way in a natural manner and to establish high added-value sales. The reason why I stress this point is that the front-surround system has become entrenched. I believe that the front-surround system can be a trigger and a fruitful proposal for a home theater boom because at last a home theater system has appeared that conforms with the user mind. As a user-friendly home theater system, stores can recommend the front-surround system without hesitation, and users can easily understand and enjoy it.

I would like to take this opportunity to once again express my appreciation to Bose for taking the initiative and proposing this system. Thanks to this system, the concept of a home theater system than anyone can enjoy has come into view, and the world of home theater, which I have been proposing for so many years, has begun to flow just like a huge wave, as if the dam has been opened.

The main actors in casual home theater are plasma, large liquid-crystal television, and a combination of casual screen and the front-surround system, and it is also bringing about new waves in AV amplifiers and high-end theater. This winter, casual home theater looks like it is going to buzz and play a central role in the trade war.