Gateway to expand consumer electronics line

Gateway shocked the consumer electronics industry last November when it introduced a 42-inch plasma television for around $3,000 — hundreds of dollars below its closest competitors.

The new gadgets and gizmos will include 12 to 15 televisions and probably digital cameras and camcorders, said Ted Waitt, chairman and chief executive of Poway-based Gateway. The new TVs will be ultra-slim plasma or liquid crystal displays, rear-projection TVs or sets that combine DVD and home theater systems.

All of the TVs will be Gateway brand, but some of the other products may come from other manufacturers.

Gateway declined to offer specifics on pricing other than to say that they will range from an eye-popping 50 percent below the market average to as high as 5 percent above the market average.

The company also declined to say how much it would cost to remodel its stores by the end of this year. About 100 stores will be significantly changed and 80 will get a lighter facelift. In five stores, Gateway will test a new design that more prominently displays electronics.

The campaign is Gateway’s latest effort to snap its two-year slide. The company has closed 80 stores this year and shed 1,900 of its 11,500 employees. In the last two years, the company has eliminated 10,000 jobs and posted steep losses.

The ponytailed Waitt, 40, trotted on stage in blue jeans and a blazer before securities analysts gathered at a hotel in San Diego’s posh La Jolla district and tried to convince investors that Gateway was about to turn the corner.

“I think they’ve been serially restructuring,” said Steve Baker, an analyst at NPDTechworld, an industry consulting firm in Port Washington, N.Y.

Still, Baker said, the move makes sense. Gateway has the advantage of being first the computer maker to make a major push into the consumer electronics market.

The campaign may mark one of the boldest efforts by a U.S. firm to regain some of America’s former leadership in consumer electronics after decades of domination by Asian manufacturers.

The Walt Disney Co. said this week that it is extending its consumer electronics line to include a television, DVD player and other products, but its offerings are on the inexpensive end of the market. Disney’s prices will range from $30 to $120.

Features

Netflix’s latest price increase heralds the end of streaming’s golden age

Netflix’s recent price rise is just the latest in a string of signs that streaming’s golden age is nearly over. As more services enter the fray, content will be further partitioned, signaling the end of streaming’s good old days.
Home Theater

Plex is the latest player to contemplate the subscription streaming game

With massive reach thanks to its client app being supported virtually every media device on the planet, Plex is now looking at the future of its media curation platform. A future that may include free and subscription services.
Movies & TV

You can get a screaming deal on LG OLED TVs just in time for the Super Bowl

LG is offering steep discounts on its critically acclaimed OLED TV models just in time for the Super Bowl, letting discerning viewers watch their favorite athletes with higher picture quality than ever.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
Home Theater

Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable spreads analog joy throughout your home

It can be tough to listen to your favorite analog tunes anywhere besides the room where your turntable is located. With its MusicCast Vinyl 500 turntable, Yamaha allows you to stream your tunes throughout your home.
Home Theater

Want to mirror your smartphone or tablet onto your TV? Here's how

A vast arsenal of devices exists to allow sending anything on your mobile device to your TV. Our in-depth guide shows you how to mirror content from your smartphone or tablet to the big screen from virtually any device available.
Deals

Need a smart speaker? Amazon knocks $50 off Sonos Beam soundbar with Alexa

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent smart sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Home Theater

Walmart abandons its plans for a streaming Netflix killer

Rumored plans for a Walmart owned, Vudu-labeled Netflix streaming killer have been shelved according to a new report from CNBC. The billions it would have needed to invest in order to compete apparently gave the mega retailer cold feet.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Here are some common AirPods problems, and how to fix them

Apple’s AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds we’ve seen, but they’re not perfect. If you’re having trouble, take a look at our guide to the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.
Deals

Here’s a look at the hottest 4K TV deals for January 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.