A lot of U.S. consumers would balk at spending $5,000 for a home entertainment system. There’s a segment of the market, however, for whom the game doesn’t start until you get up to $50,000. These folks want a home theater system that would rival — or beat — anything you’d find at your local cineplex. For years, the Runco brand dominated this market with high-end products that have amazing performance (and breath-taking price tags). The privately held company was bought two years ago by Planar, which was looking to strengthen its position in the high-end home entertainment market.
This week, Planar announced that sales for the last quarter (October through December) were off by 32% from the same period of the previous year. The company still managed to show a profit for the quarter, largely on the strength of its digital signage business (which is perhaps the fastest growing segment of the display industry in this country). So while the plush palaces for watching movies at home may be in decline, Planar’s diversification will help them avoid a big financial hit.