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TheBolt

The official blog of Abt Electronics & Appliances

Archive for September, 2009

Last Day to Win with Abt and Frigidaire

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

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Don’t forget that the Ultimate Kitchen Appliance Makeover Contest ends tonight! Be sure to get your entries in so you get the chance to win the awesome new appliances from Frigidaire!

Abt Electronics and Frigidaire are giving you the opportunity to let us know, in 150 words or less, why you deserve a dream appliance makeover. Your entry must be in before September 30, 2009 and it must be non-fiction.

The contest will be judged based on the following criteria:

  • Inspirational=50%
  • Insightful= 25%
  • Originality=25%

The grand prize consists of:

  • 1 Professional Frigidaire Side-by-Side Refrigerator
  • 1 Professional Frigidaire Dishwasher
  • 1 Professional Free Standing Range
  • 1 Professional Over-the-Range Microwave

-Kelly B.

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Take Pictures like a Pro with EOS 7D

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

The EOS 7D camera from Cannon has finally come in and it’s a hot commodity to professional and semi-professional photographers. We sold out of the new EOS cameras the day that we got them in. Luckily, we are getting more next week.

A few stand-out features of the EOS are the fast frame rate, (at a surprisingly fast eight pictures per second), the magnesium-alloy body which is dust and weather resistant, and it also shoots professional-quality Hi-Def video. With a live view screen, this camera will be easier to use… For those of us who don’t want the viewfinder.

After watching a few sample videos on-line, filmed from the new EOS, it seems to me that this single unit can really do the job of two electronics. With a simple memory stick, anyone can take still and digital video images with the EOS. This could possibly mean the end of lugging around a camera and video camera.

To see Abt’s full line of digital cameras, click here

-Kelly B.

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Are You Ready For Some Football…. On HD???

Friday, September 25th, 2009

The leaves are falling and the temperatures will soon plummet too. What does that mean for Chicagoans? It’s time for Football. Whether you are a Bears fan or just a football lover, it’s always important to spend Thursday nights, Sundays, and Monday nights watching all of your favorite games.

Sometimes, a trip to the in-laws is unavoidable. What could be worse than having a family weekend when the Bears and Packers are playing at noon on Sunday? I’ll tell you—going to your in-laws house when they don’t have a football-worthy HDTV. I’m not the only one that feels this way. Samsung actually did a little research on the topic. They commissioned a survey to find out how enticing it would be to have an HDTV at the in-laws.

Samsung’s survey found that Americans, football fans or not, agreed the best TV to watch football on is hi-def. Football fans agreed if they didn’t have the option to watch the big game from the comfort of home on their own HDTV, the best option would be to go to the in-laws if there were a hi-def TV in place. According to the survey, more than 4 out of 10 football fans believe this to be true. Men were more likely than women, however, to make the trek to the in-laws to watch football in hi-def. Samsung also noted, football fans found the quality of TV was more important than the food they ate while watching the game.

Go Bears!

Check out HDTVs available online at Abt here.

-Kelly B.

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Millions of Books, One Little E Reader…

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Google opened their archives of books and made them available to all of Sony’s E-reader users via new E-pub software. E-pub is a standardized format that is compatible with most E-readers and desktop software—great for Sony E-readers, but not for Amazon Kindle users… The Kindle is not compatible with E-pub.

E-pub has translated over a million books using optical character recognition (OCR). The OCR technology enables books to be digitally reproduced so that a limitless number of users are able to read books that they otherwise might not have access to.

It gets better than just having access to great books free at your fingertips; any new Sony E-reader user can annotate and highlight text on the reader and can look up words on the Oxford American English Dictionary. Unlike the previous models, the new E-readers work with multiple formats. Now Mac users aren’t left out—the two newest models of the E-reader are fully compatible.

-Kelly B.

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Abt and the Pink Heals Tour–One Night Only

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Life Source, the Glenview Fire Department, and Abt are teaming up to beat cancer by bringing the Pink Heals Tour to our Parking lot today between 6 and 10 p.m. This cross country tour has been raising money and taking blood donations to support women and all patients with cancer.

All registered donors for the event will be entered in a raffle and receive a commemorative T-shirt in honor of the event. Steve Shapiro, K.C. Carr, and Cari Boyk will be representing Abt at the event and handing out pink ribbon stress balls.

As Steve and I were discussing the Life Source-Abt partnership, he said that we were proud to team up with the largest blood center in Illinois. We have had a long standing relationship with them doing other promotions in the past. Tonight before the tour leaves, Life Source will present Jon Abt with a plaque to thank Abt for its partnership with the Pink Heals Tour.

After donating blood for a worthy cause, visit the Abt Design Center. To support the Pink Heals Tour, all of the stores will have special promotions such as Jolane’s two-for-one dinner options.

For more information on the Abt Design Center click here.

For more information on Abt Electronics click here.

-Kelly B.

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Abt is A Green Giant in the Retail World

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

Abt Electronics and their Green initiatives were featured on the WGN News Monday, September 21. If you missed it, view the segment here. In it, Mike Abt spoke about the West School in Glencoe, our recycling center and the steps that Abt takes everyday to make their environmental impact as small as possible.

Recently, Abt installed solar panels on the roof of West School. Abt has begun to install solar panels and windmills commercially and in residential areas too. It is important to take steps to make the environment better, safer, and cleaner for generations to come. According to Mike Abt, it is vital to educate everyone on the importance of making changes in daily life to leave fewer carbon footprints. The West School uses a website, in conjunction with the solar panels, as a tool to educate the children at the school about how much power can be generated by the solar panels.

The recycling center here at Abt is impressive. Abt is committed to making a good impact on the environment. Over 10 million pounds of appliances and electronics are recycled each year according to Bob Thomas, Director of Operations. In addition to the appliances and Electronics, over 3.5 million pounds of cardboard and paper are recycled and 20,000 pounds of Styrofoam.

Abt is completely open about the business they conduct. People come from all over the world to see the different aspects of the business in action. Site tours are often given. A natural gas generator powers the store for nine hours each day, lights that automatically turn off when someone is not in the room, and solar panels on the roof that generate energy are all examples of the ways that Abt is trying to make a difference. To read about the different ways that Abt is making a difference, check out our Green Program.

-Kelly  B.

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Check out the Caddie in Abt’s Showroom

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Have you seen the Cadillac Escalade for sale in the Abt showroom? If you are in the area, stop by and see it. It’s had 400 hours of custom car audio and visual work. Plus, it just looks hot! This ’07 Escalade has top of the line custom car a/v equipment installed by expert installers from end to end. It’s priced at $55,997 but worth $69,000 because of all of its custom work.

It’s got an Alpine Type-X 16 Speaker system and Alpine’s PDX amp that makes the sound system pound. There is an 8.4” in-dash touch screen monitor connected to a Mac Mini with wireless keyboard and internet, two 7” Vizualogic rear headrest monitors, and two 19” rear monitors. Don’t miss out on the Playstation 3 in the back. That’s just a taste of all the cool components on the Escalade; you really have to check it out for yourself.

-Kelly B.

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Touch the Sky at Abt

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Abt’s flight simulator is a treat on weekends—just like the cookies from our world famous cookie kitchen. The greatest part, the flight simulator can be turned on during the week too.

Abe A., one of Abt’s custom audio and video sales specialists, told me all about the flight simulator. He had a great perspective, considering he’s a pilot. He’s not the only pilot that uses the simulator. Commercial pilots come in with their kids and have fun flying the different courses that are offered. Seven courses are available to fly; the Oshkosh Air Show is a favorite of kids on weekends. Abe says that when flying Oshkosh, the plane races a truck with a jet engine. Kids love to race the truck. Scenic Hawaii, Red Bull Time Trials, Cargo Run, Jet Truck Drag Race, Swiss Outing, and On Approach are the other course offerings.

This simulator is so realistic it even downloads weather updates every 15 minutes for the area where the plane is flying. Fly anything from a Boeing 737 to a Cessna 172 Sky Hawk—and don’t be afraid to crash—you won’t! The crash mode is turned off.

The flight simulator is the same one used by aviation schools to train entry level students. Microsoft’s Flight Simulator FSX is projected onto a 207” screen from a Sony 4K Projector. The screen has an awesome 4,000,000 pixels of resolution. The computer running the program is made by Alienware.

Come on down to the custom audio department and try the simulator out for yourself. If it’s not on, don’t be shy, ask any Abt sales specialist to turn it on for you.

-Kelly B.

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Apple Days at Abt Electronics, A Great Time To Save

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Abt’s Apple Days are here! That means up to 20% off select Apple products until September 27th.

Apple Days is featuring three computer bundles which are all up to 15% off their regular price. Each computer bundle has an upgrade to 4GB of RAM each—which is double the RAM that would normally come with the computer. The bundle deals also come with a 3-year international warranty.

Also, available during Apple Days, 20% off an Apple Care warranty. This applies to new and old purchases from up to 1-year ago (dating back to your original purchase); even if you didn’t buy your Apple product at Abt. AppleCare will help protect your computer for three years and can be used anywhere—including internationally. Apple Care includes three years phone support. To purchase Apple Care all you need is the serial number off of your computer or iPod. So, if you’ve lost your receipt—no problem!

-Kelly B.

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New Goodies From the CEDIA Expo

Monday, September 14th, 2009

September 9-12, 2009 was the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association (CEDIA) expo in Atlanta. Mike Abt and Jim Kozicki checked out all the new electronics that we can expecting to see at the Abt store in upcoming months. They saw some really cool new technology.

Pioneer and Yamaha both brought new iPod speaker systems and sound bars. Pioneer’s a new 2.1 speaker system and a new 2.1 soundbar system with a wireless subwoofer. E-Tap is their new web-based media storage system. With E-Tap storage of photos, music, and streaming video will be available on the internet.

Yamaha’s new iPod speaker dock, the PDX60, comes with a wireless dongle which transmits music to the main station from a remote location. PDX60 is iPhone compatible and because the wireless dock overrides the main dock operation it is possible to charge two iPhones at once. Yamaha’s soundbar has a slim speaker bar with a subwoofer and controller unit that runs the whole system. There was also a cool network receiver, new from Yamaha, the RXV2065. It has an App which works on the iPhone and iTouch that controls the receiver.

Quite a few new speakers made an appearance at CEDIA this year. Definitive technology, Klipsch, Kef, and Polk Audio had a great showing. Definitive showed their new MYTHOS speaker. Meant to be wall mounted, at a svelte 1.5” deep, it’s thinner than some LED TVs on the market. This MYTHOS speaker is a multi-woofer, single-tweeter LCR speaker. In keeping with the tradition of the MYTHOS line, this speaker too, is made out of the extruded aluminum.

Klipsch’s offering at this years expo, is their new down-firing, lower-priced subwoofer. The 8” SW350 will retail at $349 and the 10” SW45 will be $449.

Kef displayed a wireless subwoofer and a new wireless soundbar product.

Polk Audio also brought an ultra-thin 50” soundbar. New additions to their IHT line were new at the expo. They showed a larger speaker for use with a 50” TV, and a shallower version for a smaller TV. There were also inwall/inceiling speakers that had a unique bezel that almost vanishes when painted.

Denon brought a Blu-ray-receiver unit that combines a high-quality Blu-ray player and amplifier in a one-piece solution for just $1799.

Panamax came up with something really unique for the show and consumers this year. They have come out with a surge protector/line conditioner, the M4315, which can be programmed with an IP address for remote monitoring of a system—from a power angle. The unit will store data about spikes, surges, and dropouts for the life of the system. An additional battery will be available for the unit too, model MB1500.

Sonos was excited to let everyone know that when using their new CR200—you can Tweet about what you are listening to—or anything else.

The XBR10 was the TV, from the Sony camp, that got a lot of notice. It’s a side-lit, ultra-thin, LED TV with a wireless media box that keeps the TV free from wires, giving it a super-clean look. Also, from Sony this year, a new network Blu-ray player that streams music and video from the web. The Blu-ray, BDPN460, will sell for $249. Finally, from Sony this year, is a receiver that can be programmed with an IP address for remote troubleshooting. This receiver is compatible with Crestron and Control4 products right out of the box, equaling no complicated programming.

For more information on the products at CEDIA, contact an Abt Sales Specialist.

-Kelly B.

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