FRANKLYN SQUARE, NY ─ Central Distributing Co. is taking on NSM Music's jukebox line, and will be providing technical support services for NSM's Ecast-powered digital models. The distributorship officially unveiled its NSM line during a technical presentation to area operators on June 7 at its headquarters here on Long Island.
The event, which highlighted NSM's new "Evolution" CD-to-broadband conversion program, attracted more than a dozen leading music operators from New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, some of whom were getting their first look at NSM's growing digital jukebox line. In addition to the "Evolution" kit, NSM's Ecast-powered jukeboxes include the "Chameleon," "Animated Chameleon" and new "Nostalgia," all wall-mounting models that are now available from Central Distributing. The jukebox maker also will be offering a digital version of its "Phoenix" CD floor model.
Central founder and chief executive, Ralph Scherillo, Sr., told operators that the industry is no longer as vibrant as it was in the 1980s and early '90s, and "it's time we roll up our sleeves and go to work." Despite declines over the past decade, Scherillo believes the coin-operated music and games industry has great potential, with digital music being the driving force.
Presenting at Central's summer downloading seminar were officials from Ecast and NSM. Ecast's Jason Gottlieb led off with an overview of Ecast's location-based entertainment network, which at the time was approaching 4,000 jukebox connections, and presently has surpassed that benchmark. Ecast's broadband service supports DSL, cable and satellite connections.
Gottlieb said that Ecast is connecting to some 200 new jukeboxes monthly. Boasting a library of more than 225,000 songs on its central library, he added, Ecast's single-song download feature represents 38% of all plays on the nationwide network, which accounts for 70% of the revenue at the premium purchase price of two credits. "This revenue source should continue to grow along with our music library," said Gottlieb, who noted that one year ago, when there were fewer available songs, the single-song download option represented only 25% of the plays.
NSM's Tony Lantz and Geno Giuntoli described and demonstrated NSM's digital jukebox series for Central's operator customers. "Evolution" is NSM's "CD-to-broadband" conversion kit for existing NSM wall-mount CD jukeboxes, they explained, including the popular "Firebird" of the late 1980s. When returned to the operator, the box is an Ecast-powered digital downloading instrument with a 15-in. touchscreen display/selector and striking new graphics on interchangeable panels. The new, state-of-the-art electronics are the same as those used in the "Chameleon" and "Nostalgia," and can be interchanged among models.
The NSM executives recommend that authorized distributors perform the conversion. However, to help operators save money, Central will be offering a conversion training program in which NSM technicians will simulate the procedure. The first is scheduled for October 19 at Central's Franklin Square service center.
Giuntoli emphasized that the "Evolution" is more like a new jukebox than an older, converted model. The basic components consist of a completely new front door, equipped with an MEI note acceptor, new external control panel and internal computer components. The only parts reused are the cabinet's crown and foot, the lockbox and the rear metal mounting plate on which the new computer components reside.
NSM's "Chameleon" broadband downloading jukebox is designed for easy styling changes to complement any location decor. The original "Chameleon" doorframe design accepts colorful quick-change graphic panels or "skins" printed on thin, durable polyester film; four styles are available, and custom graphics and color schemes can be ordered at nominal cost and with fast turn-around time. They're easily installed, even on location. The flat-panel display and selector incorporates a 17-in. LCD touchscreen (Elo "Intellitouch" technology). New "Animated Chameleon" adds eye-catching state-of-the-art electroluminescent animation with "sound-to-light" synchronization.
"Nostalgia," NSM's popular European model, is now available from Central Distributing. It features "retro" graphics and a 15-in. touchscreen display/selector panel. The other components are the same as those used in "Chameleon," and are interchangeable between models.
As part of the rollout, the Long Island-based distributorship is marketing Peavey speakers, which are becoming standard for jukebox locations. Peavey's Greg Helm was on hand during the Central presentation to describe the versatile speaker line and mounting hardware.
Helm, a former Musak executive, said NSM's audio systems are equipped with quality amplifiers (800 W. standard and 1,000 W. optional) and can easily handle four to eight speakers. Central and Peavey will work together to offer operators free analysis for location speaker configurations.
For Scherillo's distributorship, representing the Ecast-powered jukebox line strengthens the company's position in the densely populated New York City, Long Island and southern New England regions.
Central Distributing Co. was established in 1987 when Scherillo sold off the last remaining routes of his sprawling operating organization, Central Amusements, which operated games, jukeboxes and cigarette venders in all five New York City boroughs, as well as Long Island's Nassau and Suffolk counties. As an operation, Scherillo's company began providing repair services for other operators in the region, beginning with mechanical pinballs and vinyl-playing jukeboxes. Service for video games, monitors and bill validators, along with equipment and parts sales, soon followed.
Today, Central services a wide array of bill validators, along with other electronic components for video games and cranes. The company also sells parts and supplies, and a selection of used equipment. It's also a leading distributor of pool, foosball and hockey tables for Great American Recreation Equipment. This month, ICT appointed Central a factory-authorized service and sales center for its currency validation line.
Scherillo, a former Navy SEAL who learned electronics as an underwater demolition expert during the Vietnam War, employs four experienced technicians: Edward Donavin, James Due, Earl Gentile and Ralph Scherillo, Jr.
Central Distributing's sales and service center is based at 1153 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square, NY 11010. The company can be reached by calling (516) 488-7256 or e-mailing to CentralAmuseServ@aol.com.