Couple hoping ‘media boxes’ are the next big thing

Richard and Melanie Marhue have opened a Red Rhino outlet in Sarnia, becoming the first new business to sign on with the new owners of The Bayside Centre. Cathy Dobson

Cathy Dobson  

Richard and Melanie Marhue say they have a knack for getting in on the ground floor of the next best thing.

That’s why they jumped at the opportunity to distribute media boxes for Red Rhino, a Toronto-based company launched in 2014.

“I saw Red Rhino boxes at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) and listened to how they worked,” said Richard. “The product was so easy to use, I bought two of them before I left.”

Two months later, the Marhues became Red Rhino distributors and opened their first store in Pickering.

Media boxes are a relatively new tool that hook up to any television with an HDMI connection to stream movies, TV shows, surf the Internet, download games, set up email accounts and more.

“It’s a very small convenient computer and is the same as streaming a movie on your own computer, except we just make it easier,” said Richard. Red Rhino markets itself as a means to access all your entertainment without any monthly fees.

In a market that’s just catching on, there are other media boxes available but Red Rhino designs its own software, is more efficient and has better technical support, according to Richard.

The Marhues have family in Sarnia and decided to open their second Red Rhino location here.

On Dec. 1, they became the first store operators to sign on with The Bayside Centre management since new owners took over last fall.

“We looked at Lambton Mall too,” said Richard. “We know Bayside is not as busy but Bayside offered better Internet service, which we need, and the retail space was a good fit for us,” said Richard.

Sarnia’s Red Rhino TV store is next to the fountain by the Lochiel Street entrance.

“We talked to other downtown business people and they are saying there’s so much potential with the new ownership,” said Melanie.

Opening in a new market means the couple is prepared to do a lot of education to sell a product many aren’t familiar with yet, she said.

“It was slow when we opened in Pickering because no one had heard about the product. Then we became very busy,” said Richard.

“We expected it to be just as slow here, but it’s not. We’ve had quite a few sales already.”

The media box, which comes with a small remote, sells for $325 at Sarnia’s Red Rhino store. Accessories are also available, such as a “Magic Wand” that acts like a mouse and keyboard in one.

The Marhues, who have moved to Sarnia with their three children, are currently looking for one or two sales people. If you are familiar with the technology, contact them at 519-328-3353.

For details about the media box, visit www.myredrhinotv.com.