Behind the Box Tiny Mirrors, Big Impact
Though TI was marginally involved with helping the launch of the first DLP HDTVs last year—TI sponsored Mitsubishi's dealer line show last year—the current momentum is aligned with the introduction of the second generation HDTV DLP chip, specifically its inclusion in the new Samsung products. TI has even hired a new senior channel manager, Keith Lewis, to help with the launch. "He interfaces directly with the manufacturers and dealers," explained Reder.
TI currently plans an educational endcap with Best Buy that tells both the TI DLP story and the Samsung story as it relates to the introduction of Samsung's new HDTVs. TI will also coordinate detailing services to check up on the products, making sure the dealers have them properly set up and looking their best. That includes making sure the dealership is demonstrating the product with the proper content. "In the home market we cold-called some retailers and in many cases they were [showing] VHS tapes or standing the products in store windows in the sun," said Reder. TI is working on creating content to show on the TVs, and have a special program in place to customize the content for the specific retailers. That created content could take different forms, DVD, HDTV or D-VHS; Redder couldn't specify. "I'd like it to be D-VHS," he said.
TI hasn't seen the need for such extensive involvement with dealers of front projection. "The challenges are a little different," said Reder. "In the home theater market the dealers and manufacturers are already well educated. We're looking to grow the market in more conventional homes." However, the company has recently improved its Web site to help explain how to use front projection. On www.DLP.com can be found information on how to select a DLP projector as well as links to 18 manufacturers.