TV Manufacturers Reveal Strategies
How that helps dealers make extra money is that they can show consumers some real tangible step-up features that are demonstrable and offer a lot of utility, translating to a much better value at a little bit higher price-point.
Laynie Newsome, Vizio: We were first to launch a collection of 240Hz LCD TVs, part of our premium XVT technology feature set, and the benefit is smoother images for HD broadcasts. Second, our flagship 55-inch XVT TV has TruLED technology instead of CCFL. That technology selectively turns LEDs on for true black levels in the image. It ships in July. We are also expanding our use of 120Hz technology into more SKUs, and will be 'waterfalling' it to our M series, our mainstream TV series. Third, is our VT style sets - a color-infused-bezel 120Hz range.
In the fourth quarter we are working on launching our brand-new Internet-capable TVs, our VIA (for Vizio Internet Application) series. We're adding that special feature into our XVT collection for the fall. We're also integrating wireless technology into our TVs, along with a Bluetooth remote control that will have a QWERTY keyboard so that the client doesn't need to point it at the TV.
Frank DeMartin, Vice President of Marketing at Mitsubishi: We're telling dealers that they need to look at this environment as an opportunity to differentiate themselves. Flat panel has been commoditized, so they have no choice but to differentiate from the discounters. One area is large screen. Average selling prices for that category in general are higher and price erosion is slower.
We're going larger, introducing an 82-inch DLP HDTV. That will be the largest mass-produced TV and will ship in July. It's also the world's largest 3D television. We're trying to promote that technology to get it from exhibition into the home. We think 2009 will be a year with a lot of experimentation and more going on in content and hardware for 3D in the home.