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CES 2011: Coby Expands TV Lines With 3D, Big Screen Models

1/06/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — Coby Electronics will
be using International CES as a sort
of coming-out party as it enters a new
phase into step-up consumer electronics
products that offer both value and
new technology messages.

Coby president Michael Troetti told
TWICE the company will use TV and
smart portable devices as its growth
engines for 2011.

“In TV, Coby has always played as a
value-oriented brand, but starting with
International CES we will also be introducing
a lineup of IPTV and a lineup
of 3D TVs,” Troetti said. “We expect to
break out of the [opening price point]
side and add some products that offer
both value and profit for us and our
dealers.”

In TV, the company will begin to transition
a majority of its line away from
CCFL backlit LCD models in screen
sizes measuring 24 inches and smaller
during the first quarter. At the same
time, the company is introducing an assortment
of its largest screen sizes to
date — 46, 55, 60 and 65 inches — with
lighting sources mixed between LED
and CCFL, Troetti said.

The 60- and 65-inch sets are slated
for a July to August launch window,
prior to which more details will be announced.

“Since we only do the one show
a year, we felt it important to make a
statement that Coby has moved out of
its comfort zone of up to 32-inch TVs,
and added larger screen sizes to become
a major player in the TV category,”
Troetti said.

He explained that Coby offers dealers
an assortment of value-priced
small-screen LCDs, which are being
vacated by the tier-one brands, and as
a Chinese sourced company will now
look to take advantage of the yen-todollar
currency issues faced by Japanese
competitors, by offering more affordably
priced big screen sets as well.

Troetti said Coby will offer LED edge
lighting in a majority of the new largescreen
classes in 2011, but will likely
include CCFL backlit options in the 46-
and 55-inch classes to provide a value
step option for its dealer partners.

Currently, Coby services primarily
regional CE accounts, with a select national
retailer also scheduled to make
“a run,” he said. But, he added, “you
will not find us with the higher-velocity
retail channels and warehouse clubs.”

This will give smaller
accounts an affordable
brand resource for leverage.

All told, Coby will
launch 14 new LCD models,
including five SKUs
with new built-in IPTV
Internet streaming capability,
and six models
with active-shutter 3D
capability and 120Hz
clear motion technology,
and one glasses-less 3D
model.

Troetti said Coby expects
to have one of the
widest 3D screen-size selections in
the industry with SKUs encompassing
the 22-, 24-, 32-, 40-, 46- and 55-inch
classes. Pricing will be announced at
the show.

“In 3D we will have small screens
and large screens, but focus on the
small screens first,” he explained.
“The 40 and larger models will likely
be second-quarter introductions, and
the 22- through 32-inch models will be
first- to mid-second-quarter introductions.”

The 22-inch glasses-less 3D model
was designed primarily for video gamers,
he said. It will later by joined by
a range of active-shutter glasses-enabled
models measuring from 24 to
55 inches.

For IPTV, Troetti said Coby made
a strategic decision not to mix IPTV
functionality in 3D capable models.

“We separated the lines because
we believe there is a customer who
would like a 3D-only set, and a customer
that would like just the IPTV
set,” Troetti said.

Meanwhile, new LED IPTVs will
include the 22-inch LEDIPTV2256,
23-inch LEDIPTV2356, 32-inch LEDIPTV3256,
40-inch LEDIPTV4056
and 55-inch LEDIPTV5556. Various
models will include the option of builtin
Wi-Fi access and/or Ethernet jacks.

All will be powered by the Android
operating system and will ship at the
end of the second quarter, Troetti said.

He said that among the benefits
of using the Android platform for TV
is that it can accept a wide range of
available apps with connections to a
multitude of streaming entertainment
services, without the need for the set
manufacturer to make special service
arrangements.

Starting this year, the company will
introduce a Minimum Advertised Price
(MAP) program for new IPTV and 3D
TV products, “but still walk a very
fine line as to how we position them
against tier one competitors,” Troetti
explained.

Coby will also offer a 3D-capable
portable DVD player that will
up convert 2D images to 3D on a
glasses-less 3D screen. Troetti said
the product will fit with the teen-andyounger
customer demographic that
has served the company well in other
categories.

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