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HP Moves Its TVs To Mainstream Retail Market

1/05/2006 03:43:00 PM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — Hewlett-Packard is poised to roll its television products into the mainstream retail market this year with its new microdisplay models taking over in high-end specialty stores.

The company also unveiled several additional flat-screen and microdisplay televisions that are expected to ship later this year.

The product leading the way into the mass market is the SLC3760n Advanced Media TV. HP showed the final preproduction version of this 37W-inch LCD TV that features built in 802.11a/b/g wireless networking. The TV is designed to behave just like any network device and can operate in either a Windows or Macintosh environment. HP will ship it this summer but did not give any pricing.

The Wi-Fi networking gives the Advanced Media TV access, through the Internet, to a wide variety of services that HP has arranged for, including Real Networks, Rhapsody online music service, Snapfish for digital imaging and CinemaNow’s library of 4,000 movies.

Jan Luc Blackborrn, HP’s consumer digital entertainment director, said the company intends to migrate wireless and other features in the Advanced Media TV will work their way into HP’s other televisions, but he did not have a specific road map for when these changes would go into effect.

The other LCD models introduced are the LC3760n and the LC3260n. Each has 6,000:1 contrast ratio and a 6 millisecond screen refresh rate, about 4 milliseconds faster then HP’s previous models.

In plasma the company will ship the PL5060n and the PL4260n. Each has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, integrated HDTV/analog tuners and a PC input for connecting to a Media Center PC.

The Microdisplay line has two new models for 2006, the ID5280n1080p and the ID5220n 780p. Both feature memory card slots for viewing digital images and PictBridge technology for printing on a network printer. HP replaced the fluorescent light with an LED, which will not require replacement for the television’s lifetime.

HP will continue selling its current 58-inch and 60-inch microdisplays with just minor cosmetic changes for the new year.

All the models should be on store shelves by mid-year, but the company refrained from giving pricing information at this time.