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Planar Gears Up Displays

8/10/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Beaverton, Ore. — Following its announced return to the consumer electronics market, Planar Systems will be entering the specialty home theater market with lines of high-end front projectors, flat-panel displays and specially developed projector screens.

Scott Hix, Planar’s home theater business unit VP/GM, said the company’s CE product mix will include “ambient-light-rejection Planar Xscreen that enhances front-projection performance in rooms with windows and light; multiple sizes of high-definition LCD flat-panel televisions, which will take a cue from Planar’s deep history and exceptional track record in flat-panel displays; and a comprehensive lineup of high-performance home theater projectors, which are new to Planar, but not the dedicated specialty home theater team.”

Hix said the company’s display devices will be targeted at a segment of the market just under that of Runco International.

Planar’s Home Theater products will be backed by the Customer First advanced exchange warranty. Hix said he expects to announce product details prior to CEDIA Expo and additional product areas later in the quarter.

Planar recently announced new strategic initiatives aimed at increasing long-term shareholder value through expanding and enhancing top-line revenue growth and profitability over time. Hix, a former InFocus executive, has assembled a team of industry veterans to develop and market products to the worldwide specialty home theater channel and its customers.

Planar’s Home Theater products will address “an identified opportunity to establish Planar as the top display choice of home theater industry professionals and theater enthusiasts who are looking for superior performance, design and support in a comprehensive line of display products,” according to a statement.

Planar’s specialty home theater products will be available exclusively through specialty home theater distributors and dealers worldwide, who bring value with their industry knowledge and installation capabilities, the company said.

“We are excited about our ability to deliver best-in-class home theater offerings based on Planar’s disciplined specialty display channel approach and engineering innovation and the home theater team’s preceding reputation in this industry,” said Hix. “Planar’s displays perform in mission-critical applications and are trusted in medical, industrial and commercial markets. Planar plans to leverage that display engineering high-detail performance to its specialty home theater products.”

The company’s first product, the Planar Xscreen, is said to “overcome the most common problems associated with home cinema systems found outside of dedicated darkrooms by reducing reflected light from windows or lamps that degrades picture quality — allowing for large-screen cinema experiences to be possible in nearly any room in the home.”

Screens will be available in 60W-inch, 70W-inch, 80W-inch and 100W-inch diagonal viewing sizes, and feature black, high-gloss industrial frames.

Patented Daytime Film Technology is said to reject ambient light and deliver bright, high-contrast images from front projectors regardless of light conditions.

The Planar Xscreen Plus is designed as a hub for connectivity and processing of all video and audio components, which can be controlled by a single, universal remote.

The Planar Xscreen Plus reduces clutter because cables from each source no longer have to run to the projector. Planar’s Xscreen Plus remote is as easy to use as any traditional TV remote.