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Westinghouse Adds 42” Monitor

11/10/2006 03:29:00 PM Eastern

New York — Looking to build on its growing LCD TV market share status, Westinghouse Digital has introduced a high-value 42W-inch 768p high-definition monitor for limited Q4-Q1 2007 run.

Model W4207, which will carry a $1,499 suggested retail price with significantly lower street retail prices anticipated, will join the company’s currently shipping 42W-inch 1080p model in the line. The new model will be positioned as a more affordable, step-down alternative, priced to compete against HD plasma displays for the holiday selling season.

It will feature a 3D comb filter 1,600:1 contrast ratio, 8ms response time, and will offer HDMI, component video and VGA inputs.

Rey Roque, Westinghouse Digital marketing VP, said the new HD monitor is part of an aggressive marketing year that saw the company shift to bigger-screen LCD TV vendor status, garnering major market share gains on the way.

“We maintained a top-five ranking in LCD TV year-to-date,” said Roque. “We grew distribution from less than 3,000 storefronts at the start of 2006 to over 10,000 storefronts today.”

He added that the company “will be looking to expand our distribution in 2007.”

Westinghouse LCD TVs are currently carried by Best Buy, Target, Sam’s Club, Aaron’s Rental, and TV-shopping networks HSN and ShopNBC. The company also put together a back-to-school bundle with Wal-Mart.

Sam’s, which began its involvement with Westinghouse as a test in 50 stores this year, has expanded to over 150 stores. The company’s 46W-inch model is in every Sam’s Club store today, Roque said. “To get into the top 5, with the limited partners we had, means we were really doing a lot of velocity,” said Roque. He added that the breadth of product has enabled Westinghouse to “channelize,” while local product engineering – in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley – “and almost 70 percent NFTA production in Mexico has significantly reduced the time to market.”

Westinghouse continues to use manufacturing around the world, including Taiwan, Thailand, China and Mexico.

“Mexico is not the cheapest place to assemble, but from a logistics standpoint it has really helped us with our partners,” Roque said.

At International CES in January, Westinghouse will unveil an expanded 2007 product line, including screen sizes from 19W- to 52W-inches. Most models, including the 19-inch, will add built-in ATSC tuning to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s digital tuner mandate.

Also to be added are new for the company 26W- and 52W-inch screen sizes. The 26W-inch models will replace the company’s successful 27W-inch units, which were No. 1 in unit sell-through in the screen size for “17 continuous months,” according to Roque.

He said the 26W-inch size will allow price points with greater “CRT replacement value.” The screen size will include a TV-DVD combo unit.

Other 2007 models will include two 32W-inch TVs and a 32W-inch TV-DVD combo, 37W-inch TVs, 40W-inch TVs, 42W-inch TVs (a 768p and a 1080p version), a continued 46W-inch model, a 47W-inch 1080p model and a 52W-inch 1080p model.

For consumer electronics, the 2007 1080p line will all include integrated NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuning. Monitor-only (LVM line) versions will continue in the company’s business-to-business series, targeting digital signage and other commercial applications.

Key features included in the line will include expanded connectivity options including HDMI inputs (version 1.1 initially), enhanced color gamut CCFL backlighting, dynamic contrast ratios of up to 5,000:1 and 6.5ms response times.

Cosmetic designs will be updated with a more upscale-looking brushed aluminum detailing in many models. As well various product families will have distinct looks, Roque said.

Meanwhile, Westinghouse Digital is promoting its brand with TV spots on select CBS Sports events in CBS owned-and-operated stations in 15 major markets. CBS is also giving away 42W- and 36W-inch Westinghouse Digital TVs in a sweepstakes promotion which viewers can register for on the Web sites of participating stations. Winners will be announced at the Gator Bowl.

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