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Amtran Slates JVC Brand TV Relaunch

7/05/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern

IRVINE, CALIF. – JVC-branded
flat-panel LCD TVs are returning
to the CE marketplace
under a new licensee — Taiwan’s
Amtran — reportedly
with new and improved picture
and sound performance, the
company said.

Amtran Video Corp. (AVC),
which is the U.S. marketing
arm of giant Taiwanese TV
manufacturer Amtran, is best
known as the marketing arm
for the manufacturer of highvalue
TV sets for leading marketers
in the U.S., including
second-ranked LCD TV supplier Vizio.

The company’s license for the JVC brand on TVs
covers North America, Japan and Asia, and the U.S.
sales arm is now dipping its toe in the U.S. waters
through mostly regional CE
retail partners.

JVC, which has marketed
TVs in the U.S. for more than
two decades for Japanese parent
Victory Co. of Japan, opted
to cease manufacturing and
distributing its flat-panel sets
last year following its merger
with Kenwood and in the face
of a continued tough economy
in both the U.S. and Japan.

Tom Paterniti, AVC’s JVC
Black Crystal TV brand sales
and marketing VP, said the
company expects to make its
mark here selling quality-performing lines of step-up
TVs at competitive (not bargain basement) prices.

“Our goal is to manufacture, market and sell the new JVC
Black series of TVs, starting out with the Black Crystal line
and moving to later add a Black Sapphire line, which will
bring in connected TV, 3D and other features in addition to
larger screen sizes (up to 65 inches),” Paterniti told TWICE.
“We’ve been working closely with the (original JVC) team in
New Jersey to get started.”

JVC selected Amtran as a licensing partner, he said, due
to its prowess in display design and production.

“We’ve built displays for some of the top names in the industry,
and JVC felt comfortable licensing its brand to us to
extend and expand the name in TV,” Paterniti explained.

AVC is relaunching the JVC brand for TV using eight
FullHD 1080p SKUs in the Black Crystal series. These are
divided into two classes — the 3000 line of CCFL-based
LCD TVs and the 3001 line of LED edge-lit LCD TVs, Paterniti
said.

All were developed with particular emphasis on high-quality
audio performance as well as clear video performance.

All models offer direct-firing speakers; a special audio
cavity to help sound resonance; better-quality speakers
with built-in tweeters, a wider frequency range (20kHz) and
deeper base response.

The company is also using SRS’s HD surround package
to enhance the spatial field from the two 10-watt speakers.

For cosmetics, Paterniti said the Black Crystal models
continue a similar design philosophy used in past JVC sets —
they keep the look thin, sleek and clean.

“It’s the kind of product you want to put in your living
room,” he said.

The 3000 series is targeted at consumers primarily interested
in purchasing a second or third TV for secondary
rooms in the house or for college dorms.

The 3001 models are step-up items that could appeal to
first-time home buyers, townhouse or condo dwellers looking
for screen sizes ranging from 32 to 47 inches, Paterniti
explained.

Models in the 32- and 37-inch screen sizes will all offer
60Hz refresh rates, while models in the 42- and 47-inch
screen sizes will offer 120Hz refresh rates.

The 3000 series 32- ($469 suggested retail) and 37-inch
($549) models will feature two HDMI inputs, component,
composite and VGA inputs, a music port, USB input, optical
digital output and stereo audio output.

The 42-inch 3000-series model carries a $699 suggested
retail while the 47-inch is priced at an expected $949.

All models in the 3000 series feature 100,000:1 dynamic
contrast ratios.

Pricing on the LED-based 3001-series products are:
32-inch ($599 suggested retail), 37-inch ($699), 42-inch
($879) and 47-inch ($1,199).

All of those models offer 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast
ratios and a 1.9-inch panel depth.

All sets comply with the Energy Star 5.3 power-consumption
requirements, Paterniti said.

AVC will use a different go-to-market strategy than its JVC
predecessors, offering pricing that is slightly below the tierone
brands like Sony, Samsung and LG, without dropping
into the mid-tier-two or tier-three price levels, Paterniti said.

The company will be using several online accounts (Amazon,
Buy.com, New Egg and others to start) — including
the JVC website run by the brand licensor. Paterniti said the
e-commerce channel “just continues to grow by leaps and
bounds for TV sales.”

Products sold through the JVC website will be offered at
full suggested retails, he added, and should not conflict with
sales of retail distribution partners.

Previews of the products online were set for the July 4
weekend as of this writing.

At the same time, the company will introduce the line to
the world on the JVC video screen in New York City’s Times
Square, where it will also announce a nationwide giveaway
sweepstakes for the Black Crystal Series, selecting a winner
from people who register online.

In part to help with online sales, all Black Crystal
models and next year’s Black Sapphire sets
will come with 24/7 tech support.

The 42-inch and larger models include in-home
service, and the 37-inch and smaller models offer
an advanced replacement service, which means
a replacement model will be shipped to the home
under the warranty period.

For brick-and-mortar distribution, Paterniti said
AVC continues to speak with select regional and
national CE retail accounts.

“We’re still finishing up some contracts, and we
don’t launch the LED line until August,” Paterniti
added. “We are giving our dealers a margin-rich
product with a brand that they can sell and with
advanced features that can make a competitive
brand.”

AVC will also begin discussions with some key
buying groups and has named D&H Distributing
its exclusive two-step distribution partner for the
JVC Black Crystal line, Paterniti said.

The company may seek out more high-end
regional and A/V specialty dealers for the Black
Sapphire line, slated for early 2012, he said.

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