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Dealers: Beauty Is Screen Deep

7/22/2002 02:00:00 AM Eastern


When it comes to selling HDTV rear-projection monitors, it's picture performance above all else that sells products, and Hitachi retailers told TWICE that the UltraVision 53UWX10B had one of the best pictures on their showroom floors over the past year.

"Great pictures sell televisions, and that set just performed beautifully," said John LaRegina, senior buyer and the New York City area retail chain P.C. Richard and Son . "When you went out on our selling floor and took a look at what we are displaying — in our case I have any where from 40 to 50 HD upgradeable projectors on the floor — that set just jumped right out."

Ray Brown, Sears, Roebuck & Company electronics and home office VP, said, "You walk into the stores today, and the pictures are pretty darned good on everything up and down the line. So you look at the way Hitachi brings their picture to market, and it is clearly one the best in the marketplace. It is very easy to demonstrate to customers, even on a Saturday afternoon with kids running around."

"When it comes to HDTV, it is all about the customer experience. Hitachi probably does the best job of showing the customer the absolute fundamental difference between perfect analog and HD," he continued.

LaRegina pointed out that the 53UWX10B benefited from "an improved lens system over the previous year's models, and it offered built-in progressive scanning, so with any DVD movie you put into the thing, it outperformed any other set you had on the floor."

Explaining why the widescreen 53W-inch model outsold other Hitachi models, LaRegina said "it was very much in line with where the customers were, so it was a very easy sell for us."

"The dominant screen size is running from 51W-inch to 57W-inch," he observed. "With the 53W-inch being right in the middle it really made some sense.

LaRegina said he is not concerned about Hitachi's decision to drop the 53W-inch screen size this year as it readjusts its screen size mix.

"I expect the next generation to be a little bit more exciting," he said.

Top 10 Rear-Projection Displays

May 2001- April 2002

Rank By Unit Sales Brand/Model Rank By $ Sales
1 53" Hitachi 53UWX10B 1
2 51" Sony KP51HW40 3
3 57" Sony KP57HW40 2
4 55" Mitsubishi WS55809 4
5 53" Sony KP53HS30 5
6 43" Hitachi 43UWX10B 6
7 47" Panasonic PT47WX49 8
8 43" Hitachi 43FDX01B 11
9 51" Panasonic PT51HX41 10
10 46" Mitsubishi WT46809 7
Source: NPDTechworld ©TWICE 2002