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Nikada Targets Flat-Panel Gap

2/21/2005 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Nikada has launched a new brand and lines of flat-panel LCD and plasma displays that are designed to address an underserved market segment between the opening price point leaders and the high-end suppliers.

Albert Wu, Nikada's CEO of the privately funded U.S.-based CE supplier, said “we saw a gap [in the market] that presented us with an opportunity.”

He added that plans to launch the company started three years ago.

Nikada is trying to exploit this step-up market opportunity by sourcing products from a number of Asian factories.

All products are designed with an emphasis on cosmetic styling and quality performance, Wu said.

The brand launched late last year, and now offers five models of plasma and LCD TVs. The company will also launch a line of flash-memory based MP3 music players later in the year.

Wu said Nikada will carry only HDTV-level products, opting to steer clear of the highly competitive EDTV plasma market.

Plasma models include the 42W-inch and 50W-inch screen sizes, while LCD models include 26W-inch, 32W-inch and 37W-inch models. All will include pedestals or can be wall-mounted. Panel frames include brushed aluminum or silver-toned satin finishes.

Plasma models will include advanced digital image processing, called Chrominance Transient Improvement and Luminance Transient Improvement, for improved color and brightness. Also included are an adaptive 3D digital comb filter and Cinema Mode Effect video processing, including 3:2 pull-down enhancement for up-converted film-based material. Inputs include DVI-HDCP and RGB.

Plasma models include the PD1422 ($3,899.99), which is a 42W-inch HD plasma monitor featuring 1,024 by 768 resolution, and the PD1501 ($6,499.99), which is a 50W-inch HD plasma monitor featuring 1,366 by 768 resolution and 1,000 cd/m2 brightness.

In LCD TV, the company is offering the LD1371 ($3,479.99), which features a 37W-inch screen size with 1366 by 768 resolution, a 176-degree viewing angle, 500:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2 brightness.

The LD1321 ($2,249.99) is a 32W-inch model with 1,366 by 768 resolution, and an NTSC tuner.

The LD1261 ($1,799.99) is a 26W-inch model with 1,280-by-768 resolution.

The company offers a one-year on-site service/exchange warranty for screen sizes over 26W-inches, and will offer a mail exchange program for smaller screen sizes.

“We designed our warranty program to minimize the headaches for custom installers,” Wu said. “We feel this is a neglected channel that we want to support.”

The company recently announced that it had been picked up for distribution by www.target.com, but Wu said the company's focus will be on A/V specialty and custom installer accounts. Currently, there are no plans to have Target's brick-and-mortar stores carry the line.

To protect margins for smaller dealers, Nikada has instituted a minimum advertised pricing program, Wu said.

In addition, Nikada relying on a recently deal with Atlanta-based distributor SED International for distribution and logistics support.

In addition to sales and delivery work, SED will provide warehousing and inventory management for Nikada. The first deliveries are slated to begin this month.