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NuVision Broadens Lucidium Line With Smaller Screen Sizes

3/10/2008 02:00:00 AM Eastern

NuVision, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., continues to roll out its Lucidium line of "integration friendly" LCD TVs by adding a range of small screen sizes, all targeted at the custom installation retail channel.

The line launched in January with 42-inch ($2,199 suggested retail), 47-inch ($2,799) and 52-inch ($4,199) models. A 65-inch model ($11,999), with Silicon-Optix video producing, will ship in April.

Smaller screen models in the 22- ($749 suggested retail), 26- ($999), 32- ($1,399) and 37-inch ($1,899) screen sizes began shipping last week, said Scott Deley, NuVision CEO.

The smaller models offer custom retailers the opportunity to outfit multiple rooms in a home with products that maintain uniform functionality, quality and appearance.

All models 37-inches and larger offer 1,920 by 1080p full HD resolution. The 32- and 26-inch models offer 1,366 by 768p resolution, and the 22-inch model offers 1,680 by 1050 resolution.

All sets are distributed through NuVision's network of about 400 A/V specialty retailers and custom installers. The company also uses a network of about 23 distributor partners, including the Edge Group.

"We are adding detailers slowly and carefully. We want the right people. Our channel of distribution is very protective. You won't find it on Internet" said Deley. "The focus of what we are doing is high-performance video, and what we consider to be the most integration-friendly product line in the industry."

"A lot of our installers and dealers are doing whole home systems," he said. "In many cases they are buying, for example, a Pioneer plasma display and then a mismatch of other models throughout the house. We can provide a range of screen sizes for a complete home system with similar control protocol and similar navigation and functionality throughout the line."

NuVision's smaller screen models, like the bigger-screen versions, include HDMI v1.3 inputs of varying numbers (determined by screen size). All models will accept 1080/24p signal input. All small screen models up to 37-inches are fully integrated with ATSC tuners.

NuVision designed the sets for maximum installation flexibility, Deley said. Every input has its own picture settings, and NuVision performs "a painstakingly detailed picture calibration before the product ships," he added, "So our dealers aren't having to spend an inordinate amount of time mucking with [Imaging Science Foundation] settings."

Models all include a "nucontrol" port that allows the dealer to control the display in a variety of ways, using bi-directional RS-232, and direct IR control ports. This enables the TV set to act as a gateway for any other IR controlled products used in an installation.

The system does not use HDMI-CEC control, due to what NuVision executives said was a varying degree of implementation approaches in the industry. Deley said NuVision's approach gives installers all the tools and consistent IR codes necessary to integrate its products into a home A/V network in a simplified manner.

Other features carried throughout the line are motion interpolation, edge correction, Digital Switch Deep Black dynamic backlight adjustment. The latter is said to increase depth of field and boost effective contrast ratios up to 15,000:1.

Select models add Digital Color Spectrum (DCS) technology that widens the color gamut of the LCD panels and NuColor x.v., which also enhances color depth by providing a true end-to-end 10 bit signal path, NuVision said.

Other than the 65-inch model with Silicon Optix Realta HQV image processing, other models in the line use NiDO II full 10-bit video processing and conversion.

Meanwhile, Deley said the company exited the rear projection TV business after briefly flirting with an LED-backlit model.

"In light of the price points and where the market's gone, we found that the rear-pro business doesn't make any sense with regards to return on investment and the huge costs for tooling and so forth," he explained.

Deley said that for flat-panel, NuVision focused on LCD from day one, adding that Mitsui Japan is one of NuVision's biggest investors, which "really gives us a seat at the table in Japan and gives us access to the absolute best in LCD panel technology. It enables LCD panels to be manufactured to our specifications and requirements for this market."

Deley said the company never considered bringing in plasma TV products due to the rapid pace of advancements in LCD technology and the expanded acceptance of 1080p resolution.

In other news, NuVision appointed David Cusick, former Fujitsu sales director, as its new sales VP. Cusick will be responsible for managing the company's dealer, distributor and customer relationships. He had spent the last six years with Fujitsu General America. Earlier he worked with DLP projector manufacturer Plus Corp. as that company's regional sales manager.