By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TTE's RCA television brand (South Hall 20507) will unveil at International CES six new series of LCD TVs, including two high-performance RCA Scenium lines.
At the booth, TTE will show a mix of RCA- and TCL-branded TV products, with TCL lines targeted at markets outside of North America. The company will also show TCL-branded video and small electronics as it gauges plans to introduce new video lines in the United States.
For RCA TVs, the company narrows its flat-panel focus to high-value LCD models, once again dropping plasma from the line. The line will expand to 20 LCD TV models this year, featuring a range of value and step-up lines. At the high-end the company is offering 42W-inch and 47W-inch big-screen 1,080p models under the RCA Scenium brand.
"As [HDTV] pricing and technology gets more into the mainstream, we feel that's where we are really strong with RCA brand," said Richard Dinsmore, TTE marketing director. "We continue with our strategy to offer models for every budget and every room in the home."
Deliveries will begin in January and will roll on through the first quarter, with a majority of the models slated to arrive in the March and April time frame, according to Dinsmore.
Greg Bosler, TTE executive VP, said market dynamics are forcing a rapid shift to higher-end features, which is underscored by the introduction of 1,080p products in 2007.
He said the RCA Scenium line is planning "four or five 1,080p models, but I would expect in three or four months we will be adding to that because there are products slated for this fall that we are still finalizing the specifications on."
Core line LCD TVs will range in screen size from 19W inches to 46W inches, and will begin with the RCA 20 series, which is scheduled to ship a lone 19W-inch L19WD20 ($299) model this month.
Both models feature HDMI, component video and PC inputs in addition the standard analog connections and stereo speakers.
The RCA 22 Series, which ships in April, will carry five models including the 26W-inch L26W22-($599), 32W-inch L32W22 ($799), 37W-inch L37W22 ($999), 42W-inch L42W22 ($1,299) and 46W-inch L46W22 ($1,499).
Features include dual HDMI and component video inputs and PC compatibility. The 8-watts per channel stereo audio system adds SRS WOW surround sound.
The RCA 23 Series, which also ships in April, offers three models in 26W-inch L26W23 ($599), the 32W-inch L32W23 ($799) and the 37W-inch L37W23 ($999). Features include dual HDMI and component video inputs, PC input, 10 watts per channel stereo with SRS3D.
The RCA 26D Series , which ships in May, includes two LCD TV/DVD combo models in the 26W-inch L26WD26D ($699) and the 32W-inch L32WD26D ($899). Features include HDMI and HD component video inputs, PC input, stereo speakers and SRS WOW surround sound.
The slot-loading DVD players support CD, CD-R, CD-RW, CD +RW, MP3, DVD, DVD+R and DVD-R formats.
The step-up RCA Scenium 250 Series includes four models in the 32W-inch L32WD250-$899, 37W-inch L37WD250 ($1,099), 42W-inch L42WD250 ($1,499) and 46W-inch L46WD250 ($1,799).
Features include Advanced Picture Processing, Enhanced Dynamic Contrast, dual HDMI and component video inputs, USB, SRS TruSurround and 8 watts per channel audio.
The top-of-the-line RCA Scenium 280 Series includes two models with full 1,920 by 1,080p HD resolution.
Units include the 42W-inch L42WD280 ($1,799) and 47W-inch L47WD380 ($2,299).
Key features include TTE's advanced DCRE video processing, dual HDMI and component video inputs, SRS TruSurround XT and 10 watts per channel audio.
Bosler said RCA Scenium products are distributed primarily to accounts with strong customer service support, and other accounts where customers typically look for "the best class of products."
TTE will also carry a line of RCA-branded HD DLP rear-projection sets in the 44W-inch, 50W-inch and 61W-inch screen sizes, with a limited number still equipped with digital CableCARD slots, Dinsmore said. The 50W-inch model will feature 1,080p resolution.
In high-definition CRT rear-projection, the company will carry over models in the 52W-inch, 56W-inch and 61W-inch screen sizes.
Also slated is a full line of RCA direct-view CRT products in the 14-inch through 32-inch screen sizes, all incorporating ATSC/NTSC tuning. The digital tuning adds about a $35 premium to the cost of comparably sized models last year, Bosler said.
"We recognize that the world is moving to flat panel, but some of the other categories still represent great consumer values," said Dinsmore. "As long as there is consumer and retailer demand for those products, we will continue to offer them."
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