By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Barco, the Belgium-based manufacturer of very high performance professional video projectors, unveiled at CES a new projector family called CineVERSUM, which is targeted at the elite home theater market.
Sumiko, an importer/distributor of high-performance lines of home theater audio components, will be the exclusive CineVERSUM North American distributor.
"The partnership with Sumiko came about after an exhaustive examination of options for marketing this new range in North America," said Tom Vanthuyne, business unit manager, Barco Home Cinema. "Sumiko's high-quality approach to marketing in the specialty-audio and video-product marketplace is well known and made them the natural choice. Sumiko is widely acknowledged to be the best specialty distributor in terms of dealer support, product training and after-sales service".
Sumiko plans to distribute Barco CineVERSUM products through a select network of highly qualified audio/video specialists throughout the United States and Canada.
Barco currently produces very high-end DLP and CRT-based video-projector systems, but will focus on DLP technology in the first CineVERSUM products. Initially, Barco will offer five models in the line, all of which are based on a die-cast aluminum chassis.
"Each of the five new high-definition compatible models have been developed to push the edge-of-the-art in video fidelity and to set a new standard as to what is possible in the home cinema environment" stated John Hunter, Sumiko president. "Barco technology has proven itself as a truly reference-class product under the rigorous demands of both industrial and commercial use."
The flagship model, CineVERSUM 120, which is due to ship in the second quarter at a $49,995 suggested retail including "The Master" video processor, is driven by Texas Instruments' 3-chip 16:9 DLP chip-set, and is capable screen sizes from 90- to 150-inches.
Barco will have a wide variety of lenses available to optimize projector placement in a system installation.
The Master is called a state-of-the-art digital video processor, by its manufacturer, and interfaces with the projector via a proprietary digital cable link. Barco said numerous analog and digital sources can be processed and optimized since the Master circuit design is modular.
Other models include the CineVERSUM 110, which is another 3-chip DLP model slated for a first quarter 2004 release at a $39,995 suggested retail.
The CineVERSUM 80, 70 and 60 models all will be equipped with single-chip HDTV-level DMD designs. The model 80, which ships in first quarter of 2004, will be offered in two packages. One includes the Master video processor and will carry a $19,995 suggested retail. Another will add to that a "Pro Grade Lens" and will carry a $24,995 suggested retail.
The CineVersum 70 and 60 will each be available in the first quarter of 2004 at suggested retail prices of $12,995 and $7,995, respectively.
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