By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
HANNspree, the manufacturers of exotically styled LCD TVs, announced at International CES the launch of its first line of PC monitors, which will be sold under a new brand called HANNS G, and introduced an assortment large-screen HANNspree LCD TVs.
Both HANNspree and the new HANNS G IT monitor line will be part of a new division called HANNS Group, formed by parent HannStar, one of the world's largest manufacturers of LCD panels. HANNS Group will coordinate all global sales and marketing operations.
The HANNS G IT monitor line will launch in the first quarter and will include models in screen sizes ranging from 15 inches to 23 inches wide. The line will be serviced in the United States by the existing HANNspree direct sales and sales representative force, which will be branching out to include more traditional IT accounts.
The line will launch this month with 20 models in the 15-inch, 17-inch and 19-inch screen sizes, all of which will stress 360 degree design styles, like the HANNspree TVs, but with more traditional looks for corporate offices and small office/home office environments. As the line develops, Calacci said the company may begin to introduce IT monitor designs that feature more elaborate styles, themes and licenses.
In addition to offering sleek, contemporary monitor designs, Rick Calacci, HANNspree sales and marketing senior VP, said HANNS G models will leverage the strengths of its parent HannStar to deliver aggressive retail price points.
The 17-inch HU-171D, for example, will carry a $249.99 suggested retail price, and the 19-inch HN-199D will be priced at $299.99.
HANNS G models will offer a range of high-performance capabilities, the company said, including response times of 5ms, 8ms and 12ms; aspect ratios of both 5:4 and 16:10; and in plane switching for wide viewing angles.
As for HANNspree's TV plans, Michael Amkreutz, HANNspree marketing VP, said the lineup will expand from about 100 models in 2005 to over 150 models in 2006. Representing a portion of the expansion will be the addition of four Warner Bros.-licensed models based on Looney Tunes cartoon characters. They will join models using the Disney, NBA and MLB licenses.
In addition, the company will offer portable models including HANNSMobi, which features a 7-inch screen, built-in DVD player, MP3 playback capability and lithium-ion battery. It will ship with a car-mounting system.
The company also introduced here a wireless home entertainment networking system called HANNSvidilink, consisting of a wireless video transmitter and receiver that let users send audio and video signals around the house without wires, at distances up to 300 feet. The two-piece system is based on 802.11a wireless technology.
HANNspree is also introducing 10 new large-screen models with eight different designs. All large-screen products include ATSC and QAM (in-the-clear cable) digital tuners, and multimedia card slot readers.
One design family, HANNSLounge, will appear in models with 26W-inch, 32W-inch and 37W-inch screen sizes, “with the possibility of extending that to 42W-inch by the end of the year,” Amkreutz said.
Lounge is the flagship of the new models, he continued, because it uses a unique border transfer process that enables the production of a full wood grain, textured surface in one piece. Other model designs are called HANNSwing, HANNSvibe, HANNSnara, HANNSskate and HANNStelly.
The 32W-inch HANNSvibe ($1,299 suggested retail) offers detachable bottom speakers and a super-slim profile that includes a slightly raised back and accessible front-panel.
The 32W-inch HANNSwing ($1,399) features a black front framed on both sides by chrome metal stripes.
The 37W-inch HANNSnara ($1,899) offers a 178 degree viewing angle, side speakers that run the length of the set and a retro-style design.
The 42W-inch HANNSskate ($3,199) includes a rounded frame enclosure positioned atop a unique mounting platform.
The 42W-inch HANNStelly ($3,199) offers 1,920 by 1,080p resolution and an “H” style design layout in the front with an “S” style in the back.
The 50W-inch HANNSskate ($4,199) is the company's first HDTV plasma set.
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