By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The Petters Group has entered the competitive DVD-player market with products it will market under the popular Polaroid brand.
Petters will use the trademark on a range of consumer electronics products including DVD players it acquires from China for sale in the United States and Europe.
The company showed at CES its first Polaroid DVD, model DVR700, which is scheduled to ship to dealers in April at a $299 suggested retail price.
The player encodes and decodes Windows Media 9 (WM9) files and includes a DVD player and CD-R/-RW recorder, enabling users to record video content to a CD-RW disc and replay it on most home DVD players. It also has the capability to download, record and stream WM9 Series content from a disc and the Internet to a Polaroid home entertainment system.
Petters said the player includes both Equator and Aeon Digital technology. Aeon Digital Corporation's hardware set includes the DVD playback subsystem and a CD-R playback/record subsystem. Equator Technology's chip runs the CD drive and works with WM9 Series to allow playback and recording.
Other products slated for the Petters/Polaroid line include an entry two-channel DVD player (model DVP-300), a DVD portable player with 5.6-inch LCD screen (model DVD-912V), a DVD home entertainment system (DAV-3900) and a 32-inch flat picture analog direct-view TV (model PT-32F9).
The Petters Group incorporates wholesale, retail, finance and fulfillment companies focusing on consumer goods "at exceptional prices."
The company was among a handful of firms that recently struck licensing deals with the new owner of the Polaroid moniker — a venture capital arm of Bank One, which controls nearly 100 percent of the old Polaroid's employees and intellectual property.
In addition to Polaroid film sales, the new Polaroid is looking to generate equity from the Polaroid trademark through licensing deals, while protecting the brand's integrity by signing off on everything from product usage to packaging.
Other Polaroid licensees include Spectra Merchandizing for digital cameras and the Digital Media Group for CD and MP3 players. Disk Fusion Technology will manufacturer Polaroid-branded blank media (including DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM) and Concord Camera has licensed the brand for single-use and traditional film-based cameras and related accessories.
About a dozen more deals are said to be in the works for other hardware and accessories categories.
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