By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Regent USA, which markets the Maxent line of flat-panel televisions, will travel to CES to unveil a new upscale flat-panel TV line for the commercial, institutional, government and home theater custom-installation channels under the Sampo brand.
The company will also show expanded lines of LCD and plasma TV models for its growing Maxent consumer electronics line, which will break new pricing levels for a 50W-inch high-definition plasma monitor at a $3,999 suggested retail price, and a 50W-inch integrated HDTV plasma set at a $3,999 suggested retail. Many of Maxent's models will add integrated ATSC tuning or an external ATSC set-top box option this year.
A spokesman for Regent USA said the company licensed the Sampo name for the U.S. market from Sampo Corp. of Taiwan following a decision by the licensor to pull the brand and related consumer electronics marketing activities from the United States to focus on OEM sales.
Using Maxent and Sampo, Regent will adopt a dual-brand strategy. Sampo will be relegated to limited-volume higher end markets, while Maxent will continue to be focused on mainstream consumer electronics channels. Maxent plasma and LCD TVs will “offer value and pricing,” Regent said.
The new Sampo line of digital displays will carry full feature sets, strong video performance and attractive warranty programs, according to the company.
Features in the Sampo offerings will include RS232 and RJ45 connections for remote control of multiple digital displays from a single location and advanced digital video processing. Sampo panels will also include NTSC tuners, the company said.
At the same time, Regent USA will expand its Maxent line of large-format LCD TVs and plasma TVs, which it currently distributes through a growing list of consumer electronics accounts. Among the larger Maxent dealers are Costco, Best Buy and Fry's.
New products in the Maxent line include a pair of high-definition LCD TVs and five plasma displays, in both EDTV and HDTV resolution levels.
New LCDs include the 26W-inch MX-26X3, which will ship in the first quarter at a $1,299 suggested retail. The panel features a 16:9 aspect ratio with high-definition 1366 by 768 pixel resolution.
Also added is the 32W-inch MX-32X3, which will ship in the first quarter at a $1,799 suggested retail. The panel features a 16:9 aspect ratio with high-definition 1366 by 768 pixel resolution.
In plasma models, the Maxent line will feature three fully-integrated models in a 42W-inch EDTV, and 42W-inch and 50W-inch HDTV sets. The integrated models, which include built-in ATSC/NTSC tuning, include the following:
Model MX-42VM20, which will ship in the second quarter at a $2,499 suggested retail, offers a 42W-inch 16:9 panel with 852 by 480 EDTV resolution.
Model MX-42XM20, which will ship in the second quarter at a $2,999 suggested retail, is a 42W-inch high-definition version with 1024 by 768 resolution.
Model MX-50XM20, which will ship in the second quarter at a $3,999 suggested retail, offers a 50W-inch 16:9 panel with 1366 by 768 resolution.
Maxent will also add a pair of HDTV plasma monitors with built-in NTSC tuning.
Model MX-42X10, which will ship in the first quarter at a $2,999 suggested retail, features a 42W-inch 16:9 screen with 1024 by 768 resolution.
Model MX-50X2, which will ship in the first quarter at $3,999 suggested retail, features a 50W-inch 16:9 plasma panel with 1366 by 768 resolution.
Maxent will also make available external set-top boxes with ATSC (HDTV) tuning to support models: MX-26X3, MX-32X3, MX-42X10 and MX-50X2, the company said.
Regent USA will present its lines in a suite at the Las Vegas Hilton during CES.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.