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Humax To Enter U.S. Market

Santa Ana, Calif. – Humax, a South Korea-based manufacturer of satellite set-top boxes and other devices, announced plans to launch a line of innovative consumer electronics products including TiVo-branded DVRs in the U.S.

Humax is planning a formal launch of its U.S. sales operations at a suite at the Las Vegas Hilton during the Consumer Electronics Show that is taking place Jan. 8-11.

Humax U.S.A., which has established headquarters here, will be directed by Tony Goncalves, sales and marketing VP, who previously handled product development for various product lines at Samsung and Sharp. He reports to Humax CEO Dr. Dae Gyu Byun.

According to a company spokesman Humax will introduce ‘unique products’ that integrate set-top-box functions – such as PVR hard drive recording and home networking capability – into a range of cutting edge devices such as flat panel TVs and digital video recorders.

‘Humax, in short, aims to become a Digital Home Multimedia Product Provider of reliable products that allow consumers to enjoy a wealth of content at home,’ said Byun ‘Humax will continuously release more advanced products that will combine various set-top box functions, storage, and networking ability. Humax is confident it will stand as a competitive Global CE Brand with $1 billion in revenues worldwide by year 2006.

Founded in 1989, Humax of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea is a leading manufacturer of satellite receivers, and is said to be the third-ranked satellite receiver producer worldwide with $330 million in annual revenue. Humax is currently conducting business in over 90 countries.

The company is focusing its global expansion efforts on six markets where it is establishing consumer electronics sales subsidiaries, including the United States, according to a company spokesman. Approximately 45 percent of the Humax’ targeted $1 billion in worldwide revenue by 2006 is expected to come from these new operations.

‘We are starting from a clean slate in this venture, allowing us to employ our R&D and marketing experiences and create products that consumers want to use and that retailers want to sell,’ Goncalvez said.

As an example, he said Humax signed a licensing agreement with TiVo to manufacture DVR products in 2004.

Goncalves added, ‘The DVR market segment is prime for explosive growth these next few years. The hard disk drive in CE products is here to stay, as is consumer’s desire to manage content. The market is wide open for a new manufacturer that can drive innovation and cost.

‘Humax’s dominant position in the set-top box industry will allow for such innovation. And we are looking forward to delivering DVRs that carry the powerful TiVo brand in 2004, as they clearly are the leader in driving DVR sales at retail.’

The initial launch of the Humax product line will be through independent, higher-end retailers. Two-step distributors will be brought on to serve smaller independent home installation retailers.