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JVC Enters UHD Space, Boosts Screen Sizes

IRVINE, CALIF. – Two years into taking over the JVC brand for TV in the U.S. market, AmTran Video Corp. (AVC) has methodically grown its share of the value-oriented FullHD LCD TV market, and is now ready to expand those efforts with more screen sizes and its Ultra HD products.

Drew Pragliola, AVC/JVC sales VP, told TWICE that the JVC TV line this year will include its first Ultra HD LED LCD TVs with screen sizes ranging to 85 inches.

“We feel [Ultra HD] is an extremely viable market for us at this point, and they will start to be delivered late in the second quarter and early third quarter,” he said. “Over the last 2.5 years we have made tremendous inroads, not only with our original partners and national partners, but our product line has grown from a 48-inch screen two years ago all the way up to 85 inches.”

The 2014 lineup will include 28- and (2) 32-inch HD direct-LED LCD TVs, and FullHD LED TVs in 32 ($369), 39 ($469), 42 ($569), 42 (smart TV, $599), 48 ($679) and 48 (smart, $729), 55 ($829), 55 (smart, $899) and 65 inches (smart, $1,699).

Connected models in 2014 will be carried in the EM series with an FTR model suffix, while non-connected models will be offered in the company’s ST series.

Connected EM models will use a basic assortment of popular streaming service partners, while Ultra HD LED LCD TVs will employ a more advanced smart-TV platform designed in-house by AmTran.

Ultra HD models will be offered in 50-, 55-, 65- and 85- inch screen sizes. The 50-inch Ultra HD set has an early targeted suggested retail of $1,499 (subject to change by ship date).

New screen sizes to the line in 2014 are the 28-, 32- (Full- HD), 39-, 42- and 48-inch (connected and unconnected FullHD models).

Most products are due to ship this year at the end of February or beginning of March, although a few SKUs have already started to appear.

“We think we have a strategic screen-size solution for every retailer and customer in 2014,” Pragliola said.

Despite the advancements in performance and technology, Pragliola said the value-centric, price-point-driven strategy that AVC employed to launch its first JVC offerings is not changing.

The strategy, he said, helped the company surpass its goals of expanding its share of the business within each of its retail partners in 2013.

Pragliola said while there are two or three key unnamed retailers on the company’s radar screen for strategic expansion in 2014, the underlying goal of building share within established partners continues.

“That, we feel, really needs to be done on the regional level, as well as within the [warehouse] clubs,” he offered. “Now with Ultra HD in the mix, we have product that really needs to be sold, and who better to do that than the regional accounts?”

Pragliola vowed to avoid a shotgun approach to retail expansion, opting instead to pick and choose the best partners to help build the brand properly.

Ultra HD models will include the latest Ultra HD standards, such as 4K/60p-compliant HDMI ports, and HEVC decoding.

In fact, the company said it delayed its entry into Ultra HD last year as it awaited such standards to be finalized.

JVC Ultra HD sets will also include smart-TV functionality and are expected to feature streaming services slated to deliver native Ultra HD content some time in 2014.

The company is also expecting devices such as the latest gaming consoles to supply native 4K content in the near future.

Vehicles likely include print ads and partner coop efforts.

“I really believe in the UHD category,” Pragliola said.

“It provides a tremendous opportunity for JVC, simply because JVC is known for higher-end product and delivering quality. I think it will help us garner significant share within each of our retailers.”