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Prima TV Brand Debuts At CEDIA

Prima Technology (booth 632), a Xoceco company, will use CEDIA Expo to introduce a broad flat-panel TV lineup featuring LCD and plasma models ranging in screen sizes from 19W-63W inches.

The company is announcing here a dual-brand sales strategy using its Legend brand, which is currently used in Canada, for flat-panel TVs with open distribution and the Prima brand, which is well known in China, for more controlled distribution of TV and audio products through custom installers and A/V specialty accounts.

Products in the Prima line will be handled with direct distribution only to dealers “operating as store-front retailers or with custom integrator showrooms,” the company said.

“There will be no sub-distribution, no wholesalers, no non-stocking dealers, and trans-shipping is already tightly controlled throughout North America,” said John Merrell, Prima Technology marketing and government affairs VP.

Highlights of the Prima lineup will include an assortment of full 1,080p models.

Availability on most models (under both the Legend and Prima brands) will begin in September and carry-through until March.

Several models in the 27W-inch, 32W-inch, and 37W-inch screen sizes will arrive over the next 60 days. Several new 1,080p series models in the 37W-, 42W-, 47W- and 55W-inch screen sizes will ship between early February through late March 2007, Merrell said.

“We’ll also be introducing a series of models (both 1,080i and 1,080p) without speakers that can be used in conjunction with new unamplified 3.0 speaker systems with retail pricing from $1,500 to $4,500 per set (speakers only),” he added. “These are elite systems for custom integrators and commercial applications. We want retailers to feel free to use their own subwoofers and amplification equipment — yet provide a custom look around the flat panels with premium speakers.

Speakers will not have front logos so they can match with many premium video screens, Merrell said.

Exact pricing on TVs and our speakers will be announced during CEDIA.

Legend models will be positioned as a “value line” just above industry opening price points, while the Prima line will be a higher-margined limited distribution line.

“Prima models will compete squarely with the higher tiered brand products and pricing levels,” Merrell said. “Prima will be separated by performance and distribution, not pricing alone.”

Merrell said the company will try to impress upon CEDIA dealers that it “can stand up and offer licensing and U.S. regulatory credibility long term to businesses — including meeting environmental RoHS in 2007 — while providing QC and R&D expertise.”

Prima Technology is among a minority of companies that already meet 2007 environmental requirements from California to Maine, and has RoHS production facilities already up and running, the company said.

“There is a tsunami coming that is going to wipe away huge segments of flat panel assemblers, along with the hoards of small opening price point sellers,” he warned. “The failure for many new overseas manufacturers will be due to their lack of environmental and regulatory understanding, combined with an ignorance of the CEDIA markets.”

Prima Technologies acts as a principle supplier to as many as a dozen U.S. brands, Merrell said, including Advent and Jensen.

Prima continues to market Advent and Jensen television products above 15 inches, with Jensen the last of the company’s CRT product lines, sold through a separate distribution orgranization. The Advent line is being extended into a full range of flat panel products.

“Prima licenses both brands from Audiovox, and also acts as the principal flat panel supplier to Audiovox for their own branded line of products above 15 inches,” Merrell said. “We remain an OEM supplier to eight additional brands sold in the United States, including two lines where we are the sole supplier.”