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Sanyo Intros First 1080p Projector For CE Retail

New York — Sanyo’s presentation displays unit has expanded its lineup of home theater-targeted 3LCD video projectors and is adding its first 1080p 3LCD home theater unit for retail distribution.

The retail product, PLV-1080HD, is expected to ship in October at a $1,995 suggested retail. It will include three 0.7-inch 1080 LCD panels, and will produce 1,200 ANSI lumens of brightness using a 165-watt UHP bulb. The contrast ratio was said to be 10,000:1.

Tsutomu Kashima, Sanyo presentation technologies product planning VP, said his company has reached distribution arrangements with several retailers including and Best Buy, the latter of which is planning to sell the projector through a special end-cap merchandising display intended for the main selling floor.

The display will highlight complete home theater projector packages including home theater audio components and a projection screen at retail prices of around $4,000, he said.

Kashima said the Best Buy end-cap, which will use projectors from five or six manufacturers, will not support any in-store demonstrations, adding that the company expects to generate sales using product reviews and affordable prices targeted at end users who probably already have at least one flat-panel TV and are looking for a bigger screen experience.

Kashima said Sanyo expects many of the sales to go to do-it-yourselfers or Geek Squad customers looking for an affordable home theater solution.

The company is also offering this year a three-model home theater assortment intended for distribution through the company’s Pro AV dealers.

“We have three products this year [for Pro AV distribution] in a good, better, best assortment,” Kashima said.

The Pro AV models are targeting certain Internet dealers, photo catalog retailers and projector specialty dealers. Kashima said Sanyo is also interested in working with brick-and-mortar retailers to carry the home theater projector line.

The Pro AV home theater assortment includes the PLV-Z60, shipping now at a $1,295 minimum advertised price; the PLV-Z700, shipping in mid-October at a $1,995 plus a $200 end-user rebate; and the PLV-Z3000, shipping at the beginning of December at $3,295.

All models include two HDMI 1.3 inputs, one set of component video inputs, one set of composite inputs and a RGB D-sub 15 input.

The entry PLV-Z60 is a 720p model. The PLV-Z700 and PLV-Z3000 each have 1080p resolution.

The PLV-Z3000 will replace the PLV-Z2000 and will add 120Hz frame rate. Brightness is said to be 1,200 lumens and the contrast ratio is said to be 65,000:1.

“Even with the economic situation the way it is, we expect the home theater business to be improved this year,” Kashima said. “Every year we have a good home theater business between October and the Super Bowl. People don’t want to spend the money to travel, so they stay home more and invest in their home theater entertainment.”

For the commercial and institutional channel, the company introduced a projector based on its new 4LCD technology, which Sanyo calls a QuaDrive Control Device. The system adds a yellow panel to the red, green and blue array to improve the color gamut and depth, Kashima said. The yellow filtering that is required to bring the correct color balance also service to increase the projectors brightness level, the company said.

The projector, model PLC-XP200L ($9,995), features 7,000 lumens of brightness and a 2,200:1 contrast ratio. It also incorporates a short-throw lens capability.

The company is also offering a short-throw projector for the institutional/educational market. The PLC-XL51 LCD projector will be available in early October, and will include a short-throw lens capable of producing an 80-inch screen size from 3 inches away from the screen. The second-generation short-throw unit will offer 2,700 lumens of brightness.