TCL Thomson Electronics (TTE) will use International CES to show its more mainstream direction for RCA digital television by introducing seven new LCD TVs, four new DLP rear-projection models and a return by the brand to the plasma TV category with two models.
The company will also offer under the RCA brand in 2006 an expanded line of integrated direct view CRT SDTVs, 26W-inch and 27-inch integrated direct-view HDTV sets and eight CRT-based rear-projection HDTV sets.
One of the barriers to DTV ownership for many people has been retail price points, said Richard Dinsmore, TTE product marketing director, for that reason the company will follow the course set with its SDTVs by offering an assortment of more advanced DTV displays positioned “to hit some key retails,” he said.
The eight new RCA SDTV models include a mix of curved and flat-faced CRT glass, and will follow on the heels of TTE’s introduction of the category last year. RCA SDTV models feature built-in ATSC digital tuning and display images in 480i resolution.
The SDTV line will feature three new 32-inch models (ranging in suggested retail price between $549 and $679) and five 27-inch models (ranging between $369 and $459). Most ship in March.
The company will also offer a widescreen 26W-inch fully integrated HDTV set that ships in June at a $629 suggested retail, and a 27-inch 4:3 HDTV set that ships in March at $549. Both feature 1,080i native resolution and ATSC tuning.
To reduce costs throughout the lines, TTE is dispensing with several features offered in prior years. Among these are IEEE-1394 interfaces. In addition, digital CableCARD slots are now offered only in DLP models.
Dinsmore said TTE may not offer the lowest priced products in the market, but it will offer “competitive” products under a well-trusted name brand.
Meanwhile, he said the company opted to return to the plasma market because panel prices have dropped significantly.
“Plasma is still a product that people are demanding,” Dinsmore said. “There are larger-panel LCD TVs out there, but their prices are still prohibitively expensive, so with plasma prices coming down, we thought it was time to take a look at it again.”
The line will include the popular 42W-inch and 50W-inch screen sizes in 2006. Both models will ship in April at suggested retail prices of $1,799 and $2,099, respectively.
The LCD TV assortment will include 11 new models under the RCA brand in the 26W-inch, 32W-inch and 37W-inch screen sizes. Four models in the 26W-inch, 32W-inch and 37W-inch screen sizes will have integrated DVD players.
All models 26W-inches and larger will have built-in ASTC tuning. An entry 26W-inch LCD TV will carry an $899 suggested retail when it ships in April, while a top of the line LCD/DVD combo product will ship in May at $1,199.
The entry 32W-inch piece will ship in April at a $1,099 suggested retail, while the top of the line 32W-inch LCD/DVD combo will ship in May at $1,499.
The entry 37W-inch LCD TV will ship in June at a $1,599 suggested retail, and the top-of-the-line 37W-inch LCD/DVD combo will ship in July at a $1,999 suggested retail.
LCD TV monitors will continue to be offered in the 15-inch, 20-inch and 23W-inch screen sizes.
In DLP TV, TTE has discontinued the ultra-thin product it had developed with InFocus and is returning with six more mainstream models in the 50W-inch and 61W-inch screen sizes for 2006. The models include four 50W-inch and one 61W-inch model under the RCA Scenium brand and one 50W-inch model under RCA.
All models include digital CableCARD slots, ATSC tuners and 720p resolution. RCA Scenium models add dual HDMI/HDCP inputs.
The RCA 50W-inch model will ship in April at a $1,799 suggested retail. The four 50W-inch RCA Scenium models will ship in June at a $1,999 suggested retail each, and the lone 61W-inch Scenium piece will ship in June at a $2,499 suggested retail.
The company will also offer under the RCA brand eight new CRT-based rear-projection HDTV sets in the 52W-inch (shipping in June at $1,149 and $1,199), 56W-inch (shipping in June at $1,399) and 61W-inch screen sizes (shipping in June at $1,499).