Vizio Showcases 2011 TV Line

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New York - In addition to demonstrating its first tablet device, Vizio formally presented here this week its full 2011 3DTV line and vowed to maintain a distribution model that follows where consumers shop instead of a channel-sheltering model.

In TVs, Randy Waynick, Vizio's chief sales officer, underscored the company's recent first-quarter market share gains in LCD and LED backlit LCD TVs in the U.S. that placed it at the top of rankings according to some analysts, and emphasized a strategic decision this year to step away from active-shutter 3DTVs in favor of 3D sets using passive glasses.

This year's screen size mix ranges from 32 inches to 65 inches, with 3D tech available across 11 models.

The full line of 3DTV models are carried in the E, M and XVT series.

All will be open to Vizio's full dealer family. Waynick said that Vizio is not sheltering certain models for various distribution classes, as some competitors do, opting instead to make the right models available for each retailer's demographic needs.

Vizio relies on each retailer to know which models best fit its local market requirements.

Vizio is calling its M series passive (circular polarized) 3D sets "Theater 3D" technology. The sets offers inexpensive, non-powered glasses that are said to reduce or eliminate viewer discomfort, while presenting a brighter image (though at lower resolution) than active-shutter systems.

All the M-series models offer LED lighting allowing thin panel depths measuring 1.2 inches in the 42- and 47-inch screen sizes and 1.6 inches in the 55-inch screen size.

Each set ships with four pairs of passive glasses.

As reported at International CES, Vizio is adding two new super-widescreen 3D sets conforming to the 21:9 aspect ratio. This will enable fitting a full 2.35:1 movie on the screen without black bars at the top and bottom, or viewing a 16:9 picture alongside two picture-out-of-picture screens (on the left side of the main image) running various apps from the included Vizio Internet Apps (VIA) system.

The new Cinemawide Series sets include models in the 50- and 58-inch screen sizes. Both models are due to ship in October at a price to be determined.

The XVT-series models at 47- and 55-inches (both set to ship in December at prices to be announced later) employ full-array TruLED backlighting with Smart Dimming technology. This presents more than 160 zones of lighting across the entire display, with greater brightness control and improved black levels.

They also include the new VIA Plus platform, which delivers a more unified and intuitive user experience across multiple devices, including HDTVs, Blu-ray players, tablets, etc. A QWERTY remote is included to simplify navigation.

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