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Westinghouse Shows Spring LCD TV Offerings

New York — Preparing to meet the growing demand for smaller-screen flat-panel TVs, Westinghouse Digital staged a lifestyle showcase of some its new HD LCD TVs, LCD/DVD combo units, LCD IT monitors and digital photo frames in an upscale West Side apartment here Tuesday.

Rey Rogue, Westinghouse marketing VP, said this year’s line is distinguished by the expansion of smaller-screen offerings, which, in part, will be directed at the many new DTV consumers entering the market this year in preparation of the analog TV broadcasting cutoff in February 2009. Demand is also coming from DTV owners looking to add additional sets to the house.

“We are focusing a lot on the smaller models,” Roque said. “As people go to start filling their 3.5 TVs per household, they are looking at the secondary and tertiary room placements.”

Key smaller screen LCD TV models shipping now include with 15.6-inch, 19-inch, 26-inch and 32-inch screen sizes.

In all Westinghouse Digital showed TVs in four model series: the SK, W  PT and TX. SK series models offer 720p resolution and include combo DVD player/LCD HDTVs. The PT series includes portable LCD HDTVs, and the W series features 720p LCD HDTVs.
For home theater placements, the company also showed new TX series models with 1080p resolution.

The PT series models are available in 15.6-inch (viewable) and 19-inch sizes, and are offered in new cabinet styling with color choices of black or stainless steel. Color options vary between key national accounts including Target and Best Buy, Rogue said. Models in the series use panels adapted from computer monitors, offering resolution levels of 1,366 by 768 and 1,440 by 900, respectively. A 19-inch version also is available in 1,680 by 1,050.

The 16-inch (15.6-inch viewable) PT-16H610S features inverse video playback for full 180-degree rotation needed for under-cabinet flip-down positioning. It can also be placed on cabinet or tabletops, or mounted on a wall. It includes an HDMI input for connection to TV sources, PCs and video game consoles.

“Estimated street prices” are as follows: PT-16H120S ($279), 16-inch PT-16H610S flip-style portable ($329) and the 19-inch PT-19H140S ($379). Black version prices differ slightly.

The SK models are featured in the 26-inch and 32-inch screen sizes and are offered in both TV and TV/DVD combo configurations. All are adaptable to multiroom placements, Westinghouse said.

Models feature 1,366 by 768 resolution and include an ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM tuner. Two HDMI inputs are added. Preset video modes offer the ability to select from a menu of customized viewing styles and the Advanced Calibration Menu enables advanced calibration adjustments, including colorimetry.

The SK series combo LCD TV/DVD systems include a 32-inch model that the company said has been rated the top seller in the screen size for the U.S. market. This year the line is expanded with a 26-inch 26H590D, joining the new 32-inch SK-32H590D. Both feature integrated front loadingDVDplayers with Westinghouse’s PixelDirect technology.

“We done really well with the combis this year,” Roque said. “We are seeing especially strong demand in the 32- and 26-inch screen sizes. I don’t know if that is because of the economy or because of secondary and tertiary rooms are starting to be filled. We thinking the cocooning effect is coming into play now for consumer electronics and is starting to counter the impact of high oil prices.”

The technology is said to “deliver DVD video to the screen using a direct path with the least amount of signal processing.” An AutoSource feature automatically turns the TV on and adjusts it whenever an external source is detected.

SK series models also feature a proprietary SpineDesign feature, which allows for easy connector access and cable management, and DayBright panel technology that adjusts the set for optimal daytime and nighttime viewing.

Estimated street prices for the SK series is as follows: SK-26H730S ($599), 32-inch SK-32H730S ($749), 26-inch combo SK-26H590D ($649) and the 32-inch combo SK-32H590D ($849).

The W series is offered in 26-inch and 32-inch sizes, both of which are designed to fit any room, Roque said. The 32-inch W3223 and 26-inch W2613 720p LCD HDTVs feature piano-gloss bezels and 1,366 by 768 resolution and are positioned as affordable first HDTV options to replace analog CRTs. Both sets feature an ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM tuner, and multiple HD input connectors including two HDMIs.

“We envision the W series used in placement applications that don’t require wall mounting,” said Roque. “While you can mount it on a wall, our other series offer SpinDesign to accommodate those applications better.”

The 32-inch W3223 720p LCD HDTV has $699 suggested retail, and the 26-inch W2613 has $499 suggested retail.

For larger home theater models, Westinghouse is offering its TX 1080p HD LCD TV lineup in the 40-inch, 42-inch, 52-inch and 57-inch screen sizes. The 40-inch VK-40F580D is billed as the world’s first 1080p LCD HDTV/DVD combo unit.

The TX series TVs all feature: 1,920 by 1080p resolution, a built-in ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM tuner; and four HDMI inputs. The VK-40F580D HDTV/DVD combo unit features an integrated front-loadingDVDplayer with up-scaling to 1080p resolution, two HDMI inputs and an ATSC/NTSC/ClearQAM tuner.

Up-conversion to 1080p is handled with Westinghouse’s 1080Pure system. The contrast ratio is said to be 5,000:1.

Suggested retails for the TX series includes the following: 42-inch TX-42F430S LCD HDTV ($1,199), 47-inch TX-47F430S LCD HDTV ($1,599) and the 52-inch TX-52F480S ($1,999). The VK-40F580D combo unit carries a $1,099 street price.

All TX models include SpineDesign, DayBright panel technology and Autosource.