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Envision Peripherals Expands AOC Flat-Panel TV Lines

Envision Peripherals (EPI), a flat-panel display resource, is expanding its AOC-branded flat-panel TV lines, with the company’s first plasma display while at the same time adding new high-performance LCD TV/PC monitor models.

The company, which is an established supplier of computer monitors, has been expanding into the consumer electronics channel over the last 18 months with LCD TVs, and recently announced its intention to add a high-definition plasma display in the 42W-inch screen size.

The AOC A42HD84, which will ship in the second quarter at a $1,799.99 suggested retail, features 1,024 by 768 resolution and a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, the company said. It includes a dual NTSC/ATSC tuner and an electronic program guide.

During International CES, the company announced the addition of a “high-performance” Precision Series of LCD monitors, including models in the 17-inch, 19-inch and 20-inch screen sizes. The 19-inch 193P+, which is shipping now at a $329 suggested retail, features a 4ms response time, 500:1 contrast ratio and 1,280 by 1,024 pixel resolution.

The 17-inch 173P, which is shipping now at a $289 suggested retail, features an 8ms response time, 1,280 by 1,024 pixel resolution and 700:1 contrast ratio.

The 20-inch 203P, which is shipping now at a $524 suggested retail, features a 12ms response time, 1,600 by 1,200 pixel resolution and a 700:1 contrast ratio.

EPI sells products in the United States under the Envision and AOC (Admiral Overseas China) brands for computer monitors and under AOC for flat-panel TVs.

EPI is partially owned by Hong Kong-based Top Victory Electronics (TPV), which is publicly traded on the Hong Kong and Taiwan exchanges and considered one of the world’s largest television assembly companies.

TPV maintains manufacturing operations in China, Brazil and Europe.

The company forecasts production of 44 million displays worldwide in 2006.

TPV has relationships with many of the world’s major component manufacturers, including Samsung and BOE, both of which are key resources for flat-panel glass.

The company is selling TVs today through IT retailers it had dealt with through its computer monitor business and a number of e-commerce dealers. The company is now actively recruiting new CE channel partners, said Luke Ouyang, EPI consumer electronics sales director.

EPI backs its products with a one-year return to base warranty, and is working with retailers to offer outside service for larger screen displays, he added.

“We’ve found many of the consumer electronics retailers want to provide the service themselves and come to us for parts,” Ouyang said.

EPI is positioning its TV lines as value-added products.

“We have good quality because we OEM from all the major components suppliers. We bring better performing products to market with competitive prices,” said Ouyang.

He added that AOC will not be positioned as a price leader, but will compete well with aggressively priced second tier suppliers.

“We won’t be the cheapest brand. We can’t always compete with the lowest priced product, but we are offering better-performing, better-featured products because we are looking to survive long-term in this market,” Ouyang said

He said AOC today is competing most directly against such second-tier brands as Westinghouse and Syntax, but will start out using a different channel strategy. Ouyang said, candidly, that EPI can not yet address all of the terms required by some major chains like Wal-Mart and Best Buy, but it is quickly working to do so.

“We are getting into the [consumer electronics] market step by step, targeting certain mass market discount stores and warehouse clubs,” he said. “We can offer pricing sweet spots and still deliver a margin to the dealer.”

In addition, EPI can offer “certain seasonal deals” with various traditional and non-traditional CE retail accounts to build brand awareness, he said. EPI will also entertain private label requests.