Loewe, the high-end German TV line introduced by Sensory Science here last year, announced major price reductions for its three 4:3 SDTV-capable digital televisions.
The move came as the line's U.S. distributor, Sensory Science, fine-tunes the assortment to reflect the changing marketplace, company executives said.
Paul Fredrickson, Sensory Science marketing VP, said price changes - which resulted in suggested retail prices of one model dropping as much as $1,100 - were implemented in March to help Loewe maintain its growing market position in premium SDTV ready televisions.
"We are anticipating major growth in the digital TV business this year and there are many new competitive 4:3 products that have entered the business since the January CES," Fredrickson said. "We established a strong premium position in our first year and with the new competition arriving we intend to maintain a competitive, but premium position relative to the increased competition entering the market."
As a result of the change, the Loewe Arcada 32" tabletop model reviewed a cut in suggested retail price of $1,100 to $2,800. The Loewe Calida 32" tabletop dropped $900 to $2,600 and the 36" Art Console fell $500 to $4,500.
All are 4:3 direct view models that will produce scan rates of up to 31.5kHz, capable of displaying a 480p digital Standard Definition TV picture format. Analog NTSC signals delivered by dual tuners are upconverted (line doubled) for display on the CRT. The sets use RGB via VGA input connections to receive progressive scan signals.
Meanwhile, Loewe will introduce second generation models for the U.S. later this year. At last fall's International Funkausstellung show in Berlin, Germany, Loewe unveiled a 30" flat-screen "Aconda" model that displays 1080I and 480p formats in native scan rates. It plans to unveil additional SKUs at the CEDIA show, Fredrickson said.
As for plans for an ATSC set-top decoder, Fredrickson said Loewe is developing a product and will announce specific plans in the near future on pricing and delivery.
Fredrickson said the Loewe dealer base has grown beyond the company's expectations, and now claims over 400 dealers in North America.