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Philips Stresses Design In 3 HDTV Monitors

After outlining its brand awareness program, Philips unveiled three new 30W-inch 16:9 direct-view HDTV monitors as the latest in a slate of video product offerings for the holiday shopping season. (See TWICE, June 25, 2001, p. 1.)

Philips announced the three new direct-view HD monitors as part of its Euro-style DesignLine. The modern cabinet styling features brushed-aluminum cosmetics each accented with one of three colors: lavender, ivory or platinum.

Each model, which will carry a $2,999 suggested retail price, includes a 30W-inch 16:9 RealFlat picture tube and is built into an aluminum stand with a lower glass shelf for video components, such as a new DVD player with DesignLine accents.

Each monitor features 1080I HD native scan display capability, and 20-watt sound amp, a pair of integrated speakers and Virtual Dolby surround sound. Philips will distribute the DesignLine primarily through specialty dealers.

Philips is carrying three other 16:9 direct-view HDTV monitors with RealFlat tubes, but they are not part of the DesignLine. These include a 30W-inch model ($2,999, silver) and two 34W-inch models, one silver tabletop model ($3,999), and one in piano black with matching stand and the Pronto remote ($4,999).

The latter two have been upgraded with performance enhancements since the introductory model shipped last year.

The previously reported lineup of HDTV rear-projection monitors continues in the line, although Philips’ 64W-inch fully integrated HDTV set is no longer produced.

Philips executives said their TiVo hard-disk recorders continue to grow, despite the emergence of Microsoft’s UltimateTV product. Philip’s DirecTV/ TiVo set-top (DSR6000) will have dual-tuner recording capability following a software download this summer to better compete with the UltimateTV unit, which launched with dual-tuner capability.

A demonstration of the TiVo/ DirecTV dual-tuner recording and playback capability was demonstrated to underscore the point.

The Philips DirecTV/TiVo receiver, which is currently part of a $100 rebate promotion, is now selling for $349. New DirecTV subscribers are also available for a free system installation from DirecTV. Philips’ three standalone TiVo models also received price reductions to $199 (20 hours), $299 (30 hours) and $599 (60 hours). Also on display was Philips previously announced DTV set-top decoder (DSHD800) with ATSC/DirecTV reception capability. The unit is shipping now at a $999 suggested retail.

Although it is planning a formal world launch at Berlin’s IFA Show in August, Philips gave the media a glimpse of its two forthcoming DVD+RW recorders — the DVDR1000 and DVDR1500 — that are slated for U.S. retail shelves in September.

The DVDR1000 will come in silver, and the step-up DVDR1500 is black and includes the Pronto remote with color touchscreen.

The decks will record on DVD+RW (rewritable) and DVD+R (write once) discs that will play back on most existing DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives.

Although final pricing was not disclosed, the decks are expected to see street retails of $2,000 and $3,000.

Features include a built-in TV tuner, Dolby Digital decoder/encorder, IEEE-1394 interface for DV camcorder signals, and component video output.

DVD+RW decks will record up to two hours on a single disc in DVD video quality, and up to four hours in better than VHS quality.

In DVD players, Philips showed its previously announced DVDQ50 ($499) progressive scan DVD player, which features a slim, aluminum design and incorporates Faroudja’s motion correction processing. The line also includes two other progressive-scan players, including the DVD953 ($299) and the five-disc carousel DVD972C ($379). All feature audio CD and MP3 playback.