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Proview Expands LCD TV Line

LCD TV and IT monitor manufacturer Proview said it saw strong 2005 sales for LCD TVs and is expecting its consumer electronics business to more than double in 2006.

The company, which supplies LCD TVs primarily to warehouse clubs, including Costco, said it is pushing to expand distribution through regional CE and IT retailers, using direct distribution to accounts that can deliver volume. It also uses two-step distribution, primarily for smaller IT retail accounts, using such partners as Ingram Micro.

Although the company uses a multi-brand strategy in its IT monitor business, Erin Rippee, Proview marketing VP, said the company is using only the Proview brand to market LCD TV lines.

Currently, the company is offering a pair of Generation 2 LCD TV models including 19W-inch ($399) and 32W-inch ($949) monitors with NTSC tuning.

This year’s Generation 3 ID offerings will launch in the first quarter and will include new 32W-inch (shipping in April at a $949 suggested retail) and 40W-inch (shipping in April at a $1,499 suggested retail) models.

This year’s widescreen models have adjusted the cabinet designs to position speakers below the screen — instead of flanking both sides — to fit more easily into home theater furniture enclosures. All models produce 1,366 by 768 pixel resolution.

Internally, the displays have been upgraded with the addition of Texas Instruments’ hybrid ATSC/NTSC (digital and analog) television tuners. Also added is improved firmware, which is said to significantly improve picture performance to compete with higher tier brands.

Other enhancements include two HDMI/HDCP inputs, which step up from one HDMI input last year.

Also planned, are a pair of smaller LCD TV monitors in the 15-inch ($299) and 22W-inch ($499) screen size models. Both models will include NTSC tuning, but omit digital ATSC tuners.

The 15-inch piece will be offered in either black or water-resistant white cabinets. The white models are positioned for kitchen or bathroom placement.