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V, Inc. Announces HD DVD Player, New TV Line

V, Inc. took dealers off site at CES to announce a range of new products, highlighted by a DVD player it claims will play high-definition content.

The Bravo D3 home HD DVD Media Player will support the Windows Media 9 video compression codec, which is capable of playing back high-definition videos recorded in WM9 on standard DVDs. The unit outputs signals through component video and DVI-HDCP at resolution levels including the 480i, 480p, 1,080i and 720p formats, the company said. The player is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2004 at a $349.99 “target retail.”

In addition to using the WM9 compression codec, the player adds the Microsoft/ Matsushita-developed HighMAT format for media-file aggregation and playback management.

The Bravo D3 is powered by a Sigma Designs EM8620L processor and can decode MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and WMV 9 video. In addition, it will play back WMA 9, WMA Pro, WMA lossless, Dolby Digital, MP3, MPEG-1/-2, and MPEG-4 AAC audio files.

V, Inc. expects users to acquire high-definition WMA 9 videos from Web sites like, CinemaNow, IFilm and Movielink, which will carry downloadable videos that can be played back on the player. Using a PC, users would burn the movies onto recordable DVDs that will play in the Bravo D3, the company said. Additionally, users can create their own high-definition videos using Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker 2 software.

In other introductions, V, Inc. showed the Bravo D2, billed as a next-generation DVD media player with MPEG-4 support, advanced video scaling/upconversion and DVI support. The unit includes 480p/1,080i/720p/custom scaling with added brightness and contrast control, DVI output, improved analog video output and a new remote control. It will ship in a titanium finish in February at a $249.99 suggested retail price.

Also announced was the Bravo HD1 ATSC set-top receiver that scales SD and HD content to 480p, 1,080i or 720p. The unit includes both digital ATSC and analog NTSC tuning and outputs for component video, S-video and composite video formats. Audio can be output in 2-channel analog on RCA connectors or digital bitstream on S/PDIF coaxial digital connectors. It will ship in a titanium finish in February at a $349.99 suggested retail price.

Meanwhile, V, Inc. also unveiled television lines, including models in its new Velite premium line for specialty retailers and custom installers.

The line will launch with six SKUs, including two plasma TVs, three LCD TVs and a DLP rear-projection TV.

Velite plasma models both include NTSC tuners, titanium finishes, RS232 control, tabletop stand and standard remote controls. They are offered in enhanced-definition and high-definition configurations in the 42W-inch screen size. The Velite 4250P has 1,024 by 768 pixel resolution and will ship in March at a $4,499.99 suggested retail. The Velite 4200P is an enhanced-definition model with Faroudja deinterlacing circuitry, and will ship in February at a $3,499.99 suggested retail price.

Velite LCD TVs will include the 30W-inch 3050L ($3,299.99, March), the 4:3 aspect ratio 20-inch 2000L ($1,099.99, February), and 4:3 13-inch 1300L ($599;99, March).

The 3050L has 1,280 by 720 HDTV resolution and will accept PC, HDTV and standard-definition signal sources. The 2000L is a standard-definition display which will scale both HDTV and PC source material. The 1300L is also a standard-definition LCD TV positioned for under-shelf, wall or tabletop mounting.

The company’s first DLP-based rear-projection TV will be the 56W-inch Velite 5600R, which uses Texas Instruments’ Mustang HD2 DMD with 1,280 by 720 HDTV resolution. It includes RS232 control, DVI-HDCP output and video processing based on Faroudja DCDi technology, and will ship in March at a $4,499.99 suggested retail price.

V, Inc. also announced additions to its Vizio display line, which included a 50W-inch HDTV and 42W-inch EDTV plasma TVs, and a 13-inch LCD TV.

The Vizio plasma models include the P50HD with a native 1,366 by 768 HD resolution, and inputs for component video, RGBHV via VGA and DVI-HDCP. It will ship in April at a $4,999.99 suggested retail price.

The Vizio P42 is an enhanced contrast EDTV (852 by 480) panel with component, DVI-HDCP and RGB inputs for high-definition and PC sources. It ships in March at $2,999.99 suggested retail.

All Vizio plasma TVs feature a titanium/silver finish, built-in NTSC and cable tuners, PIP, POP, 3:2 pull-down deinterlacing, tabletop stand and standard remote control.

The Vizio L13 13-inch 4:3 LCD TV is positioned as a “kitchen TV,” due to its ability to be mounted under cabinets and its titanium and white finish. It has built-in NTSC and cable tuners and will ship in March at a $399.99 suggested retail.