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V, Inc. Slashes Flat-Panel Pricing With 37W-Inch LCD TV

V, Inc. said it will ship in mid-November a VIZIO-branded fully integrated 37W-inch high-definition LCD TV at a $1,499.99 suggested retail price, one of the industry’s lowest price points for the screen size.

The company also announced a price cut on its popular 50W-inch plasma model to $2,699.99, another price point that is among the industry’s lowest for the screen size.

V, Inc. recently instituted an unusual practice of listing suggested retail prices as the actual street price that dealers ask for its products, the company said.

The price moves come on the heels of recent cuts in plasma pricing by Panasonic and immediately before a range of cuts on LCD TVs from Sharp.

In both cases, V, Inc. is announcing significantly lower entry price points than those first-tier manufacturers.

V, Inc., which has a large business through the Costco and Sam’s Club warehouse club chains, has made significant market share gains in recent months, helping it break “into the top 10 flat-panel TV brands,” the company said.

Initially, Costco will receive the majority of shipments on the 37W-inch models, said Jeff Schindler, V, Inc. marketing and business operations VP.

“Right now we have no shortages,” he said of V, Inc.’s flat-panel inventory positions. “On the 37W-inch LCD our inventory is a little tighter than I would have liked, but we are going to get what we want, but not as fast as we would have liked.”

He said that by Thanksgiving, Costco “will have [the 37W-inch model] filled in the stores, with Sam’s Club following later.”

“There won’t be any shortages in Costco for that, but I would have liked to have had it in Sam’s,” he said. “Otherwise our inventory levels are very good. One of the big advantages we have is that our CEO and founder, William Wang, has great relationships with the panel manufacturers, and that’s what he spends most of his time building those relationships.”

The 37W-inch VIZIO L37HDTV features a native resolution of 1,366 by 768 pixels and offers an 8ms response time, V, Inc. said. The model includes both ATSC and NTSC integrated tuners, features 3:2 pull down, powered speakers, tabletop stand, universal remote control and a picture in picture function.

Inputs include HDMI, HD component video and 15-pin D-sub RGB.

At the same time, the high-definition 50W-inch plasma monitor P50HDM was reduced to $2,699.99, significantly shattering the $3,000 threshold and ranking it among the lowest prices in the industry for the screen size.

Model P50HDM features 1,366 by 768 pixel resolution, 1,000 ANSI Lumens of brightness and includes Faroudja DCDi motion-adaptive de-interlacing. V, Inc said the panel’s contrast ratio is rated at 10,000:1.

Inputs include 15-pin D-sub VGA, two component video and two HDMI.