Westinghouse Digital will ship the first two models of a new line of edge-lit LED HDTVs in June. The 26- and 32-inch 720p sets, just an inch thick at their edges, will carry MSRPs of $329 and $429, respectively.
The new models are two of six models in the eight-product line rolling out through the 2010 holiday selling season that meet Energy Star 5.0 rating standards not set to go into effect until 2012.
The entire series will span screen sizes from a 24-inch 1080p 120Hz SKU due in Q3 at $299 up through a 55-inch 1080p 120Hz SKU coming out in November at a price expected to be in the $1,499 range, according to Rey Roque , vice president of marketing. Other models due out in 1080p are 26 inches, 32 inches, 42 inches and 46 inches; the 46- and 55-inch sets will be Energy Star 4.0-rated.
The sets are lead- and mercury-free and the 26- and 32-inch SKUs, at 11 and 15 pounds, respectively, are theoretically “light enough to hang from a picture hook,” says Roque.
Due to their slim design and light weight, the TVs offer a reduced carbon transportation footprint compared to Westinghouse’s previous LCD CCFL models, according to the company, and their four-color, soy-ink-printed recycled and recyclable packing, which boasts their energy efficiency – the 32-inch uses 10 percent less power than a 60-watt bulb – also touts their vivid color performance; Roque said they have been engineered to produce a 22 percent improvement in color gamut.
Roque said Westinghouse has added SRS audio-enhancing sound circuitry to compensate for reduction in dynamic range due to the sets’ shallow depth. He added that the company is looking into releasing a standalone soundbar product and could have one on the market by Q4 of this year.
“We see ‘slim’ as being very user-friendly from an aesthetic point of view, not just from a practical placement point of view,” said Roque. “Our focus groups have also shown that women, in particular, will pick a ‘green’ over a ‘non-green’ product,” all else being equal.
Westinghouse, whose brand tracks at about 85 percent consumer awareness in white goods products, is also gaining awareness traction in the TV category, said Roque.
The company is planning to reinforce its entry into LED with a refurbished Web site whose focus will be on explaining the three-word phrase, ‘Slim – Eco – Vivid,’ appearing on the sets’ packaging, said Michelle Bohlman, marketing communications manager. The site, as part of its new look, will adopt iPad-friendly HTML5 in lieu of Flash video.