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Amtran launches its first JVC-branded HDTVs

Consumer Reports News: July 08, 2011 01:20 PM

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As part of a deal that was announced last fall, JVC has licensed its brand for HDTVs to Amtran Video, a unit of the giant Taiwanese contract-TV manufacturer, Amtran. The company's first TVs under the deal will be BlackCrystal-series 1080p LCD sets, in screen sizes ranging from 32 inches to 47 inches. They'll be available in the next few weeks, initially from several online retailers, including Amazon and Buy.com.

The company plans to augment its initial product series with other lines later in the year, including a BlackSapphire series that will offer step-up features such as access to Internet content and 3D, as well as larger screen sizes. Compared to previous JVC HDTVs, the BlackCrystal sets will be lower priced and will include a mix of CCFL (3000 series) and LED-backlit models (3001 series). The 1080p TVs will be available starting in about two weeks, and the company hopes that better sound quality—via a sound system dubbed XinemaSound, which includes an audio-only mode—will help differentiate the line.

Models in the 3000 series will range from $470 for a 32-inch TV to $950 for a 47-inch set. Prices for the LED-based 3001-series TVs will range from $600 for a 32-inch model to $1,200 for a 47-inch set.

The TVs will be manufacturer by Amtran, which counts Vizio—a top U.S. TV brand—among its current customers. Previously, JVC had its TVs built by another manufacturer but was directly responsible for marketing and distribution; those are now assumed by Amtran Video.

James K. Willcox

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