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Vizio To Get into LED Lighting

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Rickaren, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    June 23, 2011

    TV Maker Vizio To Get into LED Lighting


    Costco’s best friend in home electronics to start selling cheap LED bulbs in Q3.


    New York--Five years ago, Vizio was one of a number of unknown companies and new brands trying to break into the LCD TV market.


    Since then, the company has been the top-selling TV brand in the U.S. for two years.
    The company will now try to pull the same trick in LED bulbs, says co-founder Ken Lowe.
    The California company will come out with a line of LED bulbs to replace 40-watt and 60-watt bulbs as well as a line of floodlights, Lowe told me at the CEA Line Show taking place in New York. I was moderating a panel with Lowe when he got up and unfurled the upcoming line of bulbs.


    Vizio will also come out with a tablet.


    The move could be good for consumers by accelerating a growing price war in LED bulbs. Although based in California, Vizio works extensively with contract manufacturers in Taiwan and China. It also has a robust sales channel. Vizio was one of the first manufacturers to emphasize selling TVs at Costco instead of electronics stores like Best Buy. The strategy worked and help make Costco one of the largest electronics retailers in the nation.


    Because of the past history of the two companies, one can imagine that Vizio won't have a tremendous amount of difficulty getting shelf space at the big box behemoth.


    "We don't have highly paid executives or fly around on corporate jets," is how CEO William Wang described the corporate ethos to me once.
    Lowe did not provide pricing, but said the bulbs would be affordable. The tablet, based on Google's Android operating system, could also technically speaking be loaded up with apps for controlling home energy. Google earlier this year announced an effort to produce a networked Android bulb with Lighting Science. One therefore could imagine Vizio putting networking into its bulb and dipping a toe into home automation.


    LED bulb prices have been dropping steadily. In 2008, a 60-watt replacement bulb cost close to $100. Last year, $40 watt bulbs began to appear. Now, Lighting Sciences sells bulbs at Home Depot for under $20. Switch Lighting, which has designed a bulb filled with liquid to dissipate heat, will come out with 75-watt equivalent bulbs for around $25 in the second half of the year. LED bulbs can save consumers around $10 to $12 a year in energy costs, so a $20 bulb could find buyers. Some, such as VantagePoint Venture Partner's Alan Salzman and Bridgelux CEO Bill Watkins have said that the market will toggle over when LED bulbs hit $20.


    The big issue for all of these LED companies, however, will be quality. Consumes won't put up with dim bulbs that make a living room as welcoming as one of the caves in the Tora Bora region. I've reviewed a number of LED bulbs. Some are tremendous while some stink. The short demonstration Lowe provided indicated that the Vizio bulbs worked fine, but it was in an unusual environment--dark room, overhead spotlights, lots of people wearing name tags--so it was tough to tell.

    Still, the history of the company and what it accomplished in TVs are factors that other bulb makers can't ignore.

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  2. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    June 23, 2011

    Video: Vizio Introduces Their First 8-inch Tablet – A Hands-on Look


    Vizio, a company best known for selling TVs have introduced their first tablet device. It is an 8-inch tab with a resolution of 1024 x 768, has a capacitive screen and is powered by a 1GHz processor. The tablet also has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, HDMI out, a front facing camera, a MicroSD card slot and currently runs a customised version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread (although the hands-on unit appears to have the app launcher set as the home screen). There’s also word that the OS will be updated to Honeycomb in the future.
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    As Vizio are first and foremost a TV company, they seem to be offering their new tablet as a media companion – it will ship with a version of Google TV remote control, allowing you to control what you watch on a Vizio Television. And if you don’t own a Google TV, do not fret as Vizio will also be releasing one to go with the tablet… or the other way round?


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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014

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