Sony Cites Vizio, Other Low-Cost Makers as ‘Semi Non-HDTV’

There are several various variations of HD out there, depending on your technology, format, frames per second, compression rate and other factors—but is there a girlie-man among them who makes “semi non-HD” sets? Sony seems to think so, although it could be a little competitive envy at play here as well.

Robert Wiesenthal, an executive vice president of Sony Corp. of America, reportedly responded to media inquiries about newcomer Vizio’s fast success in capturing a nice share of the HD market by suggesting Vizio and other lesser-known brands are not as good in the quality department as the more costly units from Sony and other household brands. Vizio is a small Irvine, Calif.-based company that has outsold Sony and some of the other big boys in LCD and plasma HD units in the United States and Canada in recent quarters (HD Notebook, May 14, 2008).

At one point in a conference call with Wall Street analysts in mid-May, Wiesenthal said, “I think it’s important to point out there is a very big difference between [our] high-end 1080p sets and the low-end kind of Vizio and Chinese manufacturer semi non-HD sets,” according to published reports.

Vizio does manufacture, among other formats, 1080p sets and mainly sells in big-box stores like Costco and Wal-Mart, where the products sometimes hold price points several hundred dollars under similarly marketed brand-name units.