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Syntax, Sampo Introduce Low Cost HD LCDs

Sampo has begun shipping its Maxent brand 32-inch LCD TV for the U.S. market with a recommended price tag of $999. This HD-ready model (MX-32x3) features a resolution of 1366x768, contrast ratio of 800:1, brightness of 600 nits, at 16:9.

Sampo hopes to ship about 100,000 LCDs worldwide this year with the Maxent brand being targeted at Best Buy, Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, and other chains, Asian publications report. However, customers may not see many models on display, and thus have many choices for comparison shopping, until the start of the holiday selling season in November.

The typical retail price for 32-inch HD-ready LCDs currently in the United States appears to be about $1,200, although Sampo expects its own pricing will pull down all LCD pricing somewhat by the end of the year. reports that when Teco Electric & Machinery of Taiwan recently rolled out a 32-inch LCD (model TAL0032) in Japan priced at 100,000 yen ($893)--it sold more than 10,000 units within half a day.

Another unit, the Syntax Olevia 32-inch LCD TV (offering 16:9, 1,366 x 768, 1200:1), is available in price points ranging from $890 - $1,600, according to Comcast's broadband Web site. Comcast's features category for online subs is pushing HD sales to coincide with the upcoming football season. The Olevia LT32HV is HD-ready. For a detailed review of Syntax's 37-inch LCD (and more about Syntax itself), go to the HDTV Expert Web site.

The global LCD TV market will reach 18 million units sold by the end of 2005, with Europe and the U.S. accounting for 31 percent and 28 percent of the market, respectively, according to DisplaySearch.