At an event in New York City today, Westinghouse announced the availability of its refreshed set of LCD televisions, previously debuted at CES in January. The new displays almost unanimously sport what the company calls a “piano black” aesthetic: dark, glossy screen bezels with clear plastic trim and low-profile buttons along the screen’s side. The TX series boasts the company’s high-end offerings, which are all 1080p and come in 42, 47 and 52-inch sizes. The cheapest of the bunch, the 42-inch at $1099, has a little brother: the 40-inch VK-40F580D, which is identical in price, but includes a DVD player slickly tucked below the screen. Why no Blu-Ray? Company reps said the regressive licensing fees on Blu-Ray technology would have made a combo LCD/Blu-Ray player too expensive for consumer taste. That was also their answer to notable absence of any TVs with a 120Hz refresh rate; while other companies have stepped up to the plate to introduce 120Hz TVs, Westinghouse maintains that customers aren’t interested in the $200+ price jump that the technology would require.
Scaling up from the $1099 pricepoint, Westinghouse has estimated street prices for the 47-inch and 52-inch at about $1600 and $2000, respectively. The company’s 720p selections, that are offered in SK, PT and W series, are available in various sizes between 16 and 32 inches. Interestingly, company reps told FastCompany.com that the models in their product line receiving the most attention were the modestly-priced (and sized) 32-inchers of the SK series, which retail for about $750 (or $850 with built-in DVD player). The reason is anybody’s guess; higher fuel costs, a stagnating economy, or a surfeit of houses that already have a primary big-screen television. In any case, Westinghouse seems to have their specs right and their prices at bargain level; whether the TVs perform commensurately remains to be seen.