RCA cuts HDTV set prices by 20%

Washington, DC - Thomson Multimedia, the manufacturer and marketer of RCA-brand television and video products, will be trimming suggested retail prices of RCA HDTV sets by 20 per cent effective in April.

Responding to increased demand for digital HDTV and the competitive pressures of the TV manufacturing industry, Thomson will make available a fully-integrated 38-inch RCA HDTV that receives both over-the-air and DIRECTV satellite digital TV signals and falls below the $3,000 suggested retail price barrier. This dramatic affordability move, along with a similar suggested retail price move on the company's fully-integrated 61-inch RCA HDTV projection set, means even more consumers will be able to afford the unparalleled picture performance and home entertainment experience of high definition TV.

The drive to make HDTV more affordable was announced today in testimony before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce.

"To give the members of this Subcommittee an idea of how quickly manufacturers are working to improve affordability of digital television products, Thomson is pleased to announce that -- effective on the first of next month -- consumers will be able to find our widescreen, fully-integrated with over-the-air and satellite electronics, 38-inch RCA HDTV for just $2,999. This marks a 21 per cent reduction, since this product was first introduced last fall," said David H. Arland, director of government relations for Thomson.

The suggested retail pricing on the 61-inch RCA HDTV model will drop from a high of nearly $8,000 two years ago to $3,999 by April. And consumers interested in HDTV Monitor products will find similar savings on 32-inch, 36-inch, 52-inch, and 61-inch RCA HDTV monitors.

"This aggressive, affordable pricing for digital TV that we're announcing today is being driven by three factors: first, growing consumer demand for better displays; second, the natural competitive pressures of the consumer electronics industry; and third, the explosion of crisp digital video now available on disc and via satellite. The next important step that needs to be taken in order to fuel the transition is more over-the-air programming," Arland said in remarks representing the Consumer Electronics Association.

"The success we've enjoyed in the digital TV transition will only continue if broadcasters and content providers make available a steady stream of compelling, high-definition content. Without it, the transition could stall."

Digital television continues to grow as an industry, with sales of digital TV products soaring more than 400 per cent in 2000 compared to the year before. The positive sales trend is expected to continue in 2001 says RCA, as even more products are introduced and pricing is reduced to more affordable levels. The year is already off to a strong start, with more than 80,000 digital TV monitors and integrated HDTV sets sold to dealers in the month of January.

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