With spring finally upon us in most of the country, it's time to introduce your "stay-cation" clients to the wonders of outdoor AV installation products such as weather-proof speakers and outdoor video displays. SunBriteTV, the pioneer of all-weather TV technology recently introduced the new 4610HD, a 46-inch high-definition LCD television in full 1080p. SunBriteTV's vice president Lynn Stearn took a moment to answer our four questions about the category and their products.
Lynn Stearn, VP, SunBrite TV
1. What is the biggest technical challenge that your company has faced when working with outdoor video products?
When we invented the first all-weather outdoor television in 2004, our objective was to build a TV that could be permanently installed in backyards across the U.S. and Canada. Our first major challenge was to make sure that they would be rugged and reliable enough to withstand harsh environmental issues such as rain, snow, dust, and insects. We added cooling fans to keep the internal temperature of the TV cool in high temperatures and thermostatic heaters to guard against freezing temperatures and condensation. We also added an anti-reflective window for extra protection and improved viewing.
2. What specific changes have you made to your products in response to these challenges?
Our all-weather design has been time-tested in residential and commercial TV installations for more than four years, so other than minor changes to accommodate new models, our feature set has remained constant. We now offer a complete line of high-definition 23-, 32-, and 46-inch LCD TVs, with installer-friendly features such as simplified integration with control systems, concealed IR emitters, and detachable speakers.
3. Is there anything you can tell us about your product development pipeline? What can we look forward to seeing?
We are in the process of researching and developing larger screen sizes. Also, we will continue value engineering that allows us to manufacture lower-cost products in various screen sizes.
4. What effect has the economy had on your business?
Although the economy has affected some of the dynamic growth we expected for this year, we continue to maintain a strong and steady growth path. The stay-cation phenomenon is one trend that is benefiting our business. Furthermore, dealers are introducing SunBriteTV to their existing client-base, and expanding outdoor TV and video entertainment to those whole-house systems.
In the pursuit to make products more affordable, we began developing a lower-cost 32-inch TV last year. In spring of 2008, our 32-inch televisions were priced at $3,295, but this year we have a 32-inch model that is priced at $2095. Additionally, by taking advantage of the global LCD price-reductions, we lowered the pricing on our entire line of products. At the time, these were not economy-driven decisions, but they may be working in our favor to contribute to a steady sales volume.