CES 2006 Spotlight: ED Digital/Digitrex

What does it take for a new consumer electronics brand to crack the shell of giants like Sony and Samsung? If you?re tiny ED Digital and its CE brand Digitrex, help from a big parent overseas and targeting the category of ?other? are good starts.

As ED Digital?s Steve Jean explained, his company is the American offshoot of an overseas parent company who reportedly maintains the number two market share in DVD players & LCD televisions in many markets through OEM deals with other brands.

And then there is this whole concept of the ?other? category of consumer electronics.

?The first indicator was when we would track sales in various categories,? said Jean. ?We would watch market share. There was this category growing bigger and bigger that was other.?

And into this other category ED Digital stepped. They are very much targeting early adopters or, as Jean said, ?the ones calling TiVo because they heard about new software to get off their PCs.? These early adopters aren?t necessarily brand conscious, being more focused instead on cutting edge technology which they find fun and reliable.

?We?ll have a complete focus toward the connected home,? said Jean. ?We feel it hasn?t been delivered on yet.?

With news regarding an array of CE products, including LCD TVs, DVD players, personal media players, set top boxes and home theater equipment, the one grabbing the most noise and easily fitting that other category is their line of HD LCD Network TVs.

Three new models with 32? ($1,999), 40? ($3,499) and 46? screens make up this HD LCD Network TV line, which will be available later this year through major retailers. Sporting with ED Digital calls an industry first for their use of Windows Media Connect functionality, these LCDs are designed to connect to a home network and play content stored on a Windows XP based PC. This content can include protected material from PlaysForSure verified music and video online services.

Other features of these LCDs include 802.11g wireless connectivity, an on screen user interface for navigation and control of content, 1080i display capabilities with a resolution of up to 1366 x 768, a contrast ratio of over 800:1, a wide viewing angle and a six speaker, 10-watt RMS audio system with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

?These products meet our core competencies,? said Jean. ?We believe in co-mergence?technologies that come together and work well together.?