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BenQ Predicts 100% Home Theatre Projector Growth 2012 As LCD Dips

By Matthew Lentini | Wednesday | 07/12/2011

The LCD TV market is beginning to flat line as consumers turn to cheaper home entertainment projectors, according to BenQ General Manager Chee Fui Chung.

BenQ is leaning on the consumer home cinema market in 2012 where the Taiwanese company expects 100 percent growth in the sector. Part of the movement has begun with BenQ offering its first sub-$1000 home cinema projector in Officeworks this Christmas.

Chung told ChannelNews that the sub-$2500 home entertainment projector market will peak around April 2012 as most consumers who by now already have an LCD TV and are looking to boost their screen size without the high price tag of a fixed display.

Market research from DisplaySearch has shown that manufacturers are shipping out less LCD panels this year, with the TFT-LCD industry being in over-supply for the last six quarters.

BenQ is also in the midst of a green push in what it calls its 'Green Life' program; a long term investment in renewable resources and more efficient manufacturing processes all the way from the R&D labs to the supply chain.

On the product side, BenQ has recently introduced its SmartEco line of projectors that come in similar form and quality to its previous models, though with reworked hardware and software for energy efficiency.

Two of these models have hit stores already, with further models reaching Australian retail in January.

By next September 2012, all of BenQ's range will be under the SmartEco banner, incorporating the same technology across the board.

Chung noted that while there is always the hope of earning a premium on green products, consumers and businesses are not yet willing to pay extra. Prices are currently running steady despite the increased cost of production in the wake of ecological sustainability.

Part of the green push is the Australian Government's own push for sustainable manufacturing. The Gillard Government targeted Taiwanese manufacturers like BenQ recently when it held green-centric training seminars three weeks ago in the country.

The upcoming E-Waste Stewardship program, coming into effect next January, will also add a cost onto manufacturers that could trickle down to consumers. The program puts a price on the future recycling of an electronic product, initially on the manufacturer.

Lighting will become one of BenQ's large revenue streams in the next three years as the company pushes for contracts in Australia to install its LED lighting technology across the country as energy efficient street lighting.

BenQ is using the LED technology it has garnered from streamlining around 40 LED businesses last year. Chung said that LED is replacing CCFL, especially as display companies move to LED backlighting on TVs.

The company is also pushing further into the medical equipment market internationally, as it sees that market as relatively inelastic in unsteady economic conditions.

Solar is also on the radar, though Chung notes that the potential of this market is still unsure and yet to be gauged.

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