Once a consumer electronics giant, GE hasn't made a TV in several years, having lost out to Sony and other Asian manufacturers over the last couple of decades. But last fall, the company joined with Tatung in an HDTV venture called General Displays & Technologies (GDT). There was little reason to get too excited about this partnership, as it seemed safe to assume it would be another value line like the resurrected Westinghouse brand.
But that may not be the case. According to the Display Daily, GDT seems determined to stand out in the TV market, setting its sites on the Sonys and Samsungs of the world instead of the second- and third-tier vendors. When the venture was announced, it emphasized how it was going to introduce Internet-connected sets as a key differentiator. Now that seemingly every TV maker is adding the Net to its lineup, that's not going to be enough to stand out.
GDT is saying it will support wireless audio, including both sound bars and subwoofers, and is developing a wireless video box, which Panasonic is also readying for its new Z1 set. It's also working on a video box that connects via an optical fiber cable for additional bandwidth. A 46-inch LCD with LED edge light is in the pipeline.
Taken separately, none of these features will turn GDT into an HDTV leader (even a budget set maker like Haier is introducing LED sets this year), but depending on how quickly they're brought to market, how well they're implemented, and how much they will cost, they could give GE a chance to compete in an ultra-competitive market. The brand name, of course, is still well known, but that didn't help against Sony and Samsung in the past. Give consumers something those companies don't offer, and people may give new GE TVs a closer look.
[Via Engadget HD]