In an attempt to capitalise on the emerging digital home theatre space, Sanyo has launched a new home theatre projector, along with a range of LCD monitors and MP3 players, which will hit the shelves of Target, Kmart, Big W and Dick Smith's Superstores during the next two weeks.
However, Sanyo's business manager for A/NZ, Peter Huljich, is also keen to sell its home entertainment range through specialist digital Hi-Fi and home entertainment dealers.
"We tend to focus on sales through the big four retailers because it minimises the costs associated with distribution," he said. "However, we are also interested in digital Hi-Fi and AV dealers as well as specialist IT resellers working in the digital home entertainment space."
Already working with more than 40 digital home entertainment specialists, Huljich said the right retail skills mix in this emerging field was hard to come by. He wanted to expand the Sanyo product line to other retailers that could show they were serious about selling digital home theatre systems.
"The home theatre product range is getting more complex, and we are still finding that the average audio-visual retailer just isn't up to it," Huljich said. "We are already working with a number of Retrovision and Beta franchises, as well as independent retailers, who have a home theatre room set up so that customers can experience what the new technology is all about."
According to Huljich, this increased complexity in the digital home entertainment market sorely needed more specialist retailers that could offer high levels of customer service and understand the technology.
"It's great to talk about convergence, but there is no way the average consumer can put it all together, so we need more retailers that can offer some old fashion service," Huljich said. "As the PC manoeuvres its way into the lounge, we need people that can sell it and put it together. There still aren't that many out there."
The new Sanyo range includes a PLV Z4 Home Theatre projector, four new LCD screens ranging from 20- to 37-inch, 256MB and 512MB MP3 players, and a 42-inch plasma TV combined with a digital set-top box.