A HD plasma TV for $999. Vivo ends the year with a bang

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY, NSW: The hits keep on coming from Australian TV supplier, Vivo. The latest is a 50-inch HD plasma with a Samsung panel for RRP $999. It caps off a year that was supposed to end in recession but Vivo shipped over 400 40-foot containers of TVs to Australia this year.

“It’s been a rollercoaster year for many brands, for us it’s been quite successful, but we though we’d end the year with a nice sized TV at under the $1,000 price,” said Vivo International Corporation managing director, Fabio Grassia.

Vivo is an Australian success story. In just 18 months the company has gone from start up to leading brand in its price points. There are some keys to the brand’s success, one of which is having a factory in China, where the company assembles the TVs and sources all the components.

“Vivo has been able to source a substantial number of quality Samsung HD panels at a very good rate from China for these $999 plasmas,” said Grassia. “We’ve sold the first 2,500 pieces already and we’ve got a further 2,500 pieces arriving this week — all up its 5,000 units, so that’s 56 40-foot containers.”

Grassia said that the plasmas are 75 MHz with three HDMI inputs and EMI glass and of the remaining 2,500 units in transit, he said that stock is limited.

“We received stock two weeks ago and we have shipped it out already to various retailers and the feedback has been fantastic,” said Grassia. “We have some orders on the next 2,500 already but there is still stock available for retailers who want to order them.”

When asked what were some of the keys to the company’s success, particularly this year in which the company has shipped over 400 40 foot containers to Australia of just TVs alone, Grassia said the company’s factory in China was a major factor.

“Having the factory gives us a very high level of quality control. We also buy our own components to assemble the TVs, so we choose only high quality products,” he said.

“When we buy the panels we know the trends with panel pricing. And by buying the solution board, which is the main board that runs the TV, we’ve always got the latest software solution for the TVs. We’re not buying a solution board that’s 3 to 6 months old, we’re buying the latest.

“We can react to the market trends quickly and keep the pricing low. And importantly, we are able to deliver orders in 45 days from the purchase order.”

With the Australian market developing well for the company, the next step is to develop the New Zealand market.

“The next step for us is to include MPEG 4 or H.264 in our TVs, even though that will probably become a standard on TVs in Australia in three years time when analogue is completely cut off in 2013. But in New Zealand they are already on MPEG4 and we’re targeting the New Zealand market now.”

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