CES 2007: ViewSonic Drives iPod Integration


ViewSonic is mounting an iPod integration assault at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show that includes what the display maker calls the world's first portable projector with an integrated iPod docking station.

The sleek, 2.9-pound PJ258D ViewDock projector, scheduled to be available Jan. 15 at a street price of $1,099, lets users project video content directly from their video iPods onto a large screen with 2,000 lumens. The PJ258D has an XGA native resolution and a 2000:1 contrast ratio.

The display maker also showcased 19- and 22-inch monitors with an integrated iPod dock and demonstrated a 37-inch HDTV with an integrated iPod dock.

Russ Stover, owner of Digitainment, a San Marcos, Calif.-based digital integrator, welcomed ViewSonic's iPod integration effort. He said if ViewSonic can bring an iPod-integrated HDTV to market, it will open the door for a replacement of old-style tube TVs with new HDTV flat panels with iPod connectivity.

"This is great technology," Stover said. "It's simple, complete and powerful. Isn't technology supposed to make our life easier? That's what this product would do."

Jeff Volpe, vice president of marketing for ViewSonic, said the iPod integration is part of an effort by the company to push the technology innovation envelope. "The whole phenomenon of the iPod is no longer a trend. It's a movement. It is a mainstay piece of technology that people are gravitating to for a lot of different uses," he said. "People are moving video around any way they can. What is convenient and easy to use is the iPod."

Volpe said the iPod integration on the projector and LCD is also attracting business users who want to share training videos or presentations. "People want that iPod experience to be much larger than two inches," he said. "You can now experience your iPod in a large format, and you have multiple ways to do that: a projector and an LCD line from ViewSonic."

Matt Milne, president of ViewSonic Americas, said, "The message for VARs is that this opens up new revenue streams and service opportunities around portable video and other content that can be shared. There is a margin opportunity here for VARs looking to establish new business models."

At the Las Vegas show, ViewSonic also launched more than 15 other products, including new 20- and 22-inch displays with integrated Web cams and microphones aimed at taking advantage of Windows Vista videoconferencing functionality. The displays come with a 1.3 Mpixel Web cam and a microphone in the dock of the display. ViewSonic also is announcing its first 24-inch and 28-inch displays with HDMI input and full Windows certification.