Planar To Acquire Digital Signage Vendor, Enter Home Theater Space

Beaverton, Ore.-based Planar also aims to enter the high-end home theater market later this year with the introduction of a new large-screen display, the Xscreen.

The cash and stock deal to acquire Clarity is slated to close late this year or in early 2007, according to Planar. Plans call for Planar to leverage Clarity's expertise in digital signage hardware and software systems to offer more vertically focused displays for medical, government, retail, industrial and consumer applications. Planar already offers display hardware and software for markets such as hospitals, shopping centers and banks.

Wilsonville, Ore.-based Clarity specializes in display solutions for transportation and traffic control, security and defense, energy, broadcast and telecommunications. Many of the solutions use multiple displays integrated into giant wall displays.

Planar also unveiled a new focus on displays earmarked for high-end home theater installations that are typically performed by specialty VARs and home audio/visual integrators.

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The first product, a high-end display called the Xscreen, is slated to become available in the third quarter, according to Planar. The display is designed to generate brighter images from front projectors, the company said.