InFocus aims new Thin Display Series flat screens at boardrooms, schools

InFocus is under new management and ready to thrive again. The company is now more lean and ready to strike at the flat screen market. But not with a home AV flat screen or even a dedicated signage panel, but rather with a boardroom flat screen set that blends the low price of a consumer-grade TV with many of the features found in a commercial model. This is big for InFocus.

The company has changed hands a lot over the last few years. The glory days are long gone, dead with its budget AV projector line. The company seems to knows its roots, though, and what made it successful. This new line of flat panels is ready to carry the InFocus banner forward and is just the first crop. The second generation is already in development.

The opportunity that InFocus saw in the professional space was that many times companies where turned off by the high cost of signage flat panels and couldn’t justify their high price even though the screens are practically indestructible. So instead, a Best Buy-special set was installed in a meeting room.

But this model wasn’t designed to run a PowerPoint presentation 12 hours a day or even work with the random computers used by the presenters. Plus these consumer sets likely didn’t have RS232 ports for room control system integration. But times are tough, and scarifies have to be made to keep the bean-counters and stock holders happy.

Enter InFocus’ Thin Display Series. This series aims to bring to market features such as advanced burn-in technology and commercial grade power supply and build, along with a host of the appropriate connectors, at a price just north of the consumer market. The sets also ship with a three-year warranty that includes direct replacement from a local InFocus dealer should the monitor fail.

Most features from both consumer and commercial panels made the cut. The new models are technical monitors as the sets do not feature a TV tuner, however, they do have rear-firing speakers, along every connector included HDMI, VGA, and RS232. The actually LCD panel is supplied by AUO, and while it isn’t the bulletproof Samsung DID panel found in nearly commercial model, meeting room monitors probably aren’t running 24/7 like those found in airports and hospitals. The models do share commercial-grade construction, though, with heavy-duty metal housings.

The 42-, 55-, and 64-inch sets are just now available from local InFocus dealers for $1,399, $2,599, and $7,499, respectively.

InFocus expects to stick with this product line for sometime. This isn’t just a testing the water experiment. In fact, the second generation is already in the works, which includes LED-backlit displays.

The projector company may have lost its way a few years back by flooding the market with low-priced home theater models, but those days are long gone. These new models are really meant for InFocus’s primary market anyway. A lot of companies and schools are moving past projector installs as the price of flat panels keep dropping and InFocus just wants a piece of the market that it help create. The company expects responsible and confident growth, and according to Ben Joy, Product Line Director at InFocus, shipping 8k to 10k of the new flat panels a “beautiful thing.”