New TVs weather the storm

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Pantel Corp.

Summer sun brings family barbecues and get-togethers with friends. Only now, choosing between staying inside to watch the game or swimming in the pool might be easier, because a new line of weatherproof, flat-panel LCD TVs expands the options for bringing the entire party outside.

Engineers with Pantel designed their company’s TVs to protect against extreme temperatures (minus 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F). The designers equipped the TVs with a ventilation system that creates circulation to combat dust, dirt, rain and sleet, and that shields against overheating.

Although there are other all-weather models on the market, Pantel says its units’ ability to withstand temperature extremes exceeds others’ (other models are specified from minus 24 degrees F to 122 degrees F). They also claim to be the first to have a wireless connection between the cable/satellite box and DVD player and the TV. With this, the TV can be positioned up to 150 feet away from the system’s router, which is usually kept indoors. In addition, when compared with Sanyo’s 42-inch weatherproof monitor and SunBrite TV’s 46-inch all-weather LCD, all of Pantel’s models are nearly half the size in depth and half the weight.

The suggested retail price for Pantel’s 32-inch is $3,950, and the 42-inch is $4,450. Pantel will release 52-inch and 65-inch screens by the end of the year. Pricing has not been announced.