Monoprice Entering Flat Panel Market - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Everyone knows Monoprice as the go-to shop for their inexpensive HDMI cables. Monoprice has grown tremendously in the last few years and they are known as the go-to place for all AV accessories. Now Monoprice will be entering a new market; they will be selling big-ticket electronics under the Monoprice name.

Who is Monoprice and how did they get here?

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Founded in 2002 and propelled by word-of-mouth support — the company rarely advertises — Monoprice is now a $120m-a-year business. Monoprice CEO Ajay Kumar says the company has been growing at between 25% and 35% a year for the last five years. The office and shipping operations run out of a 173,000 square-foot warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

In the early days of HD, HDMI cable markup was extremely high — it was easy to get talked into a $50 cable, and countless TV buyers spent untold millions on "premium" HDMI wires, making Monster one of the most recognizable electronics brands of the 2000s. In the beginning, the fact that these pricey cables weren't actually any better was regarded as a dirty industry secret. Monoprice made sure it was in a perfect position to catch people as this "secret" gradually became conventional wisdom.


Since the success of Monoprice’s HDMI cables, they have expanded their product line-up to a whole array of products from home theater and IT accessories. Monoprice is well aware of the market’s financial situation and tries to stray away from the low margin products such as computers, smartphones and printers. Big box stores still make a great deal of money from highly marked up cables which are slipped alongside a TV purchase.

So why the flat panel market?
Quote:
Monoprice saw an opening in high-end monitors. In June and July, a flurry of forum activity and gadget blog posts flagged some curiously cheap Korean monitors. These variously branded 27-inch hi-res IPS displays undercut similarly specced hardware from name brands by up to 75%, but were only available mostly on eBay and in limited quantities. Reviewers confirmed: They were legit.

"We definitely noticed those write-ups out there, and we'd seen other people selling monitors to eBay," says Kumar. "We had discussions with a number of different contract manufacturers in Asia, they sent us samples, we tested out those samples, and they performed great."

Monoprice gained a new product line, buyers gained a warranty and a return policy. And with that, Monoprice had seeped into another crevice in the increasingly fragmented hardware word.”


Kumar has even considered selling Monoprice hardware at retail if the conditions were right.

Quote:
If it's something that would help generate a value to an end customer," he says, "we would consider it." And whether online or off, it's not hard to imagine a near-future scenario where Monoprice has become a real hardware player. Few noticed as budget brands like Vizio, Dynex, and most recently Hisense crept onto store shelves, undercutting established brands and slowly dominating floor space.


Monoprice is also well known for their great level of service they offer their customers. With branded Monoprice flat panels on the horizon offering both a warranty and low price, will you consider them on your next “TV to buy” list? Or will simply disregard them and stick to major brand name flat panel manufacturers?





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post #2 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnyS View Post

With branded Monoprice flat panels on the horizon offering both a warranty and low price, will you consider them on your next “TV to buy” list? Or will simply disregard them and stick to major brand name flat panel manufacturers?
Generally their cables are decent- I've never had an issue with them. Their TV wall mounts are high value- and low cost- I'd buy them again. I've had issues with a few batches of their zip ties being ultra brittle and unusable right out of the bag- yes Monoprice replaced them- but 6 emails to replace 2 bags of 97 cent wire ties (and in the end they only replaced one bag by mistake- but I didn't want to go through another 6 email conversations to replace the other 97 cent bag). Other buyers posted about the same brittle ties in the product reviews- but never any response from Monoprice?. I've read posts about issues with their HDMI switches, and some issues with their routers. I just don't know what kind of support (other than a replacement item) you'd get from Monoprice on a hi-tech item like a flat panel TV? Price isn't everything.

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post #3 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 11:04 AM
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I've owned one of the Korean built monitors with the same panel for several months. It is fantastic.

You can already buy one at a brick and mortar, if that's what you prefer, from Microcenter.
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post #4 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 11:33 AM
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The only thing left for Monoprice to do before ruling the world is to open a shipping hub in the midwest.

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post #5 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 12:26 PM
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I am one of their "Advertisers" I tell everyone I can about them because they offer high quality at low price.
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post #6 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 12:31 PM
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Did anyone have experience with the monoprice home theatre system. They have 2 models , one is like $78 and other one is $240. Later is claimed as hi-fi model.

reviews on Monoprice for the later are pretty good so far.

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post #7 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 02:14 PM
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The Bose V35 @ $3300 got 5 stars. That should tell you that customer reviews don't mean jack squat. wink.gif

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Bose%26%23174%3B+-+LIFESTYLE%26%23174%3B+V35+Home+Entertainment+System/9824482.p?id=1218178656058&skuId=9824482
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post #8 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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I have to agree with GaryWA. I cannot comment on the Monoprice 5.1 system, but there are many little 5.1 satellite systems that sound great for a little bit more money.

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post #9 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 03:31 PM
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Any word on when they'll start offering the TV's?
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post #10 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AeroTom View Post

Any word on when they'll start offering the TV's?

The ETA on the Monoprice website states March 20th 2013. You can get asked to be notified has the product becomes available. Link below.


http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=113&cp_id=11307&cs_id=1130703&p_id=9579&format=2

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post #11 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 04:04 PM
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The higher end Monoprice Home Theater System sure looks like and energy take classic system with Energy tweeters and Athena drivers. Not to mention the gloss finish of the speakers. Take a look at the sub as well. Sure looks like the Energy ribbed elliptical surround on the cone. MMM. Perhaps API, I mean Klipsch Group, I mean Audiovox has made some sort of deal with Monoprice.

Probably worth the $198.97 price tag. Probably kills anything Bose make by 5 to 10 times that price.

Perhaps a soundbar from Momoprice will come next?


Update: I just compared the two images of this htib and the Energy Take Classic. The are the same speaker, at least on the outside. Plus I think I saw this subwoofer as a stand alone product at Costco last year for 80-100 USD.

This appears to be a super deal, no doubt.
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post #12 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO12 View Post

Did anyone have experience with the monoprice home theatre system. They have 2 models , one is like $78 and other one is $240. Later is claimed as hi-fi model.

reviews on Monoprice for the later are pretty good so far.

My client's son's bedroom is equipped with the $250 Monoprice HTiB. For the price, it's not bad at all. Even if they sell it at $500 the speaker set will still be a good-buy.

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post #13 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ace1970 View Post

The higher end Monoprice Home Theater System sure looks like and energy take classic system with Energy tweeters and Athena drivers. Not to mention the gloss finish of the speakers. Take a look at the sub as well. Sure looks like the Energy ribbed elliptical surround on the cone. MMM. Perhaps API, I mean Klipsch Group, I mean Audiovox has made some sort of deal with Monoprice.

Probably worth the $198.97 price tag. Probably kills anything Bose make by 5 to 10 times that price.

Perhaps a soundbar from Momoprice will come next?


Update: I just compared the two images of this htib and the Energy Take Classic. The are the same speaker, at least on the outside. This appears to be a super deal, no doubt.

Your absolutely right, they do. In fact, the specs are identical as well. tongue.gif

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post #14 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 09:31 PM
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Hot damn. Lets buy them all up before the word gets around. Limit ten per purchaser says the Monoprice website. Craigslist money making awaits all of us.


LOL
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post #15 of 35 Old 02-06-2013, 10:24 PM
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What size range of TVs will they offer? Just curious. -Bill
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post #16 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 12:47 AM
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I believe someone found out that they are in fact rebadged Energy's as one of the manuals said "how to set up your Energy subwoofer" even though it was the Monoprice!

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post #17 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 03:01 AM
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TVs are becoming commodities just like cables did, and BluRay players will soon. Very good move by monoprice in light of that.
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post #18 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 06:48 AM
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Good for Monoprice. Great products and great customer service. Hope they do well in the tv buisness.

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post #19 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 09:31 AM
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Monoprices' successes with rebranded products have varied quite widely in my experience.

They once sold a Blu-ray player, they don't anymore.

I tried their Wireless-N dual-band router and had endless issues with dropped connections when multiple clients attempted to authenticate to the device, I had to RMA it.

Their USB>DVI converters are amazing, I've bought several over the last year for myself and other office users and [they] are both an outstanding value and easy to use.

I'm typing this message from one of their Cherry MX Black mechanical keyboards and using the 5-button 9258 mouse - both are some of my favourite PC peripherals and I've been asked a number of times "where did you get that awesome keyboard?"

Where am I going with this? From my point of view the more complex the item the less confidence I tend to have with the Monoprice rebranded version of it. They knock it out of the park with cables, adaptors and peripherals but have had more than a few misses with non-commodity products.

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post #20 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 12:08 PM
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To comment on the more expensive 5.1 offering that Monoprice has. Here is a picture of the operators manual.



If you look on the left you see:

Placement of your new 'MONOPRICE' subwoofer.

And on the right hand page:

'Connecting your 'ENERGY' subwoofer.

If I had to guess they ctrl-f for Energy and just replaced every instance with Monoprice, although looks like this one was missed. Kind of funny.

( for whatever reason it insisted on vertical placement regardless of my objections)

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post #21 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 12:41 PM
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I'm a big supporter of Monoprice. I wired my new home with their cables and used their Home Theater UPSes to protect my HT gear in my rack in teh basement. They've always given me great service and the prices are usually best around. I may even go so far as to say that they sell things too cheap. Even if they marked up what they sell 100%, it'd still be some 40 - 50% cheaper than the Best Buys of the world.

Haven't really ever received a bad product for the money. The $46 wireless accesspoint might eventually get replaced by a new sonicpoint device but for now it is doing the job perfectly well. Great prices, quality service, lots of products. AV is mostly a one stop shop for me now.

We got a quote from Century Entertainment in Louisville to do our install and they wanted to charge $250 per HDMI cable (6 40 foot runs). That overcharge ultimately sunk the deal and they got none of our AV business. I did it all myself over a weekend. Funny thing is, they ended coming in to do the security and remarked to our builder that they thought they had been there already based on the roughin work for the AV. I smiled as our builder clarified that.

Anyway, can't say enough about Monoprice. I point everyone there.
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post #22 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 01:33 PM
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I've had very good experience with Monoprice, but have only purchased cables from them. Great prices, fast shipping, and they've always worked.

The only issue I see with this monitor is that "It only supports Dual Link Digital DVI-D input" so you'll need to account for this. It's also just a monitor, so there's no ATSC tuner. If you need a high res monitor and have DVI-D (or converter), then this is a good deal.

EDIT: I found this link which I strongly suspect is the same monitor (X270SE) for less than Monprice. They're also out of stock until mid-March. Their X270ME offers multiple inputs at $470 which might be an even better deal with DVI-D, VGA, HDMI, and Display Port.

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post #23 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenjw View Post

The only issue I see with this monitor is that "It only supports Dual Link Digital DVI-D input" so you'll need to account for this. It's also just a monitor, so there's no ATSC tuner, speakers, etc. If you need a high res monitor and have DVI-D (or converter), then this is a good deal.
I don't think that can really be called an issue. I believe all monitors of this resolution use dual link DVI. It is the standard.
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post #24 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 02:25 PM
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Anything over 1920x1200 requires either dual link DVI or less than 60 Hz refresh.

BTW Monoprice actually has 3 monitors, two of them are kind of hard to find though.
To get them, navigate to the page for "27" IPS LED CrystalPro Monitor WQHD 2560x1440", then click on "Desktop Monitors" at the end of this string near the top of the page "HOME > COMPUTER ACCESSORIES > Desktop Accessories > Desktop Monitors ".

It shows two 30" 2560x1600 monitors available a few days after the 27"
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post #25 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitviper33 View Post

I don't think that can really be called an issue. I believe all monitors of this resolution use dual link DVI. It is the standard.

Agree. Issue is probably a bad word choice, but just wanted to point out that these are monitors and the one at the monoprice link is DVI-D only. Some my want to consider the multiple output option varieties that also support less that 1440 which can be used with laptops, XBox360, PS3, etc.

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post #26 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAP View Post

Anything over 1920x1200 requires either dual link DVI or less than 60 Hz refresh.

BTW Monoprice actually has 3 monitors, two of them are kind of hard to find though.
To get them, navigate to the page for "27" IPS LED CrystalPro Monitor WQHD 2560x1440", then click on "Desktop Monitors" at the end of this string near the top of the page "HOME > COMPUTER ACCESSORIES > Desktop Accessories > Desktop Monitors ".

It shows two 30" 2560x1600 monitors available a few days after the 27"

The more expensive of the two at just under $800 is of the multi-input variety. Both are 30" 16:10 WQXGA (2560×1600) resolution.

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post #27 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 05:17 PM
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I'm wondering if they are going to buy and re-badge products or could they possibly buy parts and assemble them. If the latter is the case then everything would really depend on the quality of those parts. Good stuff begets good stuff. Crap begets crap.
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post #28 of 35 Old 02-07-2013, 06:13 PM
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Are they actually going to be selling TV's?

The original reference was to monitors.

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post #29 of 35 Old 02-08-2013, 04:56 PM
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I don't think these are TV's. I believe they are 30" or 27" computer monitors that offer higher resolution for video cards that support Dual Link DVI output at 1440 pixels. Much more resolution for a given screen size than 1080p.
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post #30 of 35 Old 02-09-2013, 11:06 PM
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I honestly hope that Monoprice sells printer inks one day.

Wouldn't that piss of the likes of Canon and Brother? biggrin.gif
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