Brian Palmer is the CEO and founder of Cello Electronics, the only British TV Manufacturer that still manufactures products in the UK. From the production line in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, Cello Electronics make all of their LED TVs from 16in to 85in. As well as TVs they also offer a wide range of accessories, TV cabinets, soundbars and digital tablets. Cello products are distributed throughout the UK and beyond.
Brian has always worked around TVs. His first job was on the assembly line in a factory making TV screens. As he progressed into senior positions, he moved into wholesale and then manufacture, predicting the boom in the market that would take place in the switch from analogue to digital. He chose to manufacture in the UK so he could maintain strict control of quality. As well as producing smart TVs in all sizes up to 86 inch, Cello operates in several niche markets, such as TVs with built-in DVD, and travel TVs that run off 12-volt batteries and can be used for boats, lorries and campervans.
Since establishing in 2006 impressive growth in range and turnover saw a move to new premises in 2012 that incorporates production, warehousing, technical and sales support under one roof. In 2016 the warehouse space was extended by almost half again to accommodate the increase in production of larger and larger screen TV’s. Cello currently has around 50 staff on site covering all aspects of the business.
With Brian at the helm, Cello has achieved a number of TV firsts in the UK for example Cello was the first to incorporate a DVD Player with the TV, as well as being the first to incorporate an iPod Dock to the TV and most recently after forming a partnership with Google, Cello Electronics was the first UK TV to launch with the new Android TV platform featuring Google Assistant in August 2020.
A huge innovation for both Brian and Cello was to become the manufacturer of a solar-powered TV for the African market. Cello Solar was established to provide innovative solar products for rural parts of Africa and other countries where electricity supply is unreliable or non-existent. Through a partnership with Mobisol and research of the African market, an opportunity was found to use Cello’s expertise to solve real world problems, while offering the flexibility to adapt them to the needs of different organisations. As many African families don’t have the means to buy televisions Cello looked to organisations that are providing finance options in order to improve the lives of those living off grid.
With an estimated 80% of homes within Africa without grid power, Cello’s â€œSolar TVâ€ provides an affordable solution to give African homes the same access to informative, educational and entertaining TV content that is enjoyed the world over.
The Cello Solar TVs include a built-in Lithium ion battery and a built-in solar controller and comes with its own solar panel, which generates enough electricity for more than twelve hours of viewing on its 22 model, based on a single four-hour charge of sunlight. This is a big step forward for Africa, where currently TV’s in non-grid areas are powered by external batteries and external solar controllers. These TVs also come with LED lights that can be used to light the home late at night, which is much safer than alternative methods to light the home.