Sony, long a leading player in the television market with its Trinitron cathode ray tube (CRT) technology, is getting serious about the fast-expanding flat-panel television sector. The company has launched a major push into the market with a line-up of eight flat-panel TVs due to go on sale in Japan by the end of this year.
Stories by Martyn Williams
The group of companies behind the Blu-ray Disc format outlined some of the future enhancements and additions it is planning for the format during a presentation in Tokyo on Tuesday and at briefings in the U.S. last week. Taken together, these events have provided a clearer picture of the current state of the technology and its future direction.
The HD-DVD (High Definition/High Density-DVD) next-generation optical disc format got a boost Monday with the announcement by Toshiba and NEC that they plan to launch compatible products next year and with word that a major Japanese content producer is backing the format.
Toshiba has launched a new range of notebook personal computers that come optimised for audio and video functions and will be made available worldwide.
The group of companies behind the DVD format has approved a next-generation rewritable optical disc that is the same size as existing DVDs but can hold more than four times the amount of data.
NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan's largest cellular telephone network operator, has yet to make up its mind on whether or not to make a bid for AT&T Wireless Services.
The Japanese carrier currently holds a 16-percent stake in AT&T Wireless. The U.S. carrier lost US$84 million for the fourth quarter of 2003 and last week said it is looking for a buyer.
A California start-up company has made an advance that it claims will make Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFCs) - envisaged as a future power source for mobile electronics devices - smaller, cheaper and lighter.
It seems fitting that two of the coolest products to be announced by Japan's electronics companies in the past month are consumer digital video products with network connections. We've already seen a few such products that begin to mix digital content from television services with local area network and computer technology and 2004 is sure to bring a lot more so it's a good way to end the year.
Of the two, NEC Corp.'s hard-disk drive-based video recorder is the most complex and it is the more expensive. On the subject of price you might be surprised that IO Data's DVD player with network connection and support for a whole range of audio, video and image formats costs not much more than a conventional player.
TOKYO (10/16/2003) - Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. has developed an optical disc based on a polymer derived from corn which, the company says, is as sturdy as current plastic discs but will biodegrade when disposed of.
TOKYO (09/26/2003) - Engineers at NEC Electronics Corp. have developed a new chip that should help pave the way towards more vibrant pictures from liquid crystal displays (LCDs).