Last week, <A HREF="http://global.hitachi.com">Hitachi</A> announced that, on April 10, it will release what it describes as the world's first 32-inch HDTV plasma TV, the W32-PD2100. The company says that this will be followed by the release of a second version of the set with a built-in BS (Broadcast Satellite) digital receiver on June 11. Both TVs will intitally be released in Japan. Hitachi says it is also planning to introduce a 37-inch HDTV plasma TV at a later date. Pricing for all models is to be announced.
Predicting a "collision" between film studios and expanding digital technology, Jack Valenti, president of the <A HREF="http://www.mpaa.org/">Motion Picture Association of America</A> (MPAA), has asked for Congressional help in beefing up copyright protection for his industry.
The year 2001 wasn't a good one for <A HREF="http://www.philips.com">Philips Electronics NV</A>. On February 8, the Dutch electronics giant reported a massive $2.26 billion (2.6 billion euros) loss for the year, blaming slowing demand for both finished consumer goods and raw semiconductors. Philips is one of the few companies with an equal presence in both markets.
Are bulk discounts and revenue sharing arrangements with suppliers illegal? A group of independent video dealers thinks so. The dealers have teamed up to sue <A HREF="http://www.blockbuster.com/">Blockbuster Video</A>, the industry's undisputed leader, over what they claim are "illegal practices" that they contend have caused many of their colleagues to go out of business.
According to the numbers revealed by the <A HREF="http://vsda.org/">Video Software Dealers Association</A> (VSDA) last week, American consumers spent more than ever on home video in 2000, with rentals and sales of VHS and DVD hitting the $20 billion mark for the first time in home video's twenty-plus–year history. On the rental side of the video business, the VSDA reports that the total combined revenues of both DVD and VHS video formats rose 2.2% in 2000 over 1999. The "remarkably popular" new DVD video format made a major impact on this mark, says the not-for-profit trade group.
According to a new report from market research company <A HREF="http://www.instat.com">Cahners In-Stat Group</A>, DVD sales will reach new heights over the next several years. Cahners points out that the DVD market has grown from nothing in 1996 to more than 28 million units expected to ship worldwide in 2001, and it estimates that sales will exceed 60 million units in 2004.
Three decades ago, Alvin Toffler coined the term future shock to describe the malaise caused by the increased pace of new technology and information. Consumers of home-entertainment electronics experience some degree of <I>future shock</I> with every new technology: high-definition television, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, and all these new surround-sound formats.