Sony envisions a 'Value' Network with TV at centre

LAS VEGAS: A "single, seamless platform across AV, PC and mobile devices, with TV at the centre" is at the core of Sony's global strategy to realize its vision of a Ubiquitous "Value" Network.

Sony President and COO Kunitake Ando elaborated on the company's strategy during the Consumer Electronics Show, which runs through 12 January. In his keynote address, Ando used the theme 'A World About 'U' to highlight the comprehensive control that the user will have over customising entertainment and communications devices, and spoke about the company's initiatives to create open-standard broadband networks. 

He also pointed to television "reborn" as the focal point for the delivery, use and interaction with broadband entertainment in the home.

He said, "Our initiative to develop interoperability between PC and AV devices in the home, is a key step to realise the true value of the home network." Ando also spoke of Sony's participation in a "forum group" of collaborators advocating an advanced Linux-based platform for digital home electronics devices. "By connecting AV, PC and mobile devices, we will create a huge platform for the creation and enjoyment of rich digital content. Secure content development is at the centre of agenda."

Citing the global increase in broadband adoption, Ando expressed optimism about the accessibility of broadband content, and said that this year will be key to the acceleration of broadband penetration, especially in the US.

Ando described the future role of television, a more powerful, more ubiquitous and interactive version of what we know today. "We're literally helping put displays everywhere to offer users the state-of-the-art visual experience," he said. "In my view, the first 50 years of colour television were only the infancy, Ando said, referring to the passive nature of TV as increasing innovation is taking place today.

Ando also spotlighted Sony's new Cocoon products, a Linux-based platform of broadband AV devices, that, when connected to a home network, learn user preferences and create a truly customised entertainment experience.

Ando also stressed Sony's leadership in all aspects of high-definition television, including HD Cam professional content creation and editing equipment, as well as consumer displays and future high-definition content recording and playback devices employing Blu-ray laser technology.

The Las Vegas event is seeing hundreds of new digital and high-definition TVs, including sleek flat-panel displays from 10 inches to more than 60 inches wide. High defintiion programming is poised for a leap in the US. The big three networks broadcast much of their prime-time offerings in high definition. ESPN will launch its own HD channel in the US on 30 March with an opening-night baseball broadcast of the Anaheim Angels and Texas Rangers.Reports indicate that set top manafacturers and cable companies also recently made a deal that would allow digital TVs to plug directly into digital cable systems and receive HDTV without a separate cable box. And at Hollywood's urging, many equipment makers already have adopted a new digital connection, called DVI, to deter illegal copying of movies and programmes.

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