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Monday, January 7, 2008

Warner backs Sony high definition films only in Blu-ray format

Warner backs Sony Blu-ray format
Warner Brothers is to release high definition films only in Sony's Blu-ray format, in what is seen as a blow to Toshiba in the long-running format war.
Warner was the only major studio still releasing films both in Blu-ray and Toshiba's rival HD DVD format.

Five studios have opted to only release Blu-ray. Only Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures favour HD DVD.

Toshiba has denied that its format is dead but it admitted disappointment with the Warner Brothers' decision.

Walt Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and, unsurprisingly, Sony Pictures are the other studios that only release in Blu-ray format.

Both formats deliver high definition pictures and sound and work with HD televisions, but they are not compatible with each other and neither will play on older DVD players.

Warner said it had opted for Blu-ray because 60% of its US high-definition sales last year had been in that format.

Warner Home Video will stop releasing new titles on HD DVD at the end of May.

'A quick death'

Rich Greenfield at Pali Capital predicted that HD DVD would now "die a quick death" and predicted that would be good news for DVD sales.

"While we still expect overall consumer spending on DVDs to decline at least 3% in 2008, the risk of an even worse 2008 DVD environment has most likely been avoided by Warner's early 2008 decision," he said.

Toshiba denied that its format was dead, with Akiyo Ozaka, president of Toshiba America Consumer Products saying that HD DVD "has not lost".

"We were very disappointed with Warner Brothers' announcement," he admitted at CES.

But he added: "Sales of HD DVD were very good last year, especially in October to December."

Warner's announcement was made ahead of the high profile Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Sony shares rise after Blu-ray wins Warner support

Shares of Sony Corp. edged higher Monday, despite broad market declines in Tokyo shares, after Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros. said late last week it plans to release high-definition movies on the Japanese company's Blu-ray format.
Warner's decision to support Sony'sformat for high-definition video was seen as an important victory over Toshiba Corp.'s HD DVD standard, which has fallen behind in the race to win over large film studios.
With Warner aboard, the Blu-ray format now has the support of four major Hollywood studios, which means about 70% of major studio films will be released exclusively on the format. Toshiba's format is backed by just two major studios: Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures.
"I believe that the Warner's deal is a game changer; it's game over for HD DVD," said David Gibson, consumer electronic analyst at Macquarie Securities in Tokyo. "Now you've got the biggest players all supporting Blu-ray."
In Tokyo trading Sony shares ended 0.7% higher while Toshiba fell 2.3%. The benchmark Nikkei 225 Average traded weaker, shedding 1.3% to 14,500.55. Also see Asia Markets. Warner Bros,which currently releases films on both formats, will reportedly stop producing HD DVD discs from May.
"Warner Bros. has produced in both high-definition formats in an effort to provide consumer choice, foster mainstream adoption and drive down hardware prices," said Jeff Bewkes, president and CEO of Time Warner Inc. in a statement.
"Today's decision by Warner Bros. to distribute in a single format comes at the right time and is the best decision both for consumers and Time Warner," he added.
Macquarie's Gibson said studios such as Paramount are likely to abandon the HD DVD format once their agreement expires in 18 months. Gibson added the next dominos to fall in Sony's favor might be on the retail side, with an exclusivity deal by Target stores to stock only Blu-ray compatible players, although he cautioned such a commitment was only speculative.
The race to become the dominant market format bears the hallmarks the 1980 video-format war between VHS and Betamax. The two standards battled for about a decade for dominance, with VHS eventually emerging victorious. Both technologies were eventually made obsolete by digital.
Similar to that battle, the home-entertainment industry is likely to consolidate around a single industry standard, which means the less popular format is doomed to extinction once a clear winner is evident.
Gibson said Sony had a formidable head start in the format war, having sold about 5 million Blu-ray-compatible PlayStation 3 consoles in North America.
Other studios supporting Sony's high-definition format include Sony Corp., Walt Disney Co and 20th Century Fox, which is owned by News Corp., also owner of Dow Jones, parent company of MarketWatch and publisher of this report.

Computers is going to dramatically change in the next five years

Gates hails age of digital senses
"Google has done a good job," he said. "We expect to surprise people that we can match and even do better there - people should wait and see.

The way people interact with computers is going to dramatically change in the next five years, Microsoft chief Bill Gates has told BBC News.
He predicted that the keyboard and mouse would gradually give way to more intuitive and natural technologies.

In particular, he said, touch, vision and speech interfaces would become increasingly important.

Mr Gates made his comments whilst answering questions from BBC News website readers.

"This whole idea of what I call natural user interface is really redefining the experience," he said.

We're adding the ability to touch and directly manipulate, we're adding vision so the computer can see what you're doing, we're adding the pen, we're adding speech," he told BBC News.

During the interview Mr Gates showed off the Microsoft Surface computer, a large table like machine with a multi-touch interface.

"I'll be brave, in five years we'll have many tens of million of people sitting browsing their photos, browsing their music, organising their lives using this type of touch interface," he said.

Mr Gates expanded on this theme of natural interfaces during the CES keynote speech he made on the first day of the hi-tech fair.

Citing the success of the iPhone and the controller for the Nintendo Wii game console, Mr Gates said such interfaces were a big hit with consumers.

Vista versions
Although Microsoft Windows has become the most widely used operating system in the world, Mr Gates admitted, in answer to readers questions, that he had not always got things right.

People thought we were late with the [web] browser," he admitted.

In addition, he said, search was an area where people thought that Microsoft had not fulfilled expectations.

"Google has done a good job," he said. "We expect to surprise people that we can match and even do better there - people should wait and see."

Mr Gates also answered questions about Windows Vista, the firm's often-criticised operating system, launched last year.

"I'm very proud of Vista," he said. "Like all of the products we ship, we hear how we could do this differently or that differently."

He said the firm had received "lots of feedback" on the software.

"We do downloads and improvements all of the time and of course there'll be a major new version coming along," he said.

Microsoft has just announced that it has sold 100 million licences for the operating system.

During the questions and answer session he also revealed his own computer habits.

"There are a lot of PCs in my house - over 10," he said.

In particular, he said, he used a tablet PC, a notebook computer that is operated with a digital stylus.

However, he said, he does not use his competitor's products.

"There are no Macs in my house," he admitted.


Are humans really better search filters than computers?

Wikia search engine hopes to steal Google's thunder
Are humans really better search filters than computers? That's the question Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales hopes to answer as he unveils his new human-powered search engine Monday.

Wales will open the doors to curious web users to begin developing Wikia, the open source search engine that borrows a page from his original free encyclopedia. It also tries to steal a little thunder away from the reigning search champ, Google Inc.

"We're publishing all the algorithms so everyone can see how things work and we're publishing all the data as well so other people can collaborate with us to create other kinds of search indexes," Wales said in an interview.

The stakes are huge. While there are already a number of contending search engines like Yahoo, and MSN Live, none has collared the multi-billion dollar online advertising market that fuels search engines to the extent Google has. And while Google and other search companies constantly update their complex software code to improve search results, their algorithms are never disclosed, for competitive reasons.

Enter Wales to shake things up. Although there have been other human-powered search engines floating around the web, none have more clout behind them than Wikia. As the founder of Wikipedia, Wales has become somewhat of an Internet celebrity and has millions of tech savvy users supporting his dream of making the web a fully democratic tool.

"In the last few years, the quality of search has hit a plateau," Wales said. "People are starting to notice that communities can do really amazing things if given the right tools. Additionally, it's taking that concept and recognizing the desire to experiment and see how we can move beyond the next level of quality."

For example, Wales says, if you're searching for a hotel in Paris, you don't want to turn up results on Paris Hilton's latest misadventures. Using Wikia, community members would program a search engine that would be able to recognize that you're not really interested in celebrity gossip.

Greg Sterling, an analyst with Sterling Market Intelligence, says that Wales' populous approach should intrigue some early adopters who have grown tired of Google's complex search algorithms.

"He's aligning himself with the people of Wikipedia versus the Death Star that Google is," Sterling said.

But there's a little twist. While Wikia gears up to square off against Google in the search world, Google has begun testing a new service that will directly compete with the reigning online encyclopedia, Wales' Wikipedia.

Dubbed Knol, the service will enlist experts to write on a wide-ranging amount of subjects and pay them depending on the amount of advertising displayed on the website. It should be launched sometime this year. The idea behind Knol is to avoid the mistakes that may be frequently made on Wikipedia.

"There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it. We believe that many do not share that knowledge today simply because it is not easy enough to do that," said Udi Manber, a Google vice-president of engineering, in a recent posting on the official Google blog.

While the service may offer accurate reports, Knol is being viewed more as a way to bump Wikipedia articles down the search ranking list and to grab ad revenue in the process.

Yankee Group analyst Jonathan Edwards said previous attempts at competing with Wikipedia by and Yahoo have failed and he doesn't see Knol faring any better.

"Wikipedia conquered the quality stigma they faced in 2006 and now the accuracy is astounding," Edwards said. "The inmates aren't running the asylum anymore and any mistakes are usually fixed as soon as its posted."

Wales also doesn't seem to be too worried about Knol.

"To me, since there is no collaboration, it's like another blogging platform," Wales said. "I think everyone's got really excited over comparing Knol and Wikipedia, but I just don't see it."

While Wikia may resonate with some groups of people, its unlikely to catch on to the mainstream search audience, says Sterling. But Wales' goal of attaining five per cent of search engine market share with Wikia may not be as lofty as experts originally thought.

"Anytime a company becomes as successful or as dominant as Google has become . . . there's resistance or backlash, and that creates a hunger for alternatives," Sterling said. "If the engine works and there's successful adoption, we could see it hitting those targets in a three-year window."

Wikia Search Engine Debuts January 7
After more than one year of work and $14 million dollar worth of funding and collaborations with, Bessemer Venture Partners, Netscape Communications co-founder Marc Andreesen, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Lotus Development founder and Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder Mitch Kapor, Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, announced the debut of Wikia Search engine on January 7, 2008.

Talks of a future internet search engine started December 2006, when Wales made a short comment on the possibility, but nothing was made very clear at the time. Wales limited himself to saying that Wikipedia and the ‘Search Wikia’ how it has been temporarily named, had completely separate managements.

It wasn’t until January 31, 2007 that Wales officially announced Wikia’s plans to build a search engine to rival Google and Yahoo, saying that “search should be open, transparent, participatory and democratic.” The goal was to achieve a 5 percent share of the search market, which still remains to be seen after this month’s launch.

Jimmy Wales said, according to New York Times: “We want to make it really clear that when people arrive and do searches, they should not expect to find a Google killer. Instead, people who use the Wikia search engine should understand that they are part of the early stages of a project to build a ‘Google-quality’ search engine.”

One major advantage Wikia search engine will have will be the reputation of the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, and the algorithm it is based on. Users are given the possibility to contribute to the relevance of the results, by rating the results and even by adding mini-articles, a similar concept as that of Wikipedia.

Wales continues to militate for the complete transparency and freedom of choice, as he thinks, according to the same source, that “it is unhealthy for the citizens of the world that so much of our information is controlled by such a small number of players, behind closed doors,” referring to the fact that there are only three major companies in the search engine market, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, and no one is aware of the criteria they use when they rank certain sites.

The lighter side of Bill Gates'

The lighter side of Bill Gates' keynote at CES
CNET's Scott Ard is covering the Bill Gates keynote at CES. We have a report with product announcements and other details, but check back here for live updates on the demos that work and don't, possible celebrity sightings and the humorous moments in Gates' speech, which could be his last at CES.

5:45 p.m.: We're inside a cavernous ballroom at the Venetian hotel with several hundred accredited journalists and bloggers, awaiting Bill Gates' scheduled appearance at 6:30 p.m. I would have simply described us all as "journalists," but the organizers of the show this year have issued press credentials labeled "Blogger" or "Press." In any case, this "Press" person will be imitating a blogger covering Gates' speech in real time.

6:30 p.m.: And we're off. But instead of Gates we're being treated to a promotional video from the CES. Lot's of happy shiny people looking at happy shiny gadgets.

Gary Shapiro, the head of the CEA, which produces CES, is addressing the several thousand attendee, playing up the list of keynote speeches and whatnot. He's got some kind of very large watch on his right wrist. Microsoft's SPOT?

6:40 p.m.: After a short video touting Microsoft products, Gates takes the stage--light blue sweater over a collared shirt and dark pants. He reminisces about his history at CES.

"The first digital decade has been fantasticall sucessful," he says. "Ten years ago i talked about the pieces that go into this."

"This is my last keynote," he tells the audience.

He begins by introducing a video about his time at Microsoft.

The video is about Gates' "last full day at Microsoft." Video shows Gates driving a Ford Focus with a briefcase on top around the Microsoft campus. One clip shows him in the gym doing incline press. "Am i ready to take my shirt off?," Gates asks a trainer. The trainer's response: "Not yet."

In another snippet, Gates plays a riff on Guitar Hero while talking with rock band U2's Bono over the phone. Bono says "we're full up in the band. All positions are filled. I can't just replace The Edge because you got a high score on Guitar Hero."

In search of yet another post-Microsoft job, Gates speaks with Hillary Clinton about "who would be your best running mate. He also makes calls to Al Gore and Barack Obama. Short answer: they aren't interested.

Finally, Gates turns out the lights in his office, picks up a cardboard box and heads to his Ford. Placing the box on top of the car, he starts it up, pulls away...and his box slides off the roof and crashes to the ground.

At the very end, NBC anchor Brian Williams laments that he won't be able to report on Gates any longer, a man he describes as too cheap to spend more than $7 billion for a haircut.

6:55 p.m.: Gates is back to more somber topics, discussing the future of computing--"high-definition experiences everywhere," "rich devices" that are "service connected" and "the power of natural user interface."

7 p.m.: Moving on to Vista, Gates says 100 million people are now using Vista. I didn't catch the words "happily" or "willfully," but 100 million it is. Meanwhile, he says 20 million people are using Windows Mobile. He introduces a Microsoft exec, Mika Krammer, to talk about and demonstrate Windows Live. Been there, so we'll rest for a bit.

7:10 p.m.: Gates is back and demonstrating what the company calls Surface PC, essentially a glass table that serves as a touch-sensitive computer. In his demo, Gates is standing over the table, designing a snowboard by sliding various logos around and adding bindings. "I think that's a good-looking snowboard, but before I decide to buy it I'd like to show it to some of my friends." So he uploads the image for sharing.

Gates also introduces a video about Microsoft's collaboration with NBC in broadcasting the 2008 Olympics. Bob Costas closes with another humorous dig at Gates' search for a new job after Microsoft: "Bill, one last thing, you have to stop calling me. There is simply no place for you on our Beijing telecast."

7:15 p.m.: Gates introduces Robbie Bach, head of the company's entertainment and devices division, to talk about some new partnerships with Disney, MGM and others. Details are in our news story here.

Bach appears to take a jab at Apple. In talking about the company's media products, such as DVR capabilities, he emphasizes that these are not "hobbies" for Microsoft. If you recall, earlier this year Steve Jobs described Apple TV as a "hobby" for the company.

7:32 p.m.: Gates is back with a device that can use face recognition to identify a person. or place. It correctly identifies Bach, with a notation "Owes me $20."

Gates notes that it's not a real shipping product, but something from the research labs. Bach looks at the brick-like device and quips, "you can tell that came from the labs. That's for sure."

Gates and Bach are talking about Gates' history at CES, when Bach suddenly challenges Gates to a dual on Guitar Hero. Bach says he needs to bring in a ringer and introduces Kelly Leone (spelling unsure because they are not displaying the names of guests on-screen). She rips into "Welcome to the Jungle," and Gates responds, "She's pretty good." Gates then introduces his own ringer: Slash.

Slash performs a bit of the same song, but with a real guitar. Killer. He then walks off stage to the left, while Gates exits to the right. The end of an era.

CES 2008: Bill Gates Keynote

Speech is about to start. Flash photography is apparently limited to the first 60 seconds of the keynote.

President and CEO Gary Shapiro of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) on stage to introduce CES. Says CES is the best four days of the year.

Here comes Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. He's given 10 keynotes, says Shapiro, who goes on to praise Gates and his acccomplishments. Shapiro now talking about how Gates, last year, talked about Microsoft's interconnectivity between their products.

Bill will be stepping down from his chairman duties in July, he'll still stay involved to some extent, as well as concentrate harder on his philanthropy efforts, says Shapiro.

Gates now on stage. Talking about advent of widespread PC and internet use, digital photography and music software. Says all media will be software driven.

Mentioning examples of progress with the web merging with TVs, like a news show where you see only what you're interested in, also talking about smart phones and handheld PCs.

This is only the beginning, he says.

Admits that this is his last keynote. He'll be moving from Microsoft, where he's worked since he's 17, to full-time work at his foundation.

Some montage with a techno version of "If you believe in magic" is playing underneath images of peole interacting with computers. Goes into shooting a video prophesizing about what Bill's last day will be like. Talking heads from Microsoft execs saying he'll be fine. Gates playing with action figures saying "never doubt the power of software." Bill is in a gym, working out...poorly. Falls off an exercise ball. "Big pimping I'm Bill G, big pimping you know me," says Bill into a microphone. Jay-Z cameo poking fun at the idea of making a comeback. Now jamming on a Guitar Hero guitar, calls U2's Bono, wants to get into U2 because he got a higher score in GH than Edge.

Speilberg and George Clooney making cameos now. Jon Stewart. This is bizarre.

Jon Stewart now making fun of Gates for running off-stage after a Daily Show interview. This is all tongue-in-cheek, Bill doesn't know what to do with himself after leaving Microsoft. Wow, Clinton, Obama, and Gore all made cameos. it's over. Roaring applause from the audience.

Gates moves on to talking about the second digital decade, which will be more user-centric. The applications will run on everything, bridge across platforms. Mapping services, friends lists, etc., that link work and business, says these applications exist in the "cloud."

High-def will be everywhere. Meeting room computer desk displays, projection services, everything will be HD. Whatever kind of application you're dealing with will have a very rich quality to it - high quality video and audio.

All these kinds of devices will be interconnected. Users will no longer have to bridge between devices, it will happen automatically. If you just pick up a device and log in, it'll be up and running right then, and information can be easily shared. It's important, says Gates, to have the system also work to filter information for you, in other words the devices would get to know you and your interests.

The third point (Bill mentions iPhone), is how you actually interface with these devices. Touch screens, speech, voice recognition, gestures, they're all working to create new experiences. Gates says we're just at the beginning of this age. Giving examples like home automation and altered retail experiences that can be affected by the interface changes over the next 10 years.

Next year PC sales should see double-digit growth. 100 million people using Vista at this point. Last year PC sales grew as well this past year. PCs are being used in new ways. Over 400 million people using Windows Live, 10 million with Windows Mobile which will be doubled over the next year.

Mika Krammer now on stage to talk about Windows Live ID. With a new Windows Live calendar, planning is made easier by overlaying others' calendars on top of yours to synchronize better. An invite service is built-in for events, showing how to access names to send invites and share photos.

Now manipulating a number of five photos showing different views of the same area, combines them with a function to create one continuous landscape. Searching vidoes that play when hovered over.

Talking about windows mobile. Mika gives the example of sending a photo she took in Vegas directly to her Live space. She leaves the stage. Gates is back.

He's now looking at a Microsoft Surface which uses a camera and special software to recognize gestures. He's flicking his arm across the surface and rotating the board, using finger to drag decals onto the board and preview them. Can use a color wheel to adjust colors and design schemes. Then signs his name, resizes it, pastes it onto the board. To share with friends he puts his phone on the screen which is recognized and he can then manipulate it through the screen. Surface works, says Gates, because it doesn't require you to learn anything new.

Mentions Silverlight tech, which he says is the run-time to let people create new experienses. Microsoft will partner with NBC as an exclusive online partner for the 2008 Olympics. Take footage from all the events and make it available live, on-demand, and let you choose which events you want to see. Will illustrate what kinds of advantages the merging of TV and the internet provide.

Bob Costas is on a video now, talking about the Beijing Olympics. Can apparently choose which specific athletes you want to watch.

Robbie Bach, president of entertainment devices division coming on stage. Talking about connected entertainment. First is gaming, says Windows gaming will continue to be strong. Praising Vista as a gaming platform. 17.7 million consoles shipped to date for Xbox 360. 3.5 billion dollars worth of business through November. Xbox Live is now over 10 million users.

People on Xbox Live enjoy TV and movies as well as games. ABC and Disney will be bringing TV shows to live. Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Hannah Montana, that sort of thing. MGM bringing its library of films to Live as well. Over 35 studios and networks supporting Live. Says it speaks to the power of digital distribution.

Moving on to Media Center. Talking extender technology. HP and Samsung will build extender tech, which connects TVs to the web. DVR Anywhere tech, lets you record to media room in one place and distribute it. Showtime, TNT, and CNN will also join up with Microsoft to provide for more interactive experiences. British Telecom will be the first provider for these kinds of experiences.

Zune has been doing well, says Bach, that it's becoming the "clear alternative" to the iPod. Zune to be sold in Canada in the coming year. Talking about Zune Social, which is in beta testing right now. Molly O'Donnell on stage to tour Zune Social. Have a Zune "card" in the center of the Social web page, which tracks most listened to artist, songs, and can be customized. This way friends can see what you're listening to. An application has been made by testers to post the card into their Facebook pages.

O'Donnell is saying Zune social is all about "people powered music discovery". Showing The Shins' Zune page, looks very much like a MySpace or Facebook page with a friends list, personal picture, etc. If you click on a song it brings you directly to a purchase page. Easy money!

Ford Sync is now the subject of discussion. Ford will ship 1 million Sync enabled cars by end of next year. There's a Lincoln on stage now. Bach gets in. Molly is in the driver's seat. Thousands of songs on Zune can sync with car, windows mobile phone contacts and numbers and such are synced with car. You hit a button on the steering wheel, say play "artist" and the song plays. Really grating-sounding robotic voice apparently chirps up to confirm selections. Auto-911 assist also a feature.

Phones outsell PCs by about 4:1. Bach says phones are very important to their future. Will sell 20 million phones this year on current pace. O'Donnell is back up on stage. Windows Mobile phone is used to automatically detect where you are (in this case vegas). O'Donnell says movies into the phone, it locates a list, says "Sweeny Todd" and buys tickets with voice commands, adds contacts in the phone to Bach and sends him message with all the ticket information. Bach checks his phone, checks his messages, sees the one from Molly, then for some reason decides to watch a Cloverfield trailer on his phone.

Bach wrapping it up now, says the main focus is to build community and create new business models.

Bill coming back on stage. Holding a device that's still under development. Points it at Bach, device recognizes him and brings up a note that Bach owes Gates money. Points it up at a theatre, information comes up with listing and it plays a unique advertisement. Points the viewer at a random part of the city to try and find a hotel he's going to, eventually zooms into the venue and shows reservation time. Gates says this type of device will be in your phone eventually, which can store all sorts of text, pictures, and various pieces of media.

Showing a clip of CES 2001 with The Rock on stage. CES 2005 with Conan jumping around on stage. Apparently the device is recording the current keynote as it's being given.

Oh snap. Bach just challenged Gates to Guitar Hero 3.

Kelly Law-Yone, a Guitar Hero champ, now onstage to rock out. Bill isn't playing yet. She played a little bit of Welcome to the Jungle. Bill brings out Slash from Velvet Revolver. He's playing Welcome to the Jungle on a real guitar. What is happening?

Slash is now soloing. Bach just said goodbye. Gates didn't say anything.

It's over...lights out.

CES NEWS :JVC unveils "thinnest" LCDs, TVs with iPod dock

The International CES features 2,700 exhibitors spanning 30 product categories from markets including audio, digital content creation and distribution, digital imaging, embedded technology, gaming (digital entertainment), high-performance audio & home theater, video, home networking, in-vehicle technology and wireless.

JVC (6792.T: Quote, Profile, Research) on Sunday unveiled an LCD TV less than 3 inches thick, calling it the world's thinnest flat-screen television, as the Consumer Electronics Show began.
Also at the show, JVC said it would unveil four new LCD models that each sport a built-in dock for the iPod, Apple Inc's (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) market leading portable digital media players.
JVC said its new slim TV, which includes a TV tuner, measures 1.5 inches, or 39 millimeters (mm) at its narrowest, with a maximum depth of 2.9 inches (74 mm) at the center.
Rival Sharp Corp (6753.T: Quote, Profile, Research) in August revealed prototype 52-inch LCD TVs, which were 20 mm thick. Its conventional 52-inch TV measures 81 mm in thickness.
TV makers are scrambling to develop thinner models to pre-empt rivals, which are eyeing mass production of organic light-emitting diode TVs, known for thinness and crisp images.
JVC said its new slim design televisions would be available in 42-inch and 46-inch diagonal screen sizes in early summer and that it planned to announce pricing at that time.
JVC said its new P-Series TVs, which range in size from 32 inches to 52 inches, can be used to play videos or music or view photographs stored on an iPod placed in a dock on the TV.
The TV's remote control, which has a circular keypad that mimics the iPod's control wheel, can be used to find and select content on the iPod, JVC said.
The company forecast availability for the 32-inch, 42-inch TVs with iPod docks in March; an April launch for the 47-inch model and a summer launch for the 52-inch model. It did not reveal prices.
The Consumer Electronics Show runs this week in Las Vegas.


The International CES features 2,700 exhibitors spanning 30 product categories from markets including audio, digital content creation and distribution, digital imaging, embedded technology, gaming (digital entertainment), high-performance audio & home theater, video, home networking, in-vehicle technology and wireless.

2008 International CES Exhibitor Directory.

Audio .
Biometrics .
Blank Media .
Broadband .
Computer Hardware and Software .
Content Development .
Digital Imaging and Video Editing .
Electronic Gaming .
Electronics Clothing and Accessories .
Embedded Technologies .
Film and Video Production (Professional Grade) .
High Performance Audio .
Home Appliances .
Home Data Networking .
Home Healthcare Products .
Home Theater .
Integrated Home Systems .
Internet Protocol TV (IPTV)
Mobile Office .
Mobile and Vehicle Electronics .
Online Commercial Products and Services .
Online and Internet .
Personal Electronics .
Personal Safety and Security Products .
Photographic Equipment .
Retail Resource .
Robotics .
Satellite Systems .
Small Office and Home Office .
Sports Electronics
Subscriber Services
Trade Associations
Voice-over-IP (VoIP) Hardware and Software
Wireless Communications
Other Consumer Electronics

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