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Sunday, January 09, 2005
Sony Stakes Out HD Leadership Position


Company's Unique Combination of Products, Content and Services Help Create, Share and Enhance the Enjoyment of High-Definition Entertainment

Among a bounty of newly announced products and technologies, Sony Electronics today demonstrated advancements in high-definition entertainment and the breadth of its HD products on the eve of the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show.

In a press conference featuring Sony Electronics President and COO Hideki "Dick" Komiyama and Sony Corporation of America Chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer, among others, the corporation's diverse spectrum of content and technology assets were highlighted to illustrate a consumer high-definition leadership position unmatched in the industry.

Komiyama also noted Sony Electronics' double-digit sales growth and market share strength, citing a solid holiday season performance for the U.S. electronics business. He noted Sony's market leading products, such as its high-definition, LCD-based Grand WEGA microdisplay televisions, as key drivers for success in 2004 and beyond.

Stringer focused on Sony's convergence strategy that will lead to a horizontal age where technologies and resources are leveraged across product and business groups among the various electronics and entertainment related operations.

"Put a mark on your calendars," Stringer said. "2005 is the year Sony will fulfill its digital promise by creating a formula that melds electronics, video game entertainment, movies, music and other forms of entertainment, and becomes more networked and converged than ever before."

He continued to make his point with Sony's holistic approach to high-definition.

"From pictures to electronics - both consumer and professional?to computer entertainment, Sony is heading down a path where no other competitor dare tread," he said.

Mike Fidler, senior vice president of Sony Electronics' Home Products Division, focused on specific components of Sony's HD world, ranging from displays and computing to digital imaging and recording.

Capturing HD

In addition to the proliferation of high-definition televisions and Sony's important new joint venture with Samsung for the production of LCD TVs beginning this spring, Fidler called attention to other technologies that make Sony "Like No Other" when it comes to putting HD in the hands of consumers. The recently launched HDR-FX1 consumer camcorder was the first to let consumers capture all the power and nuance of high definition in full 1080i resolution. And, he described how new VAIO PCs launched at the show, are equipped with specific hardware and software upgrades to easily edit and share content shot with an HD camcorder.

Also on view was the HVR-Z1U professional HDV camera, featuring significant advancements for professional videographers and aspiring auteurs ready to take the step up to high definition.

HD on Display

The company touted new ways to show high-definition video such as the new 80-inch Chromavue screen with black screen technology, designed to reflect ambient light for an enhanced home theater experience even during the daytime.

The Blu-ray optical disc was also heralded as an important growth engine for high-definition content with demand streaming both from consumers and the content community. Sony suggested that to its first products using blue laser-based optical technology will be available in the U.S. sometime in the next year or two.

Emphasis was also placed on such proven successes as LCD technology, which was predicted to be the standard of choice for watching high-definition content in the coming year. And Fidler noted that Sony is well-poised to make the most of this trend. The first LCD panels from the Sony/Samsung joint manufacturing venture were projected to hit shelves this spring, giving Sony an edge in efficiently providing consumers with flat-panel HD products.

Sony's HD leadership was also attributed to exclusive technology like 3 LCD which improves the viewing experience by optimizing color reproduction full-time, across the entire screen and serves as the foundation for Sony's market-leading Grand WEGA rear-projection micro-displays.

Other products highlighted that add to Sony's HD prowess included:

Vegas 5 software from Sony's professional development division offering powerful HD audio and video production support to meet HDV creativity needs;

The QUALIA 005 flat-panel LCD TV featuring Sony's new Triluminous backlit LED system, the first LCD display with full 1920x1080i resolution;

The latest SXRD 70-inch, rear-projection micro-display television, which achieves full HDTV resolution;

A new line of DVD players and DVD recorders that can up-convert from standard definition to 720p and 1080i


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