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Monday, January 17, 2005
Sony to Release QUALIA 001

Sony Corp is releasing the Creation Box, a video signal converter featuring Sony's proprietary video signal processing technology, DRC-MFv2.

This product is designed to set between video signal projectors such as tuners and DVDs, and displays such as CRT TVs and thin-panel TVs.

When receiving SDTV signals, the box upconverts them into HDTV signals. The company explained that the product is also capable of converting HDTV signals into those with the higher resolution. Sony will launch this product with a QUALIA brand name. The product is only available on request and the company will start accepting orders on January 29, 2005. The market price is 525,000 yen. Like other previous QUALIA products given code numbers, this one has been dubbed QUALIA 001.

The product's core technology, DRC-MFv2, is the latest version of Digital Reality Creation (DRC) technology, which Sony has been developing to differentiate its TVs from those of other manufacturers. The outlines of the technology were disclosed in advance in August 2004. In addition to having the ability to recreate real images, which are virtually "closer to the actual subject" from the input image signals, this LSI also features a Creation View function that enables viewers to enlarge their favorite part of the video images. Positioning DRC technology as the key differentiation technology for its image products, Sony excluded the technology from the comprehensive patent cross-licensing agreement with Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd in December 2004.

Terminals Provided for Extended Uses
With a view to gradually introducing DRC-MFv2 into the WEGA TV series, Sony integrated DRC-MFv2 capabilities excluding Creation View function with the WEGA Engine HD, an image processor module used in a LCD TV, QUALIA 005, released in November 2004.

Asked why the company has decided to separately market the QUALIA 001 and TVs, a Sony spokesperson said, "DRC's cutting-edge technologies are only featured with our latest TV models, but not with the old ones. Considering that customers do not frequently replace TVs, the QUALIA 001 can be used as a supplement to conventional TVs."

Sony insists that this product has been developed to cope with the discontinuity of technology, a problem caused by a long cycle of TV replacement. "If a customer buys a TV now, he will not replace it for 5-10 years," the spokesperson said. "Nevertheless, TV signal processing technology is evolving fast, given the constantly changing requirements from users," he added. Based on these circumstances, the QUALIA 001 is provided with terminals for extended features in the future.

From NE Asia Online

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