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Appeared on: Monday, January 07, 2002
Philips Launches First Portable CD Photo Viewer

Today, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Philips Consumer Electronics introduced the industry's first portable TV photo viewer/MP3-CD player. A 2002 Innovations Award winner, the Philips' Photo eXpanium(TM) eXp601 merges the slick technology from the popular eXpanium MP3-CD lineup with the ability to view picture CDs like Kodak's on a television set. With Philips' new groundbreaking innovation, storing, preserving and sharing your favorite memories is easier then ever for consumers.

The dual-function Photo eXpanium modernizes the slide show, while letting users take their favorite music with them -- wherever they travel. And talk about traveling light, grab a picture CD and an MP3-CD for the road, and you're ready to entertain your friends, your family and yourself. From wedding, to birthday and holiday snapshots, to your favorite music, the eXp601 is a simple and complete, space-saving entertainment device perfect for a lifetime of parties, family gatherings and even business presentations.

``Based on the successful eXpanium MP3-CD lineup and solid market research, we built the Photo eXpanium to bring consumers the world's first portable TV photo viewer combined with MP3-CD,'' said Michael Lang, general manager, audio/video, Philips Consumer Electronics, North America. ``The entire concept is innovative. The Photo eXpanium offers enthusiasts of both conventional and digital photography a way to preserve memories and share their photographs with anyone who has a television.''

Photo eXpanium Provides Simple Approach to Viewing Pictures

The exp601 can play back picture CDs from photo labs or images from digital cameras. Consumers can now take the picture CDs they get when developing pictures and turn them into a slide show. The Photo eXpanium eXp601 is designed to connect directly to a TV set via a cable through the player's multi-purpose headphone/composite video jack. Users simply plug the connection into the front of their television sets. Then, they can use the wireless remote to click through their personal slide show. Dedicated buttons on the remote enable consumers to easily crop, rotate or even delete pictures; the product stores how these pictures were changed or omitted and remembers it. So, consumers don't have to re-edit their photos each time they want to show the slide show. The eXp601 additionally handles 'mixed-mode' CDs containing both audio and pictures.

The Multi-Functionality of Photo eXpanium

In addition to the photo editing and viewing tools, the on-screen sorting function allows users to rapidly scan through individual MP3-CD audio tracks. Users can view a complete list of MP3-CD tracks, and easily sort by song title, album or artist name. The information page is displayed on the television screen for both photo CDs and audio MP3-CDs. The eXp601 is capable of playing digital audio CDs with 12 hours of music (128 kbs MP3) and can additionally handle AAC audio files stored on CD-R and CD-RW media. CDs can be formatted both in ISO9660 and UDF. The eXp601 also has a small LCD screen on the front of the player so users listening to MP3 songs can view which track they playing.

The eXp601 supports virtually all picture CD formats available in the market from photo developers. Additionally, the eXp601 comes with a free trial version of the award-winning CompuPic Pro software from Photodex that provides users with an easy yet powerful media management system for their PC. It includes the capability to transfer digital photos and audio files from a PC to a recordable CD using a conventional CD-writer. Such CDs are formatted to provide maximum performance in the eXp601. Available April 2002, the Photo eXpanium eXp601 has a suggested retail price of $199.

Philips and Kodak originally announced this new technology during IFA in August 2001. The new Photo eXpanium builds on this announcement as the first product to bring this new technology to consumers.

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