Interviews are essential since they reveal many things about the future of technology, the strategies Companies follow and other important information that help users to have a better perception and understanding on the latest technologies.
Bo Lustrup , Kiss' Marketing manager, answers our questions about Kiss and it's future plans.
CDRinfo : Can you give us a little KiSS background?
Bo Lustrup : KiSS Technology A/S was founded in 1994, and in the space of a few years has established itself as one of the world's leading producers of DVD products and DVB receivers. KiSS Technology is based in Hørsholm (Greater Copenhagen) and has three areas of business: DVD solutions, DVB solutions, plasma- and TFT displays.
CDRinfo : What is KiSS' position in the DVD player/Recorder market?
Bo Lustrup :KiSS has on top of the innovative DVD Player DP-508 made the first Recorder with Ethernet access (the DP-558). This will give the user many benefits both related to the recording but also in regards to other information. The online EPG (Electronic Program Guide) guide and the possibility to use it with a PC in a local network will help to positioning the recorder as one of the best in the market.
CDRinfo : What are KiSS' strengths and weaknesses?
Bo Lustrup :KiSS has a very powerful and innovative team and in close cooperation with Sigma Designs and partners brings new technology to the market faster than anybody else.
The first DivX Player in the world was made by KiSS and later the first Ethernet enabled player was launched and they have been winning awards in several countries. Just recently we received the award for the New DP-600 at Retail Vision in US. One of our goals is to establish a brand name globally and if you should mention a weakness is that we in the general public eyes need to build the brand awareness like some of our competitors have.
CDRinfo : How have your plans progressed so far this year? What were they and what can we expect for the remainder of this year?
Bo Lustrup :The plans have progressed even better than expected and I believe that the remainder for this year will be the Boxes for VOD (Video on demand) and the Plasma with wireless and built in hard disk drive and DVD (Plasma 42”, which will available in the autumn).
CDRinfo : What does the future hold for KiSS?
Bo Lustrup : Become a brand name!
CDRinfo : Your opinion on technology in general (trends, future developments, difficulties)?
Bo Lustrup :The trends in general are going towards more converging products (phones, cameras, DVDs, settop boxes and receivers). The progress of more real broadband availability will make it possible for the growth of a high end communication between everybody and will demand for products suitable for supporting this demand. VOD and TV on Demand will in a few years become available.
CDRinfo : KiSS offers a relatively wide range of products in a niche market. Will you stay focused on this market or do you intend to expand into other areas?
Bo Lustrup :We are expanding in Plasma, LCD screens, Recorders, Receivers and Streaming boxes.
CDRinfo : What developments do you foresee for DivX and MPEG4, but also for any emerging standards you feel will play a major role?
Bo Lustrup :We are supporting all the standards available (DivX, XviD, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, WMV9 and High resolution DivX, Nero Digital + more to come).
Video on demand WMV9 seems to have a big impact on the major film studios, but both DivX and Microsoft will have a part of the market.
CDRinfo : What regions constitute strong markets for KiSS?
Bo Lustrup :Europe have been and is still the strongest market for KiSS, but our presence in US, Korea and Australia and other parts of the world are getting stronger and stronger.
CDRinfo : What are the differences that you have seen between the three key markets, North America, Asia and Europe, especially in terms of how they develop and adopt new technologies?
Bo Lustrup :Related to KiSS products it is a combination of broadband availability and the knowledge of DivX which have the highest impact on the sales. Korea is growing very fast and we expect to sell between 50,000 to 100,000 boxes over the next year in this area. Here broadband is available.
CDRinfo : How big a role does R&D play?
Bo Lustrup :It is very important and it has been and still is the “engine” to our success.
CDRinfo : Do you design your own circuits and write firmware for your products, how much is actually KiSS' own design?
Bo Lustrup :All KiSS’ products are using the chip-set from Sigma Designs, but we are developing much of the software ourselves and have been developing some of the major software parts.
CDRinfo : An added cost for any manufacturer is the royalties that must be paid. What are your views on this and what would you like to see change here?
Bo Lustrup :The added cost regarding royalties should be equal to all the manufactures.