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Audio News for December 7, 2012

World’s Biggest TV Scheduled for CES 2013; Fines for European TV Cartels Who Fixed CRT Pricing; 5.6% Drop in CE Sales Thanksgiving Week; Sony Claims PS3 for Netflix TV Crown

Published on December 7, 2012

World’s Biggest TV Scheduled for CES 2013 – Westinghouse will show the world’d largest 4K UDH LED TV display at the January Consumer Electronics Show. It is 110 inches size. That makes it 26 inches larger than the current flagship huge TVs from Sony and LG. Ultra High Definition (UHD/4K) is four times higher resolution than the current benchmark, Full HD 2K. Full HD TVs have 2 million pixels, but 4K TVs have 8.29 million on a single screen. One requires an extra-large screen to see the enhancement of the images. The few current UHD feature films range from 400GB to 600GB—much too large for the 50GB maximum capacity of Blu-rays—and therefore come on a hard-drive and cost between $99 and $299 each. UHD players remain a notion of the future, with content demonstrated on “specially developed PCs” for store demos. Sony’s smaller UHD TV retails for $25,000; no price was given for the new Westinghouse display.

Fines for European TV Cartels Who Fixed CRT Pricing - Executives from seven TV display firms met on golf courses in Europe and Asia, attended special meetings in Paris and Hong Kong, and created sophisticated cartels to keep the prices of cathode-ray tubes high for over a decade. After a three-year investigation, the enforcement arm of the European Commission fined the involved parties a total of $1.92 billion. Executives from Samung, LG, Philips, Panasonic, Toshiba, Technicolor and Chunghwa Picture Tubes were involved. An antitrust chief said: “They feature all the worst kinds of anticompetitive behaviour that are strictly forbidden to companies doing business in Europe.” The cartels were formed a decade ago to keep the price of CRT tubes high, when they accounted for up to 70% of the price of a rear-projection TV. When plasma and LCD displays were introduced, the cartel tried to artificially slow down the transition to flat panel TVs. The fines for Philips and Samsung were reduced since they cooperated with the investigation, and Chunghwa Picture Tubes got full immunity for revealing the cartel’s existence in the first place. Panasonic said the commission’s decision was “factually and legally erroneous.”

5.6% Drop in CE Sales Thanksgiving Week – The NPD Group reports that demand for table computers was not enought to offset a 5.6% drop in consumer electronics sales the week of Thanksgiving. This followed a nearly 4% decrease in 2011. Top sellers were TVs, PCs, and Android tablets, accounting for 58% of all holiday week revenue. A record 40% of all flat-panel unit volume came from 32-inch video displays, but an all-time low price average of only $194 dragged down overall revenue. TV panels 50 inches and above experience a unit volume increase of 65%, with the real star being 60-inch and larger displays. Sales of these panels increased ten times over 2010.

Sony Claims PS3 for Netflix TV Crown – Sony Computer Entertainment America has revealed that the PlayStation3 has become the world’s leading platform for viewing of Netflix movies on TVs and is now the primary development platform for the Internet video service. At times it even surpassed the computer in hours of Netflix enjoyment to become the No. 1 platform overall. Thru the free PlayStation Network, users around the world can sign up for Netflix directly from their PS3. Netflix now has over 30 million streaming members globally as the world’ leading Internet subscription service for movies and TV shows. PS3 was the first computer entertainment system to offer Netflix in full 1080p resolution with 5.1-channel Dolby Digital Plus surround, and the first with post-play, second-screen controls, on-device sign-up, and alternate audio options—including subtitles.




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