Electronics Online News (c): Feb. 17, 2001
By Marjorie Costello, Editor & Publisher
WEEK IN CEON:
Sony Broadcast See Sales Sag
As DTV Transition Lags, Set New Courses
* Panasonic Bows 720p HD Camcorders To
Reel In Filmmakers, TV Show Shooters
* Sony Makes New HDTV Push At Stations,
Signals Changes Afoot In Consumer HD Efforts
* An HDTV Challenge Of Olympic Proportions
At PMA: Digital Imaging Focuses On Services, Cameras
* Sony Mavicas Build In Stick Support,
Models From Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba, Olympus
* Kodak Comes Up With Combination Camera/MP3 Player
Working On Wireless Camera-To-PC Picture Transfers
* Kodak, Olympus Team Up to Take On Sony In Cameras,
While Sony Sets Up Kiosks In Kodak Challenge
* Best Buy Taps Shutterfly For Online Photo Services
* New DV Camcorders From Sony, Canon
* Microsoft Names New Windows XP, New President/COO
* Thomson, Philips Report Records For 2000
SONY BROADCAST SEE SALES SAG
AS DTV TRANSITION LAGS, SET NEW COURSES
year in February, Sony and Panasonic's broadcast equipment
divisions schedule press events in the New York area to preview
products they will introduce at April's NAB. They also update
the media on the status of their business and comment on DTV and
HDTV from their angle, which often provides insights on the consumer
market. Typically, the companies sound a very upbeat note and
unveil more new products than ever before, often announcing multi-million-dollar
sales with major networks, station groups or post houses. This
year was different.
companies previewed just a handful of products, and expressed
concerns about sales in the broadcast market. Sony did not even
schedule an event, opting to take some broadcast editors to Japan,
post its press kit online, and speak with editors individually.
were insights that should be of importance to the CE industry.
companies attributed sagging station sales to a combination of
factors: last year's confusion about a possible change in the
DTV modulation standard (now put to rest); the growing possibility
that the planned 2006 end to analog broadcasting will be postponed;
and shrinking -- or almost no -- equipment budgets at stations.
Though the transition to DTV is stalled, hurting the bottom lines
of Sony and Panasonic, they are not giving up, coming up with
less expensive HDTV models. In the past, Panasonic seemed more
enthusiastic about HDTV -- both in its broadcast and consumer
operations -- but Sony is sending signals that it is changing
PANASONIC BROADCAST CHIEF SAYS NO ONE IS BUYING
his company's NAB preview on February 8, Panasonic Broadcast's
new president Steve Yuhas -- a long-time Panasonic veteran who
recently took over after the resignation of Warren Allgyer --
said that no one was buying very much of anything -- not just
HDTV products. According to Yuhas, "Sony took some of you
to Japan to tell you business is not good. We brought you to Secaucus
to tell you business is not good."
who was once a top official in Panasonic's old AV systems division,
also heads the newly organized Panasonic Systems Sales Company.
As part of a corporate-wide streamlining initiated in Japan, Matsushita
U.S. now includes three divisions: Systems Consumer, and Industry.
Hitting another theme expressed by top Matsushita Japan officials
-- when describing their large but lumbering company -- Yuhas
observed that, "Panasonic is like Goliath: too slow and too
heavy," adding "we have to change."
STRATEGIES WITH SONY?
Yuhas said sales were sluggish in all markets, he observed that,
"No one has figured out how to make money in HDTV."
VP of marketing Stuart English later admitted that when Panasonic
said 2000 would be the year of HDTV, "We got it wrong."
But he went on to explain Panasonic's new strategy: "We don't
care what broadcasters are transitioning in. We want to create
masters with a shelf life by mastering in HDTV." Panasonic
also wants to shift filmmakers -- particularly those shooting
in 16mm -- to HDTV camcorders, since it is, "not that much
more expensive." But company officials did make a point of
saying that 70% of digital news production is shot with DVCPRO
gear -- though not in HD.
stations are not buying HDTV gear -- such as Panasonic's HD
DVCPRO HD camcorders and D-5 HD VTRs -- the company will turn
attention to other potential HDTV customers, such as video houses,
film documentary makers, episodic TV producers, and digital cinema
backed by new products. This is similar to the HDTV strategy that
Sony Broadcast has been pursuing, but as we will report, Sony
has decided to focus more attention on broadcasters. Panasonic
will also increase its nonbroadcast efforts aimed a selling its
lower priced DVCPRO Proline, which competes with Sony's DVCAM
and consumer DV, to the business and industry market as well as
wedding and event videographers.
CAMCORDERS FOR FILMMAKERS, TV SHOW SHOOTERS
attract producers currently using 16mm to shoot documentaries
and episodic TV, Panasonic will introduce a 720p/24 fps DVCPRO
camcorder, which like other DVCPRO models records on 1/4"
cassettes. Though unpriced at this point, the AJ-HDC24A -- slated
for later this year -- will be less than the $55,000 quoted for
Panasonic's other new 720p DVCPRO HD camcorder. Billed as "the
first high frame rate progressive scan camcorder," the AJ-HDC27A
acquires 720-line, 60 frame progressive scan HD images, and it
is already shipping. Both models feature 1280x720 effective pixel
resolution, which Panasonic said is equal to 1920x1080 but less
expensive. Keeping with another corporate-wide Matsushita initiative,
these DVCPRO HD models incorporate an SD/MMC slot, which in this
application is used for storing set-up files. Panasonic also markets
a $60,000 1080i/60 DVCPRO HD camcorder.
HDTV VTRs, Panasonic introduced a portable DVCPRO HD model --
hailed as "the world's smallest HD production recorder"
-- that can record in either 1080i or 720p, with a built-in downconverter
to 480i. The downconverter also permits outputs of HD and SD signals
in parallel so stations can transmit simultaneously in HDTV or
SDTV. Also for stations, Panasonic has started delivering its
$79,500 DVCPRO server, which records and plays back in several
DVCPRO formats, including DVCPRO HD with an optional $29,500 unit.
The first system went on the air at WRAL when the Raleigh station
began full-time HDTV newscasts on January 28.
MAKES NEW HDTV PUSH AT STATIONS, SIGNALS CHANGES AFOOT IN CONSUMER
reviewing the pre-NAB information posted last week by market leader
Sony, we spoke with several company officials, who also admitted
that the broadcast hardware business is very soft. But they were
quick to add that it was not as bad at Sony as it was at Panasonic.
For example, Alec Shapiro, senior VP of marketing communications
(and formerly with Panasonic Broadcast) pointed to Sony's successful
systems integration operation, where Sony does "two times
the business as its nearest competitor." Sony is also developing
solutions for datacasting and Webcasting requested by station
and corporate customers.
indicated that while it will continue to pursue production houses
with its 24p HDCAM HDTV equipment, it was making a new effort
to attract broadcasters to HDTV. According to Shapiro, by the
time NAB rolls around, "There will be no price difference
between HDCAM and Digital Betacam," (Sony's standard definition
digital format). He also confirmed an interesting report we had
heard from broadcast editors, who had traveled to Japan and met
with Sony officials.
editors told CEON that Sony Corporation's president and COO Kunitake
Ando, the company's number two official, admitted that perhaps
Sony had made a mistake by allocating the majority of its consumer
16:9 HDTV resources to Japan. Ando attributed the decision to
"internal and external politics" such as Japan's better
defined HDTV roll-out schedule. Ando also gave the distinct impression
that changes were afoot, and Sony would be making more consumer
HDTV introductions in the U.S. during 2001.
PRICES FOR HDCAM
consumer HDTV products from Sony would also seem to be
consistent with Sony Broadcast's new HDCAM efforts. According
Larry Thorpe, VP of acquisition, Sony is making a new push among
broadcasters, and, "It is just a matter of time." Incidentally,
Thorpe will receive the 2001 NAB Television Engineering Achievement
Award this April in Las Vegas in recognition of his leadership
in the HDTV movement.
said that Sony's second generation HDCAM camcorders will
be less expensive, smaller and lighter. The HDW-750, slated for
May (and with Memory Stick), is priced at $65,000, as compared
to $75,000 for the first generation. Another 1080i/60 camcorder,
the HDW-730 scheduled for later this year, will be $10,000 to
$15,000 less than the 750, though it will not incorporate the
750's downconverting capability.
will also introduce a new family of HDCAM VTRs and players
during the fourth quarter, also geared towards stations, that
provide built-in upconversion and downconversion. The new HDW-2000
series starts with a $40,000 recorder/player, and also includes
a $60,000 recorder that can play back other 1/2" Sony formats
(analog and digital), plus a $50,000 player with the same 1/2"
HDTV CHALLENGE OF OLYMPIC PROPORTION
Sony nor Panasonic made any announcements about supplying
HDTV gear for the 2002 Winter Olympics, which opens in Salt Lake
City on February 8 -- less than a year away. Panasonic, which
is the official equipment supplier for the host broadcast operation,
told CEON that the house format would be standard definition,
but mentioned that Japan's NHK had been producing some events
during recent Olympics in HDTV. Sony has a long-term deal with
U.S. Olympics TV rights holder NBC to supply equipment to NBC
for its Olympics coverage. But again, Sony had no word on whether
NBC would be producing some events in HDTV. To get the latest
information on the situation, CEON spoke with Dave Mazza, VP for
engineering, NBC Olympics.
said that at this point NBC planned to broadcast the opening ceremonies
in HDTV, most likely taking a feed from NHK. NBC is considering
producing in HDTV at three to four Olympic venues, but there are
additional costs involved. As result, the network wants to work
out an underwriting deal. Mazza indicated that he would most likely
speak with Sony first, because of the broadcast equipment relationship,
but he was also interested in talking with the Consumer Electronics
Association. The Stamford, CT-based official -- who described
himself as a believer in HDTV -- also said he would love to see
the HDTV portions rebroadcast during the next day in places like
malls, so many more Americans could see the Olympics in HDTV.
hopes something can be worked out. The figure skating and hockey
finals in HDTV could become defining events in HDTV history and
help bring home the HDTV gold in consumer HDTV sales.
PMA: DIGITAL IMAGING FOCUSES ON SERVICES, CAMERAS
from February 11 to 14, the annual PMA (Photo Marketing
Association) show was held in Orlando, one of the vacation imagemaking
capitals of the world. Joining the new digital still and camcorder
debuts was another development: a new drive into printing and
other related services aimed at expanding the digital imaging
SONY MAVICAS WITH ONBOARD MEMORY STICK
we get to services, here is CEON's snapshot of the show's
digital still camera debuts. Digital still camera market leader
Sony introduced new Digital Mavica and Cyber-shot lines. The new
Digital Mavicas include four models, starting at $400, and including
two adding direct Memory Stick support to the line's traditional
reliance on floppy disks for storage. A Memory Stick slot is featured
on the March-arriving MVC-FD92 ($600, 1.3 megapixel resolution,
8X optical zoom) and the-top-of-the line MVC-FD97 ($900, 2.1 megapixels,
10X zoom with stabilization). The two also offer MPEG Movie mode,
uncompressed TIFF mode, and USB transfer capability. A 10X optical
zoom is featured on the VGA-level MVC-FD75, ($500), and the 1.3
megapixel MVC-FD87 ($400) incorporates a 3X zoom and can store
on Memory Stick via an
adaptor, with both cameras available in February.
new Cyber-shots, which are smaller and rely on Memory Stick for
storage, arrive in May featuring 3X zooms, USB and new cases,
controls and compact styling. They include the DSC-P30 ($400,
1.3 megapixel) and the DSC-P50 ($500, 2.1 megapixel), both with
MPEG EX Movie, and packed with a 4MB Memory Stick. Because they
can operate on two AA batteries, they can be smaller and lighter.
The DSC-S75 ($700) is a 3.3 megapixel camera featuring a Carl
Zeiss zoom lens, 8MB Memory Stick, Jog Dial navigator as well
as MPEG HQ and MPEG EX Movie modes.
TRIO FROM CANON
PowerShot S300, the new "Digital ELPH," is an ultra
compact 2.1 megapixel still camera with a 3X zoom housed in a
stainless steel body. The $699 model features direct print capabilities
using Canon's new very compact CP-10 printer that makes credit
card-size prints. Print settings are controlled from the camera's
LCD monitor, and a new DSP chip delivers high-speed image processing
and rapid data transfer via USB interface. The PowerShot S300
can also record movie clips with audio at 20 fps as QuickTime
AVI files in three resolutions, and offers
additional storage on an included 8MB CompactFlash (CF) card.
along with the ELPH during Q2 are two other PowerShots -- the
A10 ($499, 1.3 megapixel) and A20 ($599, 2.1 megapixel) -- that
are less expensive. Though they do not have all of the ELPH's
features, the models do offer direct printing to Canon's new printer
and incorporate a 3X zoom.
TOSHIBA, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAS
offers the currently available PV-SD5000 PalmCam ($1,099, 3X optical
zoom), which stores on either floppies or SuperDisk diskettes,
and the PV-DC3000 iPalm ($899, 2X optical zoom), which saves to
SD or MMC cards with a 16MB MMC included -- both with 3.3 megapixels
CCDs and USB. The company will replace the DC3000 with two models
this spring but package them with SD cards at $799 (with 16MB
SD) and $899 (32MB SD).
Imaging Systems unveiled four new digital cameras, all with USB
and SmartMedia: a $249 1.3 megapixel with fixed focus lens, a
$349 2.1 megapixel with a 2X digital zoom, a $399 2.3 megapixel
with 3X optical zoom, and a $599 3.3 megapixel model also with
a 3X optical zoom. At PMA, Olympus showed the $699 Camedia C-2040
Zoom, which bowed at CES. It is a 2.11 megapixel camera with a
super bright F 1.8 3X zoom lens, QuickTime Movie, and 8MB Smart
Media card. At CES, Olympus also introduced the $899 Camedia C-3040
Zoom, a 3.34 megapixel version of the 2040.
COMES UP WITH COMBINATION CAMERA/MP3 PLAYER,
WORKING ON WIRELESS CAMERA-TO-PC PICTURE TRANSFERS
PMA, Kodak demonstrated a prototype RF system that wirelessly
transmits VGA-level digital still images from the just-announced
Kodak mc3 to a laptop in seconds. Kodak's mc3 combines a digital
camera with an MP3 player for under $300, and will be available
in March in packages and prices depending upon the size of the
CF card in the configuration. The mc3, which incorporates a color
reflective LCD screen, can record over 20 minutes of video in
QuickTime on a 64MB CF card, or use the card to store 600 still
images or 1.5 hours of MP3 music.
camera -- which weighs 5.5 ounces without batteries and easily
fits in a small pocket -- is the first to incorporate Kodak's
own CMOS image sensor technology, which the company claims can
"capture outstanding images under all lighting conditions
with excellent color quality." Kodak's CMOS sensor, which
produces VGA-level images, also draws less power, increasing battery
life on its three AAA batteries.
the wireless demonstration, Kodak has been working on a low-cost,
lower-power, high-speed, compact radio transceiver that can support
multimedia and imaging applications. Kodak says that its approach
can download the contents of a 32MB card in about 14 seconds,
compared to about 6 minutes using Bluetooth. Kodak's transceiver
measures about a square inch, with a range of about 150 feet,
and the company is actively at work establishing industry standards
for High Rate Personal Area Networks.
OLYMPUS TEAM UP TO TAKE ON SONY
and Kodak, which often rank second and third behind Sony in digital
cameras, announced at PMA that they had struck an alliance. The
two agreed to cross license digital camera technologies designed
to expand the market for digital photography, but with the implied
goal of taking on Sony.Kodak owns a portfolio of more than 1,000
patents relating to digital cameras and digital photography systems,
while Olympus also has over 1,000.
addition, Kodak and Olympus agreed to work together to promote
improved digital printing services. The services are expected
to use Kodak Internet capabilities, including the Print@Kodak
Internet photofinishing service and Kodak PhotoNet Online. The
announcement did not specifically mention Kodak's Picture Maker
kiosks, which Kodak reported at PMA is found at nearly 30,000
retail locations worldwide (18,000 in the U.S.), making it the
world's largest installed base of digital picture kiosks.
SETTING UP KIOSKS IN KODAK CHALLENGE
Sony, in its bid to take on Kodak's Picture Maker, announced that
it would be launching its own digital imaging kiosks for retailers,
backed by a global branding campaign called "Print by Sony."
Sony will offer a full line of self-service kiosks, called Sony
Digital Photo Finishing Systems, that will produced photo-quality
prints from a range memory cards, compact discs and floppy diskettes.
Consumers can also bring in prints and slides that can be scanned
into the finishing systems, which start arriving later this year.
the kiosks will use Sony printers, Sony also hopes that will make
customers more aware of, and buy, the company's printers for home
use. Sony also said that, "Photo industry forecasts show
U.S. sales of digital cameras will exceed sales of film-based
cameras for the first time in 2001."
BUY TAPS SHUTTERFLY FOR ONLINE PHOTO SERVICES
hoping to capitalize on the services generated by digital imaging,
the nation's leading CE chain, Best Buy, announced that it has
entered into a strategic relationship with leading online photo
service Shutterfly. Best Buy has tapped Shutterfly to create,
manage, and market Best Buy's new Online Photo Center. The Photo
Center will provide "an easy way for Best Buy customers to
learn more about digital photography and have a place to store,
enhance, and print their digital pictures," according to
the announcement. The privately held Shutterfly, based in Redwood
Shores, CA, is backed by Jim Clark, founder of Netscape and Silicon
Graphics, who serves as Shutterfly's chairman. Other investors
include Adobe and several venture capitalists.
online service will be tightly integrated with Best Buy's more
than 400 retail locations through promotions and information provided
in the stores. Customers will be able to access the Photo Center
online (http://photocenter.bestbuy.com), as well as from links
within bestbuy.com, beginning Monday, February 19 and in-store
early this fall at Best Buy's retail locations nationwide. According
to Best Buy, "The total digital photo finishing market will
be a $3.5 billion dollar industry by 2005."
DV CAMCORDERS FROM SONY, CANON
back to consumer imaging hardware, there were several new DV camcorders
introduced by Sony and Canon at PMA. Sony bowed two new models
-- the DCR-TRV17 ($1,100) and the DCR-TRV30 ($1,700) -- that will
be available in April. The TRV30 was hailed as, "The industry's
first 1.5 megapixel CCD camcorder with an intelligent pop-up flash
and a precision color viewfinder." It delivers up to 530
lines of horizontal resolution and 1360x1020 digital stills. Both
of Sony's new DV amcorders feature AV inputs, i.LINK (1394) DV
interface, USB connector, Memory Stick slot, Carl Zeiss lens,
10X optical/120X digital zoom, progressive shutter system, 3.5"
SwivelScreen LCD monitor, MPEG Movie mode, and Super NightShot.
new DV models are less expensive, and in line with the price and
feature trends we saw at CES (CEON, Feb. 10/12). Canon announced
three new digital camcorders in its ZR series, starting at $799
for the ZR20. While the ZR20 can capture stills on tape, the $899
ZR25 and $999 ZR30 also incorporate an MMC/SD slot, with an 8MB
MMC included, and progressive photo mode. In addition to the SP
and LP recording speeds, the ZR30 is the first Mini DV camcorder
to include the Extending Recording function, which uses more compression
so an 80-minute Mini DV cassette can record four hours of material.
Weighing 19 ounces and small enough to rest comfortably in any
hand, the trio share the following: 10x optical/200x digital zoom,
DV interface, image stabilizer that functions in both video and
photo shooting modes, 2.5" color LCD screen, programmed auto
exposure, manual and automatic controls.
NAMES NEW WINDOWS XP, PRESIDENT/COO
support for digital imaging is just one of the features that are
part of Microsoft's upcoming Windows operating system. The new
OS made its first public debut last week in Seattle, and its official
name was announced by Microsoft founder and chief software architect
Bill Gates. Previously code-named Whistler, the new OS is called
Windows XP, short for experience. XP will come in two versions
-- Windows XP Home Edition (for consumers) and Windows XP Professional
(for businesses) -- and be available later this year. As part
of a major rebranding strategy, XP will also be used in naming
Microsoft Office programs.
features a new look that will simplify computing, and "Extends
the personal computing experience by uniting PCs, devices and
services like never before," according to Microsoft. The
Web-friendly Windows XP also delivers on Microsoft's .NET vision,
which links PCs and other devices with the Internet and services
-- with digital imaging one of the major categories targeted.
XP will also make it easier to download digital music, edit home
movies, and play back DVDs, explained Microsoft.
along with PC makers and retailers, hopes the new OS will lead
consumers to buy new PCs loaded with XP, plus XP-related software
and peripherals. Windows XP is based on the more stable code used
for business versions of Windows, like Windows 2000, and it does
not run DOS programs.
at Microsoft, CEO Steve Ballmer has given up the president's title
and promoted Rick Belluzzo -- who heads Microsoft's consumer business
-- to become the company's new president and chief operating officer.
Microsoft's current COO, Bob Herbold, has decided to retire. Prior
to joining Microsoft in September 1999, Belluzzo was CEO of Silicon
Graphics, and before that, executive VP of Hewlett-Packard.
PHILIPS REPORT RECORDS FOR 2000
European-based CE giants, Thomson and Philips, both reported that
2000 was a record year. But both also issued words of caution
about a slowdown in the U.S. at the beginning of 2001. (Currency
conversion for both companies' numbers are based on 1.094 Euro
to 1 U.S. Dollar published February 16.)
EBIT CLIMBS NEARLY 50%
it Paris headquarters on February 12, Thomson Multimedia (TMM)
reported that its revenues climbed to EUR 9.1 billion ($8.3 billion),
up 36% over 1999. The company also posted a 49% rise in operating
income or EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes). EBIT grew
to EUR 546 million ($499 million), which does not count the newly
acquired and cash-generating Technicolor. Profits, or net result,
increased 70% to EUR 394 million ($360 million). Thomson also
observed that objectives set at the time of its November 1999
IPO had been reached a year ahead of schedule.
results reflect the strong performances of TMM's Displays and
Components (revenues up 31.8%), Consumer Products (36.8%), and
Patents & Licensing (36%) sectors. In Consumer Products, results
were driven primarily by digital products, with Thomson shipping
worldwide 6.8 million digital boxes and 1.4 million DVD players,
as compared to 800,000 players in 1999. Thomson noted that its
progress sets the stage to accelerate its development strategy
in new digital segments, which include New Media Services -- with
its first material revenues in 2000 -- and Digital Media Solutions
(DMS), which was formed during 2000.
BUSINESSES AS BUFFER FOR U.S. SLOWDOWN
to 2001, TMM noted that "markets are not as buoyant as at
the beginning of 2000, particularly in the U.S." But "many
categories such as digital and high-end products, which constitute
the core of the Group's activity, continue to enjoy sustained
growth." Because of its geographic and business sector diversification,
TMM anticipates double-digit growth both in revenues and EBIT
for the full year 2001.
of TMM's major business initiatives launched during 2000 will
reach market during 2001, and most reflect TMM's continued execution
of partnerships: optical modules for Microsoft's Xbox, hard-disk
drive (HDD) modules in the CacheVision joint venture with Seagate,
as well as Ultimate TV boxes (U.S.) and TAK TVs (Europe) with
Microsoft/DirecTV and Microsoft, respectively. In addition, TMM
will be expanding Digital Media Solutions, which includes the
Nexstream interactive video networks joint venture with Alcatel.
DMS also includes TMM's acquisition of Philips' broadcast equipment
business and the Technicolor purchase.
WILL HAND OVER MUCH HEALTHIER PHILIPS
company officially known as Royal Philips Electronics (or "Koninklijke
Philips" in Dutch) also reported record earnings for 2000
from its Amsterdam home base on February 8. Not only do the results
reflect Cor Boonstra's success at the helm of the Dutch CE giant
since October 1996. They also point to a company that is in significantly
better shape to hand over to his successor, Gerard Kleisterlee,
at the end of April than the Philips Boonstra inherited. Boonstra
transformed Philips from a money-losing and lumbering conglomerate
into a profitable 21st century enterprise by selling off unprofitable
or non-core businesses, and investing in fast-growing businesses.
2000, Philips' total sales grew to EUR 37.9 billion ($34.6 billion),
which is 20% higher than in 1999. The strongest performers were
semiconductors (revenues up 55%), components (22%), and medical
systems (up 22%). Profits, excluding one-time gains from asset
sales, rose to EUR 2.6 billion ($2.4 billion), representing a
65% increase over 1999.
year's CE sales reached EUR 14.7 billion ($13.4 billion), reflecting
an 18% increase in Philips' largest division. CE income grew to
EUR 374 million ($342 million) and 2.5% of sales, up from EUR
258 million ($236 million) and 2.1% of sales for 1999. Within
the division, Mainstream CE revenues were edged up by consumer
TV, branded monitors and DVD players, which each more than doubled
sales. Philips Digital Networks recorded sharply higher sales,
benefiting from strong demand for set-top boxes.
2001, Philips, like Thomson, observed a slow down in economic
activity in some areas of the world, particularly the U.S. Philips
will keep 2001 capital expenditures below 2000's level, while
focusing on semiconductors, components and the digital parts of
Copyright (c) 2001 Consumer Electronics Online News. All rights
reserved. The material may not be reproduced or distributed
in any form without a subscription/licensing agreement from
Costello Communications, Inc., NY, NY. The content is based
upon information provided to the editor which is believed
to be reliable. Costello Communications is not responsible
for errors or omissions. (phone: 212-735-5771; fax: 212-735-6441.)