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 Friday, 10 January, 2003, 04:31 GMT
Sony offers vision of 'reborn TV'
Kunitake Ando at CES
Kunitake Ando: Sees new role for TVs
Alfred Hermida

The television is going to be reborn as the digital entertainment centre in the home, allowing people to watch video or listen to music downloaded from the net, according to Sony's boss.

The company's Chief Operating Officer, Kunitake Ando, predicted the rebirth of the TV as he touted the new products and strategies at the largest consumer electronics show in the world.

"The first 50 years of colour television was just the infancy stage," he said during a keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "The TV is going to be reborn as an always on and connected device."

The Japanese media giant is keen to develop the potential of the TV as a gadget to deliver its vast library of music, movies and TV shows to home viewers over the net.

Anywhere, anytime

It realises that few people are willing to watch a film on their computer.

Wega TV
TVs to be connected to the internet
The Tokyo company is working on new products designed to connect to the internet and to one another, allowing people to listen to music or watch films on their PC, TV or mobile phone.

"Sony's vision is a ubiquitous value network," said Mr Ando, "all devices connected so that you can enjoy content anytime, anywhere."

Broadband is a key part of the company's strategy and the Sony boss stressed the need to encourage more people to sign up to fast internet access.

"The broadband wave will wash over us, and it is coming fast. My message is we need to collaborate now in order to realize our broadband dreams," he said.

Linux machine

Sony is in a unique position to take advantage of the internet as a tool to supply films and music.

We are working to solve piracy online in a way that satisfies users and companies

Kunitake Ando, Sony boss
It owns a major Hollywood studio and record company, as well as building computers, CD burners, DVD players and portable music players.

"Hardware and content are completely dependent on each other," said Mr Ando.

"Thanks to broadband, hardware and content will integrate in a new way."

Mr Ando showed off Sony's Cocoon, a device about the size of a DVD player that hooked up the TV to the internet by broadband.

The machine runs on Linux and has a hard disc that can record 100 hours of video. It is already gone on sale in Japan.

"Cocoon will transform TV into an interactive, intelligent experience," said Mr Ando.

Online piracy

Clie
Sony's new Clie handheld has a camera
As well as showing off the company's new products, Mr Ando also brought onstage Sony artists music duo Mary Mary and actress Drew Barrymore to add a bit of glamour to his address.

The Sony boss recognised that one of the big issues facing media companies is how to stop illegal copies of their material appearing on the net.

But Mr Ando spoke of the need to strike a delicate balance between the interests of companies and what people want.

"We are working to solve piracy online in a way that satisfies users and companies," he said.

"We are committed to the secure distribution of digital content."

The Consumer Electronics Show runs in Las Vegas until 12 January.

Consumer Electronics Show 2003, Las Vegas

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See also:

30 Sep 02 | dot life
14 Sep 02 | Technology
11 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
01 Jul 02 | Entertainment
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