Audio New for August 16, 2006

by | Aug 16, 2006 | Audio News | 0 comments

Aussie Addiction to Home Electronics Mirrors U.S. – The prime interest rate just went up again in Australia, but retailers and economists agree that it won’t stop the Australian consumer from loading up on plasma screens, notebook computers and iPods. Many retailers feel that although another rise is predicted for November, it will only result in consumers staying home more due to high fuel prices and limited budgets, and investing in home theaters and electronic gadgets for the home. One was quoted as saying “They’re tossing up whether to go to the movies or sit in front of a big plasma.” Vendors are happy for the population to be suffering affluenza (luxury fever) as long as they keep buying. Some economists have a growing concern that the pursuit of big TVs, broadband Internet and iPods is not healthy. Says one: “Our lifestyle expectations have been ratcheted up beyond the ability of our income to accommodate.”

Daewoo Electronics Intros Next-Generation Set-Top Box – Metalink Ltd. – a company providing silicon solutions for wireless and wired broadband communications – is collaborating with Daewoo Electronics to have their new set-top box incorporate Metalink’s WLANPlus chipset. It will deliver wireless multiple hi-def video streams, supporting the most demanding optional specs of the 802.11n standard which is needed to enable hi-def video streaming on multiple displays throughout the home. The technology will be used for video streaming applications in many products, including DTV, HDTV, set-top boxes, media adaptors and digital video recorders.

Best Buy Expanding in China – The largest U.S. home appliance chain is getting ready to open its first store in the world’s most populous country.  Best Buy already has acquired a major Chinese electrical appliance company, and is considering further acquisitions in China. The new store is expected to be the first of many as Best Buy enters the $75 billion home appliance market in China.

Japan May Ease Rules for Time-Shifting Telecasts
– Aiming to improve viewer convenience before analog video broadcasting is replaced by all-digital service in 2011, the Japanese government plans to ask broadcasters and home electronics companies to ease a copy protection rule for DTV to allow the copying of recorded programs more than once.  At present, broadcasters and electronics companies use a “copy once” mechanism that restricts the number of recordings to only one using special signals sent out by broadcasters. Under the system, digital TV programs recorded on a hard disc are automatically erased when copied onto a DVD, for example, and copying from one DVD to another is impossible.  The mechanism was introduced because of fears that since the picture quality of digital programs didn’t deteriorate even if re-recorded many times, copyright-threatening proliferation could occur. The removal of the recording limit may be realized within next year for some programs.

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