Broadcasters’ Concerns About Expense of Hi-Def TV – It’s not only consumers who are worried about the cost factors of moving up to HDTV. A single HD TV camera can set a small production company or independent station back $80,000. Transmitters are much more expensive than were analog models. The NAB 2006 Electronics Media Conference is in Las Vegas this week, and 140,000 attendees are trying to figure out how to get HD-ready. Companies such as Apple and Sony are providing digital tools for HDTV production at lower cost, but that is only part of the equation. The new Sony HD Cam shoots in either HD or standard definition – that way stations can continue working in analog and will be equipped to upgrade to DTV when the time comes. Bob Ott, Sony VP, tells station people, “HD isn’t coming. It’s here.” Unlike the public, TV stations can’t put off forever a decision about HD. They are rattled by the federal requirement of turning off all analog TV signals as of Feb. 17, 2009.
CEA Urges Members to Educate About Four Primary Issues – Consumer Electronics Association President and CEO Gary Shapiro sent a letter to all members this week requesting them to education and mobilize consumers around four primary issues: 1) Hearing Loss Prevention; 2) The DTV Transition of Feb. 17, 2009; 3) The V-chip parental control required in every TV set; 4) Home Recording Rights – The movie and music industries continue to seek restrictions on how, when and where consumers may view movies or listen to music. [More information on the latter at: www.hrrc.org]
Video Display Maker Proton Legislates Against Two Companies Using Similar Name – Proton Corporation (founded in 1974) which makes DTVs, LCD displays and HDTV products, has won a preliminary injunction against Prosonic Group Corp. and Protron Digital Corp. from further distributing confusingly similar “Protron” name and brand, citing presumption of Irreparable harm to Proton. Prosonic, maker of LCD displays and DVD players priced lower than those marketed by Proton, has run ads confusing the two brands, and store flyers have shown DVD players mislabeled “Proton.” Purchasers of Proton flat-screen displays have asked dealers why their units were so much more expensive than “the same product” they saw advertised for substantially less.