Consumer Electronics Top Online Sales in Q2 – Consumer electronics and computers (hardware and software) were among the fastest-growing online product categories during the second quarter of this year. Research film ComScore said online sales of CE and PC products grew at least 15% year over year, matched only by sales of live event tickets. A spokesperson said it was clear consumers are continuing to shift to online, with almost $1 of every $10 in discretionary spending now occurring online. The shift was attributed to convenience, lower prices and comparisons. The top 25 online retailers accounted for 66.4% of dollar volume. This has begun to have an effect on brick-and-mortar stores.
Speaker Stereo and Pseudo-Surround from Mobile Devices – DTS has announced that their high-performance audio technologies will be integrated into two Pantech Vega products – their No. 5 tablet phone and Vega Racer smartphone. Instead of a tiny mono speaker as with nearly all mobile phones, the Racer has dual speakers which with DTS technology will deliver more depth and dimensionality to users. Both devices include dual-mode smart LCDs for a more natural viewing experience. However, both products are currently only available in South Korea.
Nearly 100 Mobile DTV Stations Now Broadcasting – 96 TV stations are using Mobile DTV technology to broadcast their programming to mobile devices, with the number said to grow to 126 by the end of the year, according to Open Mobile Video Coalition – which represents over 900 TV stations. A test is being conducted in Washington DC on conditional access technology with Mobile DTV. It is designed to facilitate audience measurement and supports the eventual launch of subscription programming. Planning is going on as to how broadcasters will implement the new services.
Sony Launching Pandora & Satellite Radio in Cars – Sony is beginning to bring both Pandora’s Internet Radio app and the tuner for SiriusXM’s universal satellite system to a wide range of aftermarket vehicle head units, and at prices lower than competitors’ offerings. Of eight new Sony CD receivers, four feature the SiriusXM universal-tuner connector plus being able to control a Pandora app on a USB-connected iPhone. The flagship unit, the DSX-S310BTX at $280, is the first aftermarket head unit to use Bluetooth’s AVRC profile to control functions of a Pandora app residing on smartphones other than the iPhone. The $90 entry-level head unit is the least-expensive aftermarket unit with universal connector for attaching the SiriusXM tuner, and does not require installation of a translator box and adapter cables as do other brands. The technology was jointly developed by Pandora and Sony and will be available to other suppliers as well.
New Manufacturer Partnership for Active-Shutter 3D Glasses – Following the efforts of the Consumer Electronics Association to have a standards process for 3D glasses, to accelerate the growth of 3D-related products, Panasonic, Sony and Samsung had announced they will team with Xpand 3D for a new standard for active-shutter 3D glasses. They have named their partnership the Full HD 3D Glasses Initiative, and plan to introduce the universal 3D glasses to market by 2012. The standardization will include multiple types of infrared system protocols between glasses and displays. They are targeted to be backward compatible with all makers’ 2011 active-shutter 3DTVs. The confusion generated by the present system of two diametrically-opposed systems – active-shutter and polarized passive glasses – plus the differing proprietary protocols of manufacturers of each type – has slowed public acceptance of 3DTV. This action should at least solve the latter problem. But the former still exists.
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