SanDisk Enters TV Viewer Market

By Greg Scoblete On Jan 9 2003 - 8:00am

Flash memory and peripheral manufacturer SanDisk may be later to the market with a flash memory TV photo viewer, but it was a delay born of prudence, asserts Tanya Chuang, retail product marketing manager, SanDisk.

The company will be showing its new SanDisk Digital Photo Viewer at the show, here. The product is set to ship in February for a suggested retail price of $79.99.

The unit will read image data from all flash formats presently on the market. It will also, unlike other devices, read images up to 6-megapixels (most units top out at 4-megapixels).

"We put a real emphasis on making the product as easy to use as a VCR," Chuang said.

As such, users will be able to view images in a slideshow, zoom, pan and rotate using the supplied remote control but not much else. Once a user drops a flash card in the slot, it automatically launches into a slide show of all the images saved on the card. The unit can also scroll through images stored on multiple cards inserted at the same time.

"We didn't want to load it with a lot of image editing features because we found through our consumer research that they don't want to get involved with that," Chuang noted.

Though most flash and digital imaging peripheral manufacturers have a photo viewer product on the market, none have put a significant marketing effort behind it, Chuang claimed.

"It's not clear to consumers why they should own a photo viewer," she said. SanDisk will compliment the release of the viewer with an 'aggressive' consumer marketing campaign. The packaging will also reflect a concern voiced by retailers, Chuang said, that some competitive viewers ship in bulky boxes that obscure the product and turn off consumers. SanDisk will offer clamshell packaging for its Photo Viewer.

Chuang indicated that once a video file standard is established as an industry standard, later incarnations of the product would be able to play video and audio stored on flash cards, through the TV.

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