HNS, DirecTV Team Up
NASHVILLE, TENN. — Hughes Network Systems announced at the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association show that it will work with sister company DirecTV to begin marketing DirecWAY satellite-based broadband service as "a key part of DirecTV's expanding broadband strategy," according to a company statement. DirecWAY will enable DirecTV to offer high-speed satellite Internet service with its digital multichannel entertainment services and market it to its existing base of more than 10 million customers, as well as new customers throughout the United States. DirecWAY will be available through independent satellite dealers and retail outlets later this year. The Broadband service price will be $59.99 to $69.99. The DirecWAY antenna provides access to two-way broadband Internet service and to more than 225 channels of DirecTV programming.
Panasonic DVD Portable Will Add 9-inch Screen
OSAKA, JAPAN — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. said that it would introduce the Panasonic DVD-LA95 portable DVD player, featuring a world's first 9-inch LCD display. It includes a TV tuner, and will be capable of reading DVD-RAM discs, the company said. The DVD-LA95 player will be launched in Japan on Sept. 1 at a price yet to be announced, and will ship to overseas markets later in the fall. The unit's rechargeable battery pack will last 2.5 hours, and an optional pack will power up to 8 hours of DVD movies and 13 hours of TV programming. In addition to playing DVD-Video and DVD-RAM discs, the portable unit will playback DVD-Audio, DVD-R (recorded on the Panasonic DMR-E20 DVD video recorder), CDs, CD-R and CD-RW formats. Other features include built-in DTS and Dolby Digital Decoder, and Chapter Review, whose fast five-speed Smooth Motion Scan function scans up to 100 times faster than conventional players.
Emmy Awards Voting To Use Microsoft's UltimateTV PVR
LOS ANGELES — Microsoft's UltimateTV personal video recorder will be the exclusive sponsor of the press tent at the 53rd Primetime Emmy Awards on Sept. 16, the company said. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences also announced it would implement a pilot program enabling judges to use UltimateTV to select their choice for Emmy vote in three major categories. The nominated programming will be digitally recorded to the hard drives of the new PVRs. Boxes will be installed at both the Academy's North Hollywood headquarters, and in the homes of Emmy nominees and voters Sean Hayes, Bradley Whitford and his wife Jane Kaczmarek, and James Cromwell. They all were nominated for various acting awards.
Toshiba Unifies Communications Divisions
WAYNE, N.J. — Toshiba America Consumer Products has unified its product sales training, advertising, public relations, trade show and Internet activities within a single marketing communications department, the company said. Tina Tuccillo, assistant VP, will head the new department, which will bring Toshiba's retail and consumer customers information on the full range of TCAP's consumer electronics products. Toshiba said the realignment of divisions followed "intensive analysis performed as part of the company's corporate-wide Six Sigma initiative."
Electrograph Offers New Financing Terms
HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — Electrograph Systems, a distributor of high-end home theater and business display monitors, said it enhanced its reseller credit program with a variety of new financing and servicing programs. Through an arrangement with Deutsche Financial Services (DFS), Electrograph is offering inventory financing for resellers. Sam Taylor, Electrograph president, said "small business resellers frequently have credit constraints; and due to this issue the DFS program enables Electrograph to assist them with purchasing products with minimal paperwork and legal documentation." Taylor continued, Electrograph will also provide enhanced credit options to resellers above the normal extended terms arrangements.