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CEATEC Features Prototypes, Some New Japan-Only SKUs

Key consumer electronics manufacturers used CEATEC to highlight new products that are being shipped in Japan or prototypes that will be shipped sometime in the future.

Of course there were a variety of Blu-ray decks being shown, and two HD DVD decks displayed at that format’s booth.

Among the show’s individual highlights was Sony’s Vaio Type X home server system with 1 terabyte of storage space for both A/V and PC usage. It will ship in Japan this fall. Another was the new Toshiba/Canon flat-screen technology, surface-conduction electron-emitter display, or SED. (See TWICE, p. 1, Oct. 11.)

The SED screen shown at CEATEC was a 36-inch model, and a Toshiba spokesperson said it plans to ship its first SED during fiscal year 2005, which runs from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006. U.S. introduction of SED has not been set, and in terms of pricing, Toshiba said, “We aim to offer competitive price[s] with those for LCD and plasma display products.”

Here are some other products of note that were on display:

JVC: Two Everio digital media cameras were introduced. The cameras can shoot up to 60 minutes of DVD-quality video or 10,000 stills using a 4GB Microdrive card that contains a 1-inch removable hard disk drive. The GZ-MC200 “cube style” and GZ-MC100 “vertical”- or “pocket”-style cameras are priced at around 130,000 yen, or about $1,430, and will ship in Japan later this month. Extra Microdrives are priced at 60,000 yen, or about $670.

Sanyo: The LP-23 LCD front projector is a 720p unit that has a 1,280 by 720 resolution, a contrast ratio of 2,000:1 and can project an image of up to 200 inches. Suggested retail is 280,000 yen, or about $3,100, and will ship this month in Japan.

Sharp: A 65-inch LCD display from the AQUOS line was featured at Sharp’s booth. Said to be an industry first and the largest LCD made, there are no firm plans to ship the display either in Japan or the United States. A Sharp spokesperson at the booth reported that it may be “possible to ship” the display sometime in the next two years. Pricing information was not available and wasn’t even estimated by the Sharp spokesperson. Sharp did say in a press release issued at the show that “there is indeed a substantial market for LCD TVs with screens 50 inches and larger” and that the company is planning to introduce a 50-inch LCD and larger during its fiscal 2005, which runs from April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006.

Sony: Among a variety of surprises at the Sony booth was a product from Sony Ericsson, namely a prototype of a cellphone that can that can receive HD broadcasts. The demonstration accepted a feed via satellite, and since it was a prototype, pricing or introduction plans have not been set.

Triluminos, Sony’s LED back-light system was prominently shown at its booth with an LCD display. The WEGA Engine HD was also shown, an integrated digital high-definition system that makes it possible to accurately display a full HD signal (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) to produce high-definition signals. And in audio, Sony showed the “S-Master” sound engine, what the company calls the “world’s first” 100-watt output full digital amplifier. The system is called “crucial in the high-definition experience.”