With a lot of money at stake, the latest round in the DVD wars is being played out in Berlin, at IFA, the world’s biggest consumer electronics fair. Gadgets and products of every kind are on show from more than 1,000 manufacturers, but most attention is being focused on the next-generation of DVD players designed to work with high definition televisions.
Rudy Provoost, Chief Executive of Philips Consumer Electronics, said that will be the next big thing: “The CE business is going through tremendous transformation. And this year’s IFA is a showcase of what it is all about. So, in the area of TV, high definition is really the name of the game. And high definition means that consumers will be able to enjoy better quality and a broader spectrum of programmes.”
It is estimated 14 million HDTVs will be sold in Western Europe this year. But the industry has not been able to agreed on a common format for the DVDs that will be shown on them. Philips, Sony, Panasonic, Dell, HP and Apple back the Blu-Ray system, while Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Toshiba support the rival HD-DVD format. Industry analysts believe that could depress the market for high-definition DVDs as people wait to see which prevails.
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