Sony focusing on IPTV, not Blu-ray recording or timeshifting

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Sony has no plans to challenge LG in the timeshift TV category, or Panasonic in the Blu-ray recording market, preferring instead to focus on DVD recording and the impending IPTV revolution.

Speaking to Current.com.au, technology marketing manager Paul Colley said that integrated hard disk recording solutions, such as those found in recent LG and TEAC releases, could prove unreliable.

“Given the reliability of a physical drive, to have that stuff built in, if you have problems with your drive for example, your whole TV’s offline and you have to send your TV away, so I think from a customer experience it’s probably better to keep that separate,” said Colley.

“I think the core focus for us will be both in standalone recorders, and then IPTV, which effectively delivers timeshifting, because you can have content on demand, catch-up services, all that sort of stuff, which is probably a more robust solution moving forward.”

Considering its Blu-ray credentials, the market has been surprised that Sony has let Panasonic monopolise the Blu-ray recording market. We asked home audio and video product manager Hassan Mahdi if Sony was planning an assault on this category.

“In terms of Blu-ray recording, we don’t have a solution on the horizon as of yet, so our focus will be on DVD recording for the short term,” he replied.

“From a Blu-ray perspective, we’re really focusing on the portion of the market that we’re trying to drive, which is players [and the] penetration of Blu-ray the format, as opposed to complicating the story through recording at this point in time.”

Mahdi said that according the GfK data, the consumers are more interested in Blu-ray players at this juncture. Sony is persisting with its DVD/hard disk recorders, and will re-release a new model shortly. Mahdi reported that GfK figures indicate, “DVD recording is a massive, massive proportion of the market”.

Colley agreed with this analysis, saying that the future of television will be IPTV-based, and that this technology will inherently include its own timeshifting capabilities, effectively making the current integrated solutions redundant.

“As far as the consumer experience goes, we think we can deliver a much better experience through components, reliability and the future with IPTV, moving to that medium to deliver timeshifting.”

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