By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Sony Australia managing director Carl Rose has declared his company trailblazers of digital technology in Australia, citing its investment and its early adoption as evidence.

“We were part of the first digital broadcast, we embraced digital television from the start, we believed it was never too soon to pave the way for the infrastructure,” said Rose. “We were considered bullish.”

Rose then said that this participation and belief from the onset of the digital revolution has had a real effect in harnessing the general consumer base behind the technology.

“We made huge investments in making the consumer see how their television [could be improved], showing them something they wanted to be a part of. Emotion is important and consumers are emotional about their TV.”

As the only TV manufacturer speaking at the Get Ready for Digital TV conference today, Rose took the opportunity to promote Sony as the digital TV supplier of choice for the consumer, the retailers and the various industry stakeholders.

He did this by highlighting the promotional campaigns Sony has run globally to support its Bravia range. This is key to Sony’s plans, as it wants consumers buying panels, not set top boxes for which it is not a manufacturer.

“This is a challenge, also a big opportunity. We don’t make set top boxes — Sony want internal digital tuners,” said Rose, who continued to point out the design and lifestyle advantages of flat panel televisions.

Based on Sony’s figures, which were sourced back to GfK, over the five years to the end of 2008, there were four million analogue televisions sold without the necessary digital peripheral. The challenge for Rose now is to motivate both the consumer and the retailer to trade these analogue models in for panels, rather than just selling a set top box.