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News in Brief - february 2010


SONY has confirmed that it will stop selling OLED televisions in Japan due to poor sales. OLED TVs produce brilliant pictures in a thin frame, and they tend to consume less power than their LED counterparts. But large-screen OLED televisions are not yet a reality, and even the 11-inch set Sony sells in Japan is a luxury, priced at roughly $2,222. Sony won’t say how many OLED televisions it has sold, but DisplaySearch estimates that Sony shipped 2,000 of them last year.

READERS of Belgian publications PC Magazine and home entertainment magazine FWD have recognised Blu-ray Disc as one of last year’s best technology products. After hundreds of product tests, the editors of the two magazines selected a shortlist of 10 technology products that would be put to the public vote. Almost 9,000 readers voted, with the final results giving LED TV the Gold Award for first place, with Blu-ray taking the Silver.

SEARCH specialist Rovi (formerly Macrovision) has reported a $2.6 million profit on revenues of $138 million for Q4 2009, reversing a $211.2 million loss a year ago. “We achieved a number of important business objectives during the fourth quarter,” said CEO Fred Amoroso, “including continuing to pay down debt, signing a number of important customer wins, continuing to expand our data licensing business, and especially, continuing to make significant progress on our TotalGuide solution.” Rovi forecast that 2010 revenue would be between $505 million and $535 million.

A NUMBER of Taiwan-based IC design houses, including MediaTek, Sunplus Technology and Novatek Microelectronics, will venture into the Blu-ray chip market in 2010, with MediaTek aiming to take a 30% share of the global PC/notebook built-in Blu-ray drive market. The current Blu-ray market is led by Broadcom and Japan-based companies.

ACCORDING to The Wall Street Journal, Sony loses 6 cents on "every dollar of PS3 hardware sales." Considering the PlayStation 3 current retails for $300, the company thus loses about $18 per unit. Not only has the loss been going on since launch, but when the console was released, iSuppli estimated that it cost Sony $805 to build the PS3.

TAIWAN-based blank optical disc maker CMC Magnetics expects shipments of its Blu-ray discs to account for 10% of its revenues in the second quarter and 20% in the fourth quarter of 2010. Because only seven companies are producing such discs around the world, gross margins for the segment are high at 30-40%. According to estimation by industry sources in Taiwan, CMC may ship more than 15 million BD discs in 2010.

SONY Pictures Entertainment has announced another round of job cuts, this time equal to about 6.5% of its work force. In a statement released by Michael Lynton, Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman, the company will be laying off around 450 employees because of declining DVD sales. "The business is going through a rough period of trial and transition," said Lynton. "We have an obligation to take the steps necessary to get through it."

THOMSON shareholders have approved the restructuring plan made public by Thomson on 9 December 2009, including the change of name of the Thomson group to Technicolor. Also, the roles of Chairman and CEO will be separated under a new governance structure. The position had been combined in 2009 in light of the crisis facing the company.

SONY Pictures Entertainment has announced another round of job cuts, this time equal to about 6.5% of its work force. In a statement released by Michael Lynton, Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment chairman, the company will be laying off around 450 employees because of declining DVD sales. "The business is going through a rough period of trial and transition," said Lynton. "We have an obligation to take the steps necessary to get through it."

MPEG LA has announced that Shinco Electronics Group Co Ltd entered into MPEG LA's MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License during 2009. This signing also concludes actions brought by MPEG LA against Mintek Digital as well as Mintek's parent Jiangsu Digital Technology Co Ltd (Shinco Digital) and Shinco Digital's parent, Shinco Electronics, both located in China.