HDTV star of IFA consumer electronics show

30th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

30 August 2005, BERLIN - High-definition television (HDTV) will be the star of this year's IFA consumer electronics fair, with industry experts predicting Tuesday that introduction of the technology in Europe could create as big a sales boom as colour TV did in the late 1960s.

30 August 2005

BERLIN - High-definition television (HDTV) will be the star of this year's IFA consumer electronics fair, with industry experts predicting Tuesday that introduction of the technology in Europe could create as big a sales boom as colour TV did in the late 1960s.

Rainer Hecker, supervisory board head of the Association for Entertainment and Communications Electronics (GFU), called HDTV "the television of the future" and said he hoped IFA 2005 would "provide the signal for launching high-definition television in Europe".

He said the new technology would give a "fresh impetus" to the receiving equipment market, adding that this "will have a similar impact to that of colour television when it was introduced at the end of the 1960s".

However he stressed that the industry should keep things in proportion, saying that HDTV will not replace other, established television systems straightaway. It would be a process of "evolution rather than a revolutionary change," he said.

In order to whet consumers' appetites for the new technology, the organisers have set up an 'IFA HDTV Sportsbar' in one of the halls, an American-style diner and sports bar where visitors can watch broadcasts of sporting events on around 30 HD sets.

As well as HDTV, the exhibition will showcase other coveted consumer electronics items such as high-definition camcorders, a cellphone with a 3 gigabyte hard drive capable of storing 1,000 music tracks, and the world's most expensive hi-fi system.

Hans-Joachim Kamp, chairman of the board of IFA and a GFU supervisory board member, pointed to what he said was a "definite upturn" in the consumer electronics market.

He predicted that total sales of consumer electronics products in 2005 will be more than EUR 20 billion in Germany alone.

However Hecker also said that Germany, with its 8.3 per cent increase in consumer electronics sales in 2004, is a slow market in comparison with Asian countries such as China, Taiwan and Korea, all experiencing double-digit growth in consumer electronics.

He singled out India as particularly important because of the sheer size of its market.

Kamp said that this year's IFA "provides a programme for stimulating the [German] economy, helping to counteract the current reluctance on the part of German buyers".

He went to say that a "generational change" in consumer electronics was taking shape as analogue technology is replaced by digital, thereby driving sales.

The 2005 IFA will mark 81 years of the fair, which began in 1924 and is said to be Germany's second oldest exhibition.

The 1930 exhibition was opened by none other than Albert Einstein, who is honoured at this year's IFA with an exhibition 'Albert Einstein - Engineer of the Universe' designed by the Max Planck Institute.

The IFA fair runs September 2 - 7 in Berlin and features 1,189 exhibitors from more than 40 countries, an increase of 15 per cent on the last show in 2003.

As well as big consumer electronics names like Sony, Panasonic and Samsung, information technology companies such as Intel, Ingram Micro and Canon are also represented at this year's trade fair, reflecting the trend towards 'convergence' in the consumer electronics market as devices become multi-functional.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult to separate traditional consumer electronics technology from the solutions provided by information technology," said Hecker, adding that this leads to "closer collaboration, as well as a certain amount of competition" between industry sectors.

DPA

Subject: German news

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