Dallas Cowboys announce world’s largest Mitsubishi Electric HD screen for new stadium

April 23, 2008

Dallas Cowboys\' incredible new Mitsubishi Electric screenThe Dallas Cowboys, one of the most instantly recognisable names in American football, have selected Mitsubishi Electric to provide a ground-breaking integrated system of high-definition LED video displays, LED fascia ribbon boards and scoreboards for their new stadium, which is scheduled to open for the 2009 NFL Football season. When completed, the stadium is itself expected to become a record-breaker, taking the title of the world’s biggest domed stadium and the world’s largest column-free room.


Dominating the awesome new stadium will be a one-of-a-kind, four-sided scoreboard featuring the world’s largest LED high-definition (1080p) video display. The centre-hung structure will consist of four Diamond Vision video screens. The two main sideline displays will measure an impressive 22m high by 49m wide, while the two end-zone displays will measure 9m high by 15.5m wide. The whole system will be suspended 33.5m directly over the centre of the playing surface and stretch from one 20-yard line to the other.

“One of the central design elements of our new stadium is our centre hung scoreboard. This unique feature will be an iconic symbol of our building for years to come”, said Jerry Jones, owner and general manger, Dallas Cowboys Football Club. “When we were making the decision on whom to entrust with the responsibility of making our vision a reality, the quality and clarity in the Mitsubishi Diamond Vision boards was unmatched.”

The new displays will allow fans on any level of the stadium to easily view the action, creating a premium on the value of the upper-level seats. And no matter where they sit, Mitsubishi Electric’s exclusive 20-mm pixel pitch technology ensures the brightest, clearest images from any angle, with virtually no colour distortion.

“The Dallas Cowboys are one of the most innovative teams in the NFL, and their new stadium reflects that”, said Mark Foster, general manager of Mitsubishi Electric’s Diamond Vision Systems in the US. “The scoreboard is certainly going to add excitement and bring the fans closer to the game.”

Mitsubishi Electric will also install nearly 1.2km of its Diamond Vision LEDerAdTM LED fascia system; these stunning ribbon displays will ring the stadium and add a new level of excitement and visibility for sponsors. The Cowboys are the second premier sports franchise to choose Diamond Vision this month. On the 1st of April, Mitsubishi Electric announced it would install a high-definition scoreboard at the New York Yankees’ new stadium, scheduled to open in 2009.


AT&T stores to trial Microsoft ‘Surface’

April 7, 2008

According to aka.tv, full scale trials of Microsoft’s Surface interative table top are about to begin in the ‘States. This is a significant landmark in the development of gesture-based interfaces, and something we are sure to be seeing a lot more of in the next few years. Products like Surface allow technology to become much more user-transparent, and therefore much more accessible. The combination of Surface and mobile phones is an excellent example of how this can work in practice.

AT&T Stores in 5 locations across the US, will be the first to install the new Microsoft touch-screen interactive 30″ tabletop display – ‘Surface’ – on 17th April.

Customers will be able to place one of eight handsets on the display, and the computer will immediately recognize the phone and present information on the device. Placing another phone on Surface will allow users to trigger side-by-side cost and feature comparisons of the handsets.

As well as general media on the phones, AT&T is touting the ability for customers to view an interactive network coverage map. By using two fingers to pinch or expand the map, users can zero in on their homes, offices and schools to ensure AT&T provides them with good cellular coverage. In the near future, AT&T plans to allow users to customize their phones through Surface by dragging icons of ring tones, graphics and videos over to their handset.

The roll out will then continue through May – and should eventually reach all 2,000 outlets.

Remote working here to stay

March 14, 2008
Seventy per cent of businesses are doing it, reports Natasha Lomas on Silicon.com

Published: 13 March 2008 12:59 GMT

The megalithic corporate HQ which deforms the city skyline could be a thing of the past if a technology trend toward remote working continues.

In a research report into the 21st century workforce, analyst house Quocirca predicts: “In the future it may make sense for businesses to have more numerous small locations near to centres of population to reduce commuting and be closer to customers. Businesses that do this will rely increasingly on electronic collaboration technology to keep employees in communication with each other.”

While most businesses are still based on a traditional HQ plus branch offices structure, remote working is now commonplace; according to the research, around 70 per cent of enterprises polled said at least a quarter of their staff work remotely at some point during the working week.

Pressure to shrink carbon footprints and attract and retain talented staff could see workforces becoming more distributed, said Quocirca.

The report said: “In the future, carbon taxes may drive businesses to open smaller locations, relying on technology for collaboration between workers and reducing the distance that both employees and customers have to travel.”

The research shows once a business develops a culture of remote working the level of service experienced by remote workers becomes increasingly important to it – or, as Quocirca analyst and report author Bob Tarzey explains, distributed working becomes “a fundamental part of what they do”.

Laptops are currently the most embedded devices in distributed business practices, said Tarzey – having been around for longest – but he said he expects to see that change as more and more business processes are enabled on mobile devices such as smart phones.

The Quocirca research was commissioned by Riverbed Technology.

A separate survey of UK and North American IT chiefs, conducted by network security company AEP Networks, has found 94 per cent either already allow or plan to allow network access to remote workers.

Pioneer to stop making 42-inch plasma panels, reports Reuters

February 27, 2008

TOKYO (Reuters) – Pioneer Corp will stop making 42-inch plasma panels and instead buy panels in that size and smaller from Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric Industrial or Hitachi Ltd to turn around its loss-making flat TV business, the Asahi newspaper said. Japanese consumer and auto electronics maker Pioneer will end output of such panels at a plant in Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan as early as by March 2009, the paper said in the report on Saturday. It will focus on making panels 50 inches or larger at other plants, the Asahi said. It would be Pioneer’s latest step away from a vertically integrated business model, in which manufacturers conduct production of key parts as well as assembly of finished products, after its decision last year to buy liquid crystal display panels from Sharp Corp to start offering LCD TVs.

Pioneer’s plasma business has been struggling to compete with larger rivals with better production efficiency such as Matsushita and LG Electronics Inc Pioneer has a target to sell 480,000 plasma TVs in this business year, ending on March 31, less than one-tenth of Matsushita’s sales target of 5 million units. Pioneer bought the Kagoshima plant from NEC Corp and now wants NEC to buy it back, the Asahi said. A Pioneer spokesman said its flat TV strategy will become available when it unveils a mid-term business plan in early March, but nothing specific has been decided. Shares in Pioneer were up 3.8 percent by early afternoon, outperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index IELEC, which rose 2.2 percent. (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Watson)

Original article here

Southern Electronics sets new visitor record

February 25, 2008

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Statistics released today show the Southern Electronics show (February 6th-7th 2008, FIVE, Farnborough) proved a resounding hit with those involved in electronics, component sourcing or electronic assembly. Nearly 4,400 industry professionals visited Farnborough over the two-day event – a significant increase over previous years. Visitor interest in areas related to production and quality rose dramatically, with increases of over 120% in some areas.

The relocation to FIVE, Farnborough, with its improved facilities and 25% increase in exhibition space, allowed more companies than ever to take part in the show. Virtually every aspect of electronics manufacture and sub-contracting was well represented, drawing an enthusiastic response from exhibitors and visitors alike.

Robert Crosby-Clarke, UK sales manager of Electrolube, said “After visiting the Southern Electronics show last year and seeing how it had expanded, we thought we would give it a go. The show was very busy and there was considerable interest in our range. We have already taken the decision to exhibit again next year.” 

Detailed statistics from the show reveal significant growth in the electronics-related interests of visitors such as electronic assembly, components and adhesives. Small companies of between 1 and 20 employees remained the largest single group of visitors at around 20%, but there was also an increase in visitors from businesses of between 51 and 200 employees, to around 14%, indicating increasing interest being shown in regional events by medium sized enterprises. But the largest increase was in visitor interest in goods and services related to production and quality. The percentage of visitors interested in Assembly Systems, Automation, Industrial Computing, Inspection Systems and Manufacturing Software more than doubled on 2007 figures. The statistics provide objective evidence reflecting the upbeat mood of the event, and shows that the business sentiment for electronics SMEs is far from pessimistic.

Southern Electronics is just one of a number of regional industrial events run by European Trade & Exhibition Services around the UK and Eire. Managing director, Phil Valentine, believes that, while support for national trade exhibitions is waning, interest in regional events is stronger than ever. “The trend in society as a whole is towards the local sourcing of suppliers and services. What we are doing with our regional shows is essentially just the same: We provide a unique and cost-effective way for companies to market their goods and services right on the doorstep of their prospective customers. The growth in visitor numbers this year indicates that people are increasingly in favour of highly-focussed regional events rather than committing precious time and resources to visiting or exhibiting at national trade shows.” 

The next regional exhibition in the calendar, Midlands Manufacturing Technology, opens its doors at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on March 18th and 19th. Many of the companies participating in the Southern shows will also be at the Midlands event, making it a great opportunity to catch-up with the very latest components, technologies and services. Entry to the show and its popular seminar programme is free, and there is plentiful parking on site. Ricoh Stadium is just 4 miles north of Coventry City centre and enjoys excellent access by road and rail, and by air via Coventry Executive and Birmingham International Airports. For more information, call 01784 880890 or visit http://www.industry.co.uk/midlands

Sony’s Policy Shift Poses Threat to Samsung TV Biz

February 25, 2008

Despite strong denial by Samsung Electronics over its strategic tie-up with Sony in the liquid crystal display (LCD) business, the South Korean electronics giant is facing a crisis under an aggressive attack from Japanese rivals.

On Monday, Samsung clarified that the company will continue its strategic partnership with Sony and sees no problem with ongoing talks with the Japanese panel manufacturer to jointly invest in the second phase of eighth generation LCDs in Tangjeong, South Chungcheong Province.

“For now, we don’t have any plans to cut our partnership with Sony. Sony still buys some 50 percent of its LCD panel demand through a joint venture with Samsung,’’ Lee Sang-wan, chief of Samsung Electronics LCD business, told The Korea Times on the sidelines of a Korea Display Industry Association meeting held in southern Seoul.

“I am positive about the ongoing talks with Sony over the Japanese players’ possible involvement in the second phase of eighth generation LCDs,” he added.

Samsung Electronics and Sony established the joint LCD maker S-LCD in the South Korean province with an investment of 2 trillion won in 2003. The two have been enjoying a honeymoon phase since then, with Samsung buying half of S-LCD’s output and Sony the other half.

Lee’s comment comes after Sony reportedly said it is inclined to buy television LCD panels from its local rival Sharp starting as early as this year in a bid to diversify its procurement channels to meet rising demand and cost cuts.

Sharp will provide the latest 10th generation panels to produce highly-competitive 40 inch level displays that will be produced at its plant in Sakai, Osaka prefecture, which is slated to start operating this year.

Like Sony, Japanese manufacturers are busy shying away from their vertical integration strategies to succeed in the global sales battle and to regain their past glory in the global LCD market.

Despite undeniable strong edges in original technologies, Japanese players have failed to maintain their dominant positions in the segment mainly because of a passive attitude towards massive investments unlike Samsung Electronics.

Panasonic, which has recently announced a plan to build a new manufacturing plant for LCD panels in Hyogo prefecture to curtail a plasma display-centered business, has been strengthening a three-way partnership with Hitachi and Canon.

Experts and industry sources say the fight among the world’s leading LCD TV makers has entered the second round with the panel procurement deals between Japanese firms now in place amid management vacuum in Samsung Electronics _ the world’s No. 1 LCD maker.

Top executives of Samsung Electronics are currently busy soothing investors’ worries over the deepening Samsung Group-involved bribery scandal. The group’s key flagship unit has postponed holding several strategic meetings to finalize its detailed investment plans for this year.

“Japanese rivals believe this is a good chance to surge ahead of Samsung in the sector,’’ a Samsung official said.

“Possibilities have risen to buy LCD panels from Samsung Electronics or the opposite,’’ an official from the LG.Philips LCD added.

A recent data from DisplaySearch, a market-research firm, has shown that Sony overtook Samsung Electronics as the world’s biggest manufacturer of LCD televisions with 19.5 percent of the global market share in the fourth quarter, while Samsung followed with 19.3 percent in the same period. Sharp was surveyed as No. 4 with some 10 percent of share.

According to industry estimates, global demand for LCD TVs will reach 155 million units in five years, up from 74.8 million in 2007, driven by strong sales in China and the United States.

By Kim Yoo-chul
Staff Reporter

As reported in Korea Times


Toshiba concedes defeat in high def battle

February 20, 2008

The battle with Sony’s Blu-ray is over now that Toshiba has announced plans to withdraw HD-DVD technology. Signs pointed to Blu-ray becoming the DVD format of choice when Warner Brothers announced their preference for it at the CES in Las Vegas earlier this year. In addition, US consumer electronics chain Best Buy has pledged to prominently feature Blu-ray products. Similarly, global retailer Walmart has confirmed that from June, it will stock only Blu-ray players and movies and phase out HD-DVD products. These decisions by major companies, alongside Sony’s inclusion of the technology in PlayStation3 consoles, are believed to have cemented the victory for Blu-ray. Currently, rival Microsoft produces the Xbox 360 that supports a plug-in HD-DVD accessory. However, it is understood that Xbox 360s will be able to support Blu-ray technology. The industry’s move to Blu-ray means that consumers will no longer have to choose their format of choice. A growth in sales of Blu-ray players and discs is now expected because buyers can be confident in their purchases.

As reported in Electronic Product Design