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Sony turning the corner? March 13, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Japan, technology.

It’s nice to see Sony creating some real quality products for a change.
Ok, so I have no use for a $2000 portable solid state memory audio recorder crafted from hot pressed titanium with integrated stereo condensor mics.

Now, this type of device is the Sony we know and love.

Still, has Sony really rediscovered its engineering roots?

More positive news for Sony in the TV department, they were #1 in LCD, RPTV and total TV sales for 2005, according to DisplaySearch. After dominating the CRT market, then totally misreading their flat panel display strategy, it seems sales are improving significantly.

However, it seems to me that whilst pursuing a LCD strategy made sense in terms of potential cost synergies when taken together with their VAIO product line, I wonder what prompted them to reject working with Canon who are developing SED flat panel technology. (If Sony have AV/computer convergence in mind as well, LCD does make more sense with the technology’s lack of phosphor burn issues)
Sony have been fairly blunt in their criticism of SED technology, and have put their bets on LCD and RPTV (using LCD or LCOS) in the short term with OLED technology lined up as a future technology platform.
Canon are working with Toshiba (who were the #2 CRT maker in Japan, and fairly successful in the flat panel display market). SED seems to be having production issues though, and shipping has slipped to 2007.

That does not alter the fact however that SED has the potential to replace CRT as a video mastering level display device, Plasma and LCD devices will have difficulty meeting the quality levels achievable with CRT based technologies (SED and FED devices are basically massive arrays of mini-CRT tubes with different devices replacing the traditional electron gun). As a leading proponent of CRT technology (Sony had huge market share in the video mastering/studio market with their studio grade devices) it would have been interesting to see Sony transferring their experience into SED/FED devices.


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