Sony Euro chief demands industry action over HDTV

Sony chief European marketer David Patton has called for the TV industry
and Ofcom to “sort out” high-definition (HD) TV, saying that the UK is
falling behind.

Patton, senior vice-president of marketing communications for Sony
Europe, says the impor…

Sony chief European marketer David Patton has called for the TV industry and Ofcom to “sort out” high-definition (HD) TV, saying that the UK is falling behind.

Patton, senior vice-president of marketing communications for Sony Europe, says the importance of high-definition cannot be underestimated.

He says: “Seeing is believing. This is technology in which the UK is getting left behind. The UK market is being too slow and there are missed opportunities.”

He says it is “crazy” that companies like Channel 4 and the BBC will have to compete in the global market, where countries such as the US refuse to take content that is not HD. UK terrestrial and Freeview viewers will have to watch TV in standard definition, under current rules.

“Your industry and Ofcom need to sort this out,” he adds, speaking at Thinkbox Experience, the TV marketing body conference that was held yesterday (Tuesday).

In February, an alliance of high-profile broadcasters, TV manufacturers and retailers joined forces to back a campaign to make HD television available via Freeview boxes (MW February 8).

The HD for All campaign aims to convince the public that the switch to digital television could lead to a division of the HD “haves” and “have nots”.

The BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, DSG International, Sony, Samsung and Toshiba are all backing the campaign.

Patton says HD is vitally important for Sony’s five divisions: “Sony is HD and HD is Sony,” he says, claiming that 70% of the company’s revenue is through HD products. “It is a significant contributor to our success.”

Sony products such as BluRay, PlayStation 3 and its Bravia range of televisions will all be HD-ready, while industry products such as screens and video cameras are also important.

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