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CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT BDA

CONFERENCE SPOTLIGHT BDA Use IFA as Platform to Announce Further Exclusive Deals Opening the Blu-ray Disc Association’s press conference, David Walstra, director of AV technology at Sony, made a series of surprising announcements about the progress of the format. “94% of all next generation disc players in Europe are now BD players thanks in part to sales of 1.3 million PSP 3s. The PlayTV function that Sony recently announced will further speed up adoption of the PSP in to living rooms.” He also pointed out that every major CE company is now a member of the BDA: “And then there’s fact that hardware manufacturers such as HP, Dell and Lenovo have now been joined by Acer,” he said. “The company is joining as a contributing member and will be involved in R&D. Another major step forward is the fact that the China Huala Group is also to join, again as a contributing member. This is a major development and we are, of course, delighted as China Huala Group will also be joining forces with the China Film Group. BD also has a 90% share in Japan for hardware and movie sales and in the US, the launch of a sub 0 player, the Sony BDP-300 is creating a new dynamic in the market.” With major studios such as Warner Bros., Sony, Disney and 20th Century Fox poised to release a raft of titles between now and Christmas, the future is looking more certain for Blu-ray. And the market is starting to look more dynamic. While the first million discs were sold over a ten month period, the second million took a mere two months. Walt Disney Europe’s Steve Foulser, Walt Disney Home Entertainment Marketing VP Europe, revealed that the company would be releasing some classic titles including one iconic film: “the fact that we will be releasing Sleeping Beauty on BD is a significant moment in the history of the format in that Disney would never release such a classic film unless it was sure that the format was well proven,” he said. “It was the same with VHS and DVD and we’re now confident that BD is a format with great future. The 50Gb of storage space allows you to do fantastic things in terms of extras and interactive features.” Don Eklund, Executive VP Advanced Technologies at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment revealed that SPHE would be releasing some heavyweight titles: “With the breadth of titles already available on Blu-ray, the format is out-selling HD-DVD by more than 2:1 in Europe. Going into Q4, SPHE has a strong slate on deck and support from retailers, which should further propel momentum for Blu-ray.” As part of the company’s fourth quarter BD line-up, Spider-Man will be making his way to Blu-ray with the much anticipated release of Spider-Man 3 in Europe from 15 October. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 will also be exclusively available for the first time on Blu-ray High-Def in the Spider-Man High Definition Trilogy Set. Steven Spielberg’s critically acclaimed classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind will be released in Europe on BD from 12 November. All three versions of the film are included on one 50GB disc through seamless branching. The presentation of Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition contains all three cinematic versions on just one disc, with bonus material included on a second disc. To date SPHE has released more than 40 BD titles across Europe, with more than 30 titles scheduled for release between now and Christmas in Europe. 26 IFA International • Saturday, 1 st September 2007

TRADE NEWS Sanus Mounts Retail Support Campaign VIDEO Support for retailers is a key strategy in the success of Sanus Systems’ penetration of the European market in less than two years. The US market leader in AV furniture and mounts is offering retailers a comprehensive product range with an attractive array of practical and attractive retail displays. The European arm of Sanus, established in the Netherlands in January 2006, believe that retail support is the key to success. In addition to their retail display strategy of supplying an extensive range of accessories they also provide an on-line retail-training programme. “We are emphasising our business to business contacts at IFA to further familiarise our brand,” says Karin Van Lierop, Sanus Europe Product Marketing Manager. “IFA is the number one consumer electronics showcase in Europe and it is important for us to introduce our innovative product range to new distributors and customers from many countries.” Sanus’ retail displays comprise free standing display units in 1, 2 and 3 metre sizes, 1 metre wall units, counter displays and a ‘demo tree.’ “Product samples are also supplied with Plexiglas panels that highlight our fixed, tilt and full motion mounts, and the ease of installation and adjustment of our products. With these display units, customers get a real feel for the product and a clear picture of what they need” says Van Lierop. With a big demand for large flat screen TVs, wall mounts are the fastest expanding part of the AV furniture market, and with the trend for black in TV set design, Sanus have duplicated their whole range in black, complementing their existing silver product range. A full range of AV Foundation furniture remains an important part of Sanus’ catalogue. This year sees some interesting new product innovations with the Mirror Frame joining their decorative frame mounts. With the mirror frame, when the TV set is turned off, the screen becomes a mirror and the frame a part of the room furniture hiding the TV set. The Mirror frame comes in four colours and three different sizes. The On-line catalogue is becoming a vital marketing tool enabling customers to easily find the right mount for their TV set ( http://www.sanus.com/eu/en ). Sanus also provides retailers and distributors with an additional on-line training support called the ‘Knowledge College.’ “It just takes 20 minutes to browse and keeps our partners up to date with what they need to know,” says Van Lierop, adding “We are constantly innovating and adding to our comprehensive product range with the aim of achieving the same market share position that we have in the U.S., and that means our goal is to become market leader in Europe as well.” Hall 25, Stand 102 IFA International • Saturday, 1 st September 2007 27

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