April 8, 2003 7:05 PM PDT

Philips adds streaming to DVD recorder

Philips Semiconductors is adding broadband connectivity and streaming media capabilities to its reference design for DVD recorders, a sign of interest among consumer electronics makers in supporting the playback of digital media.

The semiconductor division of Royal Philips Electronics announced Tuesday that it has enhanced its Nexperia DVD+RW reference design to include a media chip that will aid in the processing of multiple media formats, such as MPEG-4 and DivX, as well as adding the ability to connect to the Internet.

The company plans to sell the enhanced reference design initially to electronics makers in Japan and South Korea, where broadband access is more widely adopted. The United States will likely see products based on the new reference design in the middle of next year, according to Jeroen Keunen, general manager for consumer and multimedia within Philips Semiconductors.

"This platform will be for the high end of the consumer electronics market and will help our customers to differentiate their products," Keunen said. "There will be a premium that will be charged for these features."

The enhanced design will be in the $30 range, but developing software to help in the playback of digital content would also add to the total bill of materials for manufacturers, Keunen said. He declined to comment on what the price might be for consumers, pointing out that electronics makers may differ in what features they make available with the design.

Sony, another consumer electronics giant that is a part-time partner and part-time competitor of Philips, is also working to add digital media playback and broadband access to its devices including a plasma television project.

Philips is looking to take advantage of the growth of DVD recorders in the consumer electronics market, and enhance it with the new design.

 

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