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Fun@Home eyes new highs

Amrita Goswami, 27, an executive at a multinational firm, recently bought a 46-inch flat panel television to enjoy a big-screen movie experience in the cosy confines of her home. Vivek Sinha reports. Flat gets flatter

india Updated: Dec 24, 2010 22:17 IST
Vivek Sinha

Amrita Goswami, 27, an executive at a multinational firm, recently bought a 46-inch flat panel television to enjoy a big-screen movie experience in the cosy confines of her home.

"It's a wonderful experience," she gushes.

Given her work hectic schedule and family commitments, the big screen at home for her substitutes for a weekend visit to the multiplex.

Home entertainment is evolving at a vigorous pace, helping people find joys previously found outside at home. Crystal-clear digital production is getting better and cheaper, while the marriage of the Internet with television is set to revolutionise the range of choices for customers.

The new year 2011 could see new features catching on while older stuff get more frills or turn cheaper. Industry executives say prices of flat panel television sets could drop by 10% in the new year.

While that happens, services could turn cooler, especially if 3G telecom services join hands with "smart TV" as they are expected to.

You could soon conveniently watch a YouTube video in your drawing room television, or get 3-D content on TV or even view family photo albums from the Internet.

"The digitisation of TV platforms has given way to better technology, picture and sound quality for viewers, more transparent distribution of revenues and more bandwidth becoming available to broadcasters, giving them the opportunity to provide value-added services. This could boost the availability of niche content in the future," said a recent report on media and entertainment jointly conducted by advisory firm KPMG and industry chamber Ficci.

Television, once called the Idiot Box, may no longer be the idiot.

Ravinder Zutshi, deputy managing director, Samsung India, said TV had become a hub with possibility to access news reports, live videostreaming and interactivity with friends.

"And all this happens with the push of a button on the remote," said Ravinder Zutshi, deputy managing director, Samsung India.

Japan's Panasonic, in addition to YouTube and Picasa, is offering Skype-based Internet telephony through your TV set.

"We intend to further expand the range with more value-added applications," said Manish Sharma, director-marketing, Panasonic India.

South Korean giant LG Electronics also plans to introduce flat panel TVs with Internet capability.

Local manufacturer Onida has similar plans. "We will launch models in LCD and LED televisions with internet capability in both wired and WiFi formats," said Krishnamurthy Sriram, vice-president, marketing, Onida.

Blu-ray format players are also expected to catch on. A blu-ray disc is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the DVD.

3-D TV is an exciting prospect.

"We are looking to promote 3-D culture and make this technology easily accessible to a wider audience," said Tadato Kimura, general manager, marketing, Sony India. Sony is eyeing a 30% revenue contribution from 3-D products by 2012.

DTH players are waiting to cash in on the new trend. "In 2011 we will offer more movies on demand with better and newer titles," said Salil Kapoor, COO of DishTV. He said the company plans to add more value-added services that include gaming and job listings.

Flat gets flatter