13 Feb 2004
DVD/VCD Players(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 01,2004)
Vol 1, 2004
Touching Tomorrow Today
This 5.1 channel CYBERT brand DVD player from Cyber Talent Int'l Ltd plays all formats and offers touch-screen operation
New technology poses few problems for Hong Kong electronics manufacturers, who have long satisfied global demand for sophisticated entertainment systems. DVD (Digital Versatile Disc) recorders and DVD/VCD (Video Compact Disc) players are currently taking centre stage, according to Hankey Asia Ltd director Anthony Chan, whose company has developed a DVD recorder.
"We have been developing the recorder for one year, buying software solutions from Taiwan and the US," he explains. The hankey brand DVD recorder lets users watch television and record a programme on a disc, provides a "better quality, more durable" copy than videotape, records from DVD and VHS formats and offers up to eight hours of footage.
Selling mainly to Germany, with a small volume shipped to the US, Chan expects sales to "rocket" in coming months. "The FOB Hong Kong unit price is about US$300 for minimum orders of 500 units delivered 30 days after order confirmation," he notes.
Chan says that Hankey will develop DVD recorders containing hard disk drives this year. "This will allow users to download footage from a television or a camcorder, edit the images and then burn them on to a DVD."
Equally popular are machines that can play MPEG-4, the video equivalent of an MP3 music file that is catching on in Europe. Link Concept Technology Ltd became one of the first to release a DVD DivX player by joining forces with DivXNetworks, developer of the most popular MPEG-4 platform, DivX.
"The MPEG-4 format compresses a movie into a file one-seventh or one-third the size of a DVD, making it easier and faster to download from the Internet," explains marketing manager Joey Li, adding that MPEG-4 downloads are "90%" of DVD quality. "France, Germany, Italy and Spain are our most popular markets, with some sales in Japan and Korea."
Link Concept released its Harmony X-100 DivX player, which plays videos encoded in DivX versions 4.xx and above, in March 2003. Apart from standard features familiar in DVD players, the X-100 offers progressive-scan technology, MPEG-4 support, MP3 playback and a photo album feature for digital photos.
The second-generation DX-500 is also doing well. "We only launched the DX-500 at the end of April 2003, but we have already sold 200,000 units to Europe and a few hundred to clients in the US, who are testing the market."
The DX-500 offers either Sigma or ESS ICs that support DivX and DVD playback. The FOB Hong Kong unit price of a Sigma DX-500 is US$75, while an ESS solution is US$50-58 for minimum orders of 500 units delivered 25-30 days after order confirmation.
Link Concept plans to combine DivX players with hard disk drives, making it easier to locate and access information such as karaoke songs. "The new machines will also be able to playback VCD, DVD, MP3 and DivX formats, as well as store digital photos in JPEG format," adds Li.
Other electronics manufacturers such as Cyber Talent Int'l Ltd are adding features like touch-screen displays to make their DVD players stand out. "Our machine can also be equipped to play back DivX," notes general manager James Luk.
The CYBERT brand machines are suitable for PAL, NTSC and SECAM systems, and compatible with a host of audiovisual formats including VCD, audio CD, MP3, CD-R, CD-RW, SVCD, DVCD, OKO and AVCD. They also have 5.1 channels, VFD display and karaoke functions.
The ISO 9001-certified company's main markets are Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America, where customers appreciate both price and a reliable supplier. Cyber's DVD players sell for about US$43 per unit FOB Hong Kong, and DVD DivX players cost US$60 for minimum orders of one FEU delivered 30 days after order confirmation.
However, newcomer Sunox Technology Ltd has found that VCD players are still winners in two of its major markets. "They are most popular in the Middle East and Southeast Asia," observes business development manager Cover Tong.
Sunox's model VCD-K123 VCD player combines VCD playback with karaoke, for which the two microphones and nine-picture preview function come in handy.
"The preview function divides a disc into several chapters that can be previewed - simply choose an image and you can play the disc from that point," explains Tong.
The machine also boasts a games component, which is becoming a standard feature in the market. "It has a joy stick and comes with 100 games, while some versions offer speakers and a radio."
A feature Tong claims is special to Sunox VCD players is the resume-time function, which displays the time remaining until the end of the VCD and not just the length of time already played.
Marketed under both the SUNOX brand and on an OEM basis, the VCD player can also play audio CDs and MP3s. Minimum order size is 1,000 players, shipped 30 days after order confirmation.
Providing yet more proof that Hong Kong manufacturers can conceive ingenious ideas that let consumers worldwide touch tomorrow's technology today.
WRITTEN BY HELEN WONG
|Hong Kong Buyers Request Form||Overseas Buyers Request Form||More Publications|