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By Alexander Villafania INQUIRER.NET Â Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at Me
diaFireMANILA, Philippines â The market for widescreen television in the Philippines is gradually increasing as more consumers continue to look at more fashionable electronics with cinematic qualities. Â Prices of widescreen TVs, specifically LCDs, are also in the decline as demand and competition of different brands increases. Two years ago, a 32-inch LCD TV would have cost around P45,0000 to P60,000. Now, most 32-inch models have gone below the P1,000-per-inch threshold. Â These units have also become technologically better through the years, particul arly on the picture quality. Most are only high definition-ready (720p) while o thers are already capable of playing full high definition (1080p) videos especi ally from Blu-Ray discs or game consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 . Â But most Filipinos with widescreen TVs only enjoy just about standard definitio n (480p) movies, especially those on DVD. They are not actually using up the mo st of their TVs. Still, some TV manufacturers see the market becoming more soph isticated as they buy new TVs that produce better picture quality to get the mo st cinematic experience in their homes. Â Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at Me
diaFireBrands such as Sony, Toshiba, Panasonic and LG are coming out with the several models catering to different market segments. Obviously, price dro ps of widescreen TVs will continue as these brands flood the market with differ ent models. Â Samsung, on the other hand, is going on a different direction: instead of intro ducing cheaper widescreen models, they are taking on the premium market segment . They are the first to introduce LED TVs in the Philippines. These models incl ude the 40-inch Series 6, 7 and 8. Â In a recent tour, Samsung Philippines officials showcased two of their models, the Series 7 and 8, which come in 46-inch to 55-inch sizes. These are the compa nyâs flagship models in the LED segment and with good reason: these two are cap able of Internet access and content download through a Samsung service called D LNA (digital living network alliance). These also have limited Internet TV capa bilities. Â Because of these, the Series 7 and 8 are provided with wireless connectivity (a wireless dongle is required for the Series 7), as well as an Ethernet port to connect it to a router. There are few TVs that have such connectivity. Â While these technologies are still in their infancy, Samsung is already taking the trend a little further -- that is, while theyâre still ahead. Amby Navarro and Joanne Roman --Â respectively, the marketing group head and home appliance product specialist â said their new LED TVs are aimed at making the television an integral communications tool for the home. The Internet TV and DLNA functio ns make the Samsung Series 7 and 8 come closer to the realization of a true mul tifunction appliance. Â According to Roman, Samsung Philippines is already talking to several local con tent providers about creating widgets, which should be downloadable via DLNA. T hese companies organizations are provided with software development kits (SDK) that allow them to build widgets specifically for Samsung. Â There is no known limit as to what content can be made using the Samsung SDKs t hough Roman said a company could create a communications tool. Â Meanwhile, Navarro believed that by putting more functions in TVs they are crea ting a new market for the Philippines that will use their TVs for more than jus t viewing movies but also for communications. Â âThe value of a TV increases if its use goes beyond just merely watching someth ing. These should not be empty boxes that look good but they have to be somethi ng more dynamic and useful. By putting content, people will enjoy their applian ce even more,â Navarro said.

The Scott and Larry show

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By Lawrence Casiraya

SAN FRANCISCO - In this yearâs Oracle Open World conference here, Scott McNealy served as front act to Larry Ellison.

Ellison and McNealy have carved out qui te contrasting personas in Silicon Valley lore â Scott the quintessential serv er geek and Ellison the sharply-dressed billionaire.

But like yin and yang, they are now par tners â a partnership worth more than $7 billion, at least for Oracle. With Sun in his arsenal, Ellison has his crosshair trained at IBM.

Ellison pledged his commitment to the more 37,000 attendee s âincluding Sun business partners and customers â that Oracle, a software comp any, will keep investing on Sun, a hardware company.

At first glance, it looks like a marria ge of equals.

Sun is facing pressure as computing is rapidly moving outside of data centers and into mobile devices. Oracle, meanwhi le, cannot keep on growing its business by out-investing software rivals SAP or Microsoft in buying smaller companies.

So will the marriage end in honeymoon b liss? Only time will tell.

While Ellison still looks sharp as usua l, Scott looks a bit different, sporting a red sweater instead of his usual âse rver guyâ garb.

Music has always been an integral part of the Filipino culture. Â Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting a
t MediaFireFrom the days of the vinyl records to CDs to digital music players, Filipinos have always wanted to carry their own music with them around. Some would downl oad songs and play them from their home theaters, some of which boast of high f idelity audio speakers (others actually think they can produce surround sound i n a 5.1 channel speaker set up with only a dual channel stereo source).  At any rate, Fili pinos do get around when it comes to sound production. Some are going after a c omplete surround sound set up while others go for a 2.1 speaker system that emu lates surround sound. Most of these are played on PC speakers. A few brands are already available in the market including Logitech, Bose, Altec Lansing and Cr eative.  Singapore firm Cr eative recently introduced a few new products, notably PC speakers. It introduc ed three new models, all of which are part of the companyâs high-end brand Giga works. Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting a
t MediaFireOne of the new Gigaworks speakers is the 2.1 channel T3, which delivers a muc h pronounced bass speaker courtesy of a new subwoofer design called symmetrical ly loaded acoustic module (SLAM). Unlike most subwoofers that use only two driv ers, the T3âs subwoofer uses three, producing deeper bass.  The T3âs two spea ker drivers are also has a low standby power mode when no sound is coming out o f them.  Two other Gigawor ks models are the T20 and T40 series II, both of which are 2.0 speaker sets. Ev en without subwoofers the T20 and T40 are able to produce bass, which may not b e as pronounce as it is in the T3 but nonetheless high fidelity.   Because they are small, the T20 and T40 are best used with small desktop computers and laptops. These can also be connected to an ordinary LCD TV to improve the TVâs audio qua lity.  Creativeâs most b asic speakers are its T3130 and T6160; 2.1 and 5.1 speakers, respectively.  While the company has been in the PC peripheral business in the Philippines for a while, its spe akers are by far its largest business, amounting to about 50 percent of their r evenues in the Philippines.  In an interview, Creative Labs Asia Sales Manager Paul Seow said the company is banking on the i mproving economy for higher sales, which also affects the buying patterns of co nsumers.  âAs needs become greater, Filipinos would buy products that are reliable, efficient and also fit their lifestyle,â he said.  Seow also said th e entire business for Creative in the Philippines is expected to about 20 perce nt to 30 percent, majority of which would come from speakers.   "Our growth in th e Philippines for 2008 was flat, which is good since other regions had negative . This means we're poised to grow our business in the Philippines in the coming year," Seow said. -- Alexander Villafania

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