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PC Makers Vs. TV Makers

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, January 15, 2004

There's a big battle brewing over what you watch in your family room. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The battle isn't among the TV networks. It's between traditional TV makers like Sony, Panasonic and Samsung... .and computer makers like Dell, Gateway and Hewlett Packard. At this month's consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, HP announced it is joining its rivals in the PC business... .in making flat screen TVs. CEO Carly Fiorina...

"For starters, HP will be bringing to market competitively priced entertainment displays, both a 30 inch LCD and a 42 inch plasma screen. These digital displays can be used as great TVs. But these are much more than TVs and these are much more than great viewing devices."

At Sony Electronics, President Dick Komiyama tells me he's not surprised by the new competition... .

"It is very natural that we see the competition from the IT side." Are they a big threat? "Well I think it's going to be something very challenging."

PC makers also face some challenges in the new consumer electronics business. They include shortages of LCD screens... .and what supplies there are ... are controlled by manufacturers like Samsung, where global marketing VP David Steel... doesn't see PC makers standing in the way of Samsung's growth...

"Still we believe in the future, brand is going to be very important in this business. They are very much experience products. Customers want to see the picture quality."

But some in the industry are concerned about the impact of Dell, Gateway and HP... which have become more accustomed than TV manufacturers to cutting costs and reduced profit margins. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.