1/12/2004 - HP (NYSE:HPQ) announced an array of products and partnerships aimed at transforming the way people experience music, movie, TV, photographs and digital entertainment content. The company also outlined its strategy for adding value across the entire digital entertainment value chain from the creation and protection of digital content to the distribution and consumption of content.
"Much of the attention in the industry has been focused on the devices we hold in our hands or hang on our walls," said Carly Fiorina, chairman and chief executive officer, HP. "But the digital entertainment experience is about much more. It's about the creation, distribution, management and enjoyment of all kinds of digital content from all kinds of sources. Today, the challenges of cost, complexity, connectivity and manageability get in the way of a great experience and they can't be addressed by focusing solely on gizmos and gadgets. That would be like trying to tell the story of television by focusing solely on the TV set, or trying to tell the story of movies by focusing solely on the projector.
"What matters now is making all of the various digital entertainment products and content work together in a way that creates simple, enjoyable, intuitive digital experiences at a price that allows everyone to participate. HP will apply its innovation and systems expertise to addressing the challenges in the digital entertainment realm."
At the heart of HP's digital entertainment strategy is a comprehensive digital entertainment system that makes it easy to create, manage, transfer, share and enjoy all forms of entertainment content across a range of devices and component technologies. System components include:
HP entertainment hub
Starting this fall, HP will introduce an entertainment hub designed to put consumers in control of all of their entertainment content. The entertainment hub will serve as the single, central storage repository, distribution and access point for all music, photo, video and movie collections in the home.
Additionally, consumers will be able to watch and pause live TV and record their favorite TV shows from any source, including cable, satellite or HDTV. The new device will be sleek and stylish and work great with existing devices in the home, but will offer an even better experience in combination with the other components of the HP Digital Entertainment System.
HP digital displays
HP previewed its new 30-inch LCD and 42-inch plasma digital displays due out in June. HP displays will offer a superior audio and visual experience with a state-of-the-art imaging engine developed by HP that displays true-to-life images. HP's displays will feature advanced panels that offer deeper black levels, vibrant colors and high-definition resolution.
HP announced plans to introduce a new generation of digital projectors in the fall that serve as a cost-effective home theater component to its digital entertainment system.
HP LightScribe technology
HP announced an innovative new technology to address the problem of labeling CDs and DVDs. HP LightScribe technology allows consumers to create silk-screen quality labels on their CDs or DVDs by burning text and graphics directly onto a disc, eliminating the need for adhesive labels. HP will begin making this new capability available to consumers in HP PCs in the second half of 2004.
HP Digital Music Player
HP is partnering with Apple Computer to provide an exceptional digital music experience to consumers as part of its larger digital entertainment system offering. Starting this spring, HP will deliver an HP-branded digital music player based on Apple's iPod, the No. 1 digital music player in the world, and Apple's award-winning iTunes digital music jukebox and pioneering online store to HP's customers. As part of the alliance, HP consumer PCs and notebooks will come preinstalled with Apple's iTunes jukebox software and an easy-reference desktop icon to point customers directly to the iTunes Music Store, ensuring a simple, seamless music experience.
Starting this summer, in addition to being a complete organizer, the HP iPAQ is going to become an intelligent remote control that consumers can use to control all of their entertainment devices and access all digital content including music, photos and videos, either locally, streaming or remotely.
Support for Microsoft's Media Center Extender technology
HP said it will begin supporting Microsoft's Media Center Extender technology for its Media Center PCs in the second half of 2004. The new technology enables consumers to wirelessly display all music, photo, video and TV content stored on their Media Center PC in the study or home office in the living room.
Protecting intellectual property
As part of its overall digital entertainment strategy, HP is taking a strong stance on protecting the intellectual property of artists and creators of content. Starting today, HP is stepping up its commitment to building, acquiring or licensing the best content protection technologies for HP devices that will set secure copyrights without sacrificing great consumer experiences - and will strive to build every one of its consumer devices to respect digital rights.
For example, HP will build support for a technology called Broadcast Flag into its TVs, media hubs and Media Center PCs in products rolled out after June. The Broadcast Flag signals that the content must be protected and cannot be shared indiscriminately over the Internet. The technology does not prevent consumers from making multiple copies of digital content and sharing it within a home network or storing it on physical media such as DVDs.
Partnering with content creators
HP also announced a series of partnerships with content creators:
"To truly bring the digital revolution home, it's going to take a fundamental understanding of how content is created, distributed, shared and enjoyed," said Fiorina. "It's going to take an understanding of how complex systems work together in a simple, affordable way to deliver great end-to-end experiences. And it's going to take relationships and partnerships across the industry. HP will apply its scope and scale along with its innovation and partnership capabilities to transform the digital entertainment realm."
HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally. The company's offerings span IT infrastructure, personal computing and access devices, global services and imaging and printing. For the fiscal year ending on Oct. 31, 2003, HP revenue totaled $73.1 billion. More information about HP is available at http://www.hp.com.
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