CE WorldView IFA The CES of Europe
By David Dritsas
BERLIN, Germany—Even with just a glimpse of its architecture, Berlin is recognizably a town steeped in a rich history and collective drive for the future. Appropriate then is Berlin as the traditional host city for the 2001 International Funkausstellung (IFA), a European electronics show that only happens every two years. On the surface IFA is reminiscent of an overseas version of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), but upon closer inspection, one can discover the many differences there are between the U.S. and European CE markets, some developments which may hopefully inspire trends in our own nation.
DVD recording was a major push by several companies, though only a few had actual products ready to ship. Through the auspices of Philips and partner companies, the backwards compatible DVD+RW format of home video recording was heavily promoted. Philips announced the availability of its long discussed DVD recorder (DVDR1000) to the European market, scheduled to be announced in the U.S. market in at CES 2002. Other companies such as Dell Computers, HP, Sony, Yamaha, Ricoh, MCC/Verbatim and Thomson Multimedia have all announced a continued pledge to bring out products supporting +RW, however, only Dell and HP announced the availability of products this Fall, both of which are for the computer market. Dell will offer a desktop PC with a +RW drive and HP will offer the drive as a stand alone product. A Sony executive said that his company is working on the development of a combination drive that will support both DVD-RW and DVD+RW, admitting that the Sony had to support DVD-RW, because that format was already made prevalent in Japan through companies such as Pioneer. He could not give an introduction date, but did say that it was at least another year away.