IFA 2007 – BERLIN. European broadcasters should commit themselves to a timetable for HD rollout, said Sharp Europe CEO Toshiyuki Tajima at a press conference on Thursday. The electronics industry has already asked for such commitment two years ago “and today I repeat this,” he added, pointing at the positive market developments for new TV sets.
“Only the broadcasters do not keep pace with this development,” continued Tajima, clearly aiming his bow at the German public broadcasters ARD and ZDF who have been reluctant to start regular HD broadcasts, as have other European channels, both public and commercial.
“At the moment about 90% of all new TV sets sold are flat screen LCDs,” according to Sharp Germany’s MD Frank Bolten. “Europe has developed into the leading market in the world.” Total sales of LCD sets in Germany, the UK, France and Germany combined reached 10 million units last year, and at present Europe accounts for 40% of all flat screen sales. In order to meet the demand, Sharp has opened a new LCD factory in the city of Torun in Poland.
A similar message was conveyed by Manfred Gerdes, CEO Sony-Deutschland, who said that at the moment 15% of all TV sets in German households are HD ready. Next year, this should reach 25%.
“With such developments, the public broadcasters should serve their mission,” he said.