Pressing reset on Sony TVs (Q&A)
By Erica Ogg
The approaching summer needs to be a blockbuster one for Sony.
Once the star of the consumer electronics business, the company has had a lot of catching up to do lately. But it could make up some significant ground if two of its big initiatives for the summer, 3D TV and its new Google TV-based Sony Internet TV, grab the attention of consumers.
The company has struggled with its core business, the TV, the past few years. Once the most influential in the area, the company has lost market share to Samsung, and has been lapped on bringing some new technologies to the mainstream by LG, Samsung, and others.
But by getting in on the Google TV bandwagon before its competitors gives Sony a fresh start. The first devices are scheduled to hit Best Buy and Sony stores this fall. But in June the company’s big push to launch 3D TV begins. Sony’s 3D HDTVs hit stores next month. Then Sony is partnering with ESPN to broadcast the World Cup in 3D beginning June 11, and later in the summer will launch a new 3D Discovery Channel with IMAX.
And they’ve reshuffled the personnel deck a bit too. One of the people charged with shepherding the 3D and Google TV efforts is Mike Abary. Starting June 1, Abary will leave his position as the head of the Vaio PC division and assume the role of senior vice president for Sony Electronics Home Division, which includes overseeing the TV and home entertainment products businesses. Abary’s predecessor Hiro Kawano gets a new title too, as the head of Sony Computer Entertainment of Japan.
Abary has been with Sony since 2000, and this is his first foray outside the company’s Vaio PC division. He spent a few minutes Friday chatting with CNET about his vision for Sony TV and Blu-ray products, Google TV, the company’s competing content channels, and Apple’s impact with the iPad.
Here is an edited version of that conversation.
Read the whole story here.