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Toshiba Makes Strong Thrust into Digital Network Consumer Business Establishes Dedicated Mobile AV Network Division

15 March, 2000


Announces Range of Innovative New Products

Tokyo--Toshiba Corporation today announced that it is reinforcing its mobile digital media products businesses by establishing a new, dedicated division that will start operation on April 1. As part of the Digital Media Equipment & Services Company, the Mobile AV Network Division will allow Toshiba to draw on its advanced capabilities in information, communications and AV equipment; video and voice compression; wireless communications, including Bluetooth; copy protection and encryption; and high density compact storage media, including the SD memory card, to promote digital convergence and the accelerated development and commercialization of next-generation consumer AV products.

Toshiba is heralding the start of the new division's operations with the launch of the SD Card, a high-capacity, high-security memory card, and a series of new mobile AV network products. These include the world's first mobile audio player incorporating an SD memory card; a portable DVD-ROM and video player with LCD screen; a personal video player; and an MPEG4-based digital camera. All will be introduced to Japanese retail channels and also sold over the Internet.

The Mobile AV Network Division will integrate the key elements of Toshiba's mobile network AV business and focus on realizing seamless links between home networks and PCs, cellular phones and other mobile devices. The division's activities, from strategic planning and product development to manufacturing and sales, will adopt a cross-platform approach that transcends conventional product fields and nurtures development of innovative, breakthrough products. The division will promote global operations and will target net sales of ¥20 billion in its first year and ¥50 billion in 2002. Toshiba intends to expand the scale of digital-network-related business from ¥200 billion in 2000 to ¥400 billion in 2002.

Mobile AV Network Business
The explosive growth of the Internet is transforming all aspects of society. From business, the Internet and digital networks are now sweeping into the home and personal lifestyles, reinforced by the emergence of a mobile networking environment that allows true anywhere, anytime access to information. With a product line-up embracing the IC-based SD memory card; advanced mobile devices such as portable PCs and cellular phones; and advanced mobile technologies, such as Bluetooth and MPEG 4 know-how, Toshiba provides seamless mobile solutions that will lead the way to next-generation products. Through these capabilities and the work of the Mobile AV Network Division, Toshiba will realize the full potential of mobile networking and free consumers from the limitations of wired networks.

New digital network consumer products
Toshiba is preparing for the advances expected from the new division by introducing a series of new mobile AV network products, among them:

  1. The world's first mobile audio player to record content to an SD memory card with copyright protection function.
  2. The world's first 3,340,000-pixel CCD, MPEG4 digital camera supporting recording of video in MPEG4 format to a PC-card-mounted removable HDD or an SD memory card.
  3. The world's first portable DVD-ROM and video player with a high-resolution, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD.
  4. A personal video player supporting MPEG2-based digital recording and playback of TV programs on a notebook PC. The player supports one-touch selection of programs to record on an web site and a video editing function.

All these new products are easily networked by connection to a PC and are compact enough to be used anywhere, anytime. They will be available in stores in Japan and sold on-line at www2.toshiba.co.jp/mobileav/.

  1. Mobile audio player, MEA110AS
    The world's first AAC- and MP3-compatible mobile audio player with a SD memory card slot. Support for AAC--high-quality sound compression for music distribution and digital satellite broadcasts that will start later this year--and for MP3--today's most widely used format for digital music on the Internet--assures MEA110AS will bring consumers a tremendous range of audio content.

    The storage medium is the light, compact SD memory card. Its support for the SDMI-compliant Content Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM) developed by IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. and Toshiba assures all necessary copyright protection and data security, while its full compliance with the SD Audio format specified by the SD Association* guarantees compatibility with similarly compliant audio players.

    The player's built-in 64MB flash memory stores 60 minutes of music. An optional 64MB SD memory card adds a further 60 minutes. A USB interface supports fast, easy connection with PCs, while two alkaline dry batteries allow up to five hours of playback--or up to 12 hours with optional batteries.

    Toshiba has entered into agreements with IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Liquid Audio, Inc. and RealNetworks, Inc. in respect of digital content protection technologies for electronic music distribution over the Internet. As a result, consumers using Toshiba portable audio players will be immediately free to visit over 500 web sites where they can download more than 2 million pieces of music, with no breach of copyright protection.

  2. MPEG4 digital camera, MEC100AS
    The world's first digital camera that can store data to an integrated PC-card mounted hard disk drive. Adoption of MPEG4 compression and the PC card slot (TYPE II) allows easy loading of images to a notebook PC.

    The 3,340,000-pixel CCD and F2 zoom lens produce moving and still pictures of superb quality and also supports use as a digital still camera.

    As Microsoft(R)'s ASF storage format is adopted, dedicated software and file conversion for Windows are not required and playback of moving picture data is fast and simple.

    A USB connection allows fast transfer to a PC of moving pictures stored on an SD memory card or a PC card HDD, for playback and editing.

  3. Portable DVD-ROM and Video player with LCD screen, MED300AS
    This portable DVD-ROM/video player incorporates a 5.8-inch low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with a resolution of 800 x 480 dots; four times that of an amorphous TFT LCD. This is the world's first portable DVD player that can play back DVD without any loss of resolution.

    High-quality picture and sound are achieved by a progressive reproduction circuit that faithfully reproduces progressive-shot DVD pictures, and by Specializer N-2-2 digital virtual surround that creates pseudo surround sound via the two front speakers.

    A D terminal is equipped for easy connection to a PC or a digital AV product.

    A second model, MED200AS, is the world smallest and lightest portable DVD video player without an LCD screen.

    Both MED300AS and MED200AS connect to a PC via a PC card. They can be used as a 4x (max.) DVD-ROM drive and 24x (max.) CD-ROM drive and can read CD-ROM, video CD, music CD, CD-R and CD-RW.

  4. Personal video player, MEE100AS
    This personal video player makes it possible to receive, record, edit and playback TV broadcasts on a notebook computer. A web site link, Internet TV Guide, allows one-touch programming of TV broadcasts to be recorded.

    Images are stored on a hard disk of the PC, compressed to the MPEG2 high-definition digital signal standard adopted for DVD. As storage is to a hard disk, recorded images can be viewed while recording continues, or while watching TV. To record 60 minutes of content in normal mode requires about 1.8GB of disk space. Besides TV programs, camcorder images and VHS videos can be converted to the MPEG2 format, stored on the hard disk, and edited with the player's bundled video editing software. Data stored on the hard disk can be recorded to video tape.

Starting the mass production of SD memory cards
In another move in support of next-generation digital products, Toshiba will this month become the first company to start mass production of 32MB and 64MB SD memory cards, at an initial monthly level of 50,000 cards. The company will also introduce a 128MB SD memory card by the end of 2000 and follow this up with an SD interface I/O card.

The SD memory card is the leading-edge removable memory card developed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., SanDisk Corporation and Toshiba. The postage-stamp sized card supports high-speed write and high data densities, and offers the high level of security required for copyright protection. The SD memory card is designed to provide solutions in numerous product areas, among them the mobile Internet and music and video distribution.

*SD Association: an organization established on February 1, 2000 to promote the SD memory card by Matsushita Electric Industrial co., Ltd., SanDisk Corporation and Toshiba. More than 100 companies, including leading manufacturers and content providers in audio and video, digital imaging, PC and Internet, have already joined the SD Association.


Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the press announcement,but is subject to change without prior notice.

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