General Electric announced on Sept. 23 that it had entered into a joint venture with Taiwan's Tatung Co. to produce innovative high-definition television sets. The joint venture, General Displays & Technologies (GDT), will "design, market and service GE-branded HDTVs" with the first sets hitting the market early next year, GE said.
Tatung is a leader in display technologies and has manufacturing plants in China, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.
GDT chief executive Marc McConnaughey said the new HDTVs would bring a step closer to the goal of merging the Internet and television experience without a personal computer. "We are developing advanced, Internet capabilities for content delivery to televisions, without the need for a PC," he said. "This includes Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) through cable, satellite and advanced fiber-optic television connectivity. The long-term strategy is to allow consumers to customize their viewing experience by downloading widgets and a variety of services directly to their HDTVs."
GE said GDT will also partner with GE-owned media and entertainment company NBC Universal to develop an open platform capable of delivering Internet and other digital content directly through the television.
"This is an exciting opportunity for NBCU to partner with GE and help design a cutting-edge product that responds now to consumer desire for a seamless union of high-quality digital content and Internet engagement, with an ease that still appeals to TV viewers," said Darren Feher of NBC Universal.
Tatung will hold 51% of the equity in the joint venture with GE holding the remaining 49%.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008