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Old 08-03-2013, 10:09
misar
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Hmmm - not so sure if I spend my hard earned cash on a product expensive ( lets say a mobile phone ) or not that says brand XXXXXX on the front I am going to be very disappointed to find that it was built by a Chinese computer board maker !

Or I buy a digital camera with the name of a famous Japanese camera maker on to find that that it is made by a 3rd party make who makes it under many brands and all that changes is the label .

Bit like if it says meat on the packet it should be meat not horse !
You seem to be in a time warp. Surely you realise that vast numbers of well known brands no longer have any connection to the real manufacturer that originally created them. This applies to all consumer goods, including food and clothes, not just electrical or electronic items. In many cases when brand names were sold on they were the most valuable remaining asset of their creator.
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Old 08-03-2013, 21:11
alan1302
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Hmmm - not so sure if I spend my hard earned cash on a product expensive ( lets say a mobile phone ) or not that says brand XXXXXX on the front I am going to be very disappointed to find that it was built by a Chinese computer board maker !

Or I buy a digital camera with the name of a famous Japanese camera maker on to find that that it is made by a 3rd party make who makes it under many brands and all that changes is the label .

Bit like if it says meat on the packet it should be meat not horse !
It could be a better product if it's made by someone else as well of course.

This kind of manufacturing has been going on for years and anything that does get made by a 3rd party is made to the original manufactuers spec so can't see a problem with it.
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Old 09-03-2013, 00:38
1andrew1
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I don't see why they would have a 'large VCR plant' when they hardly ever made VHS machines? - unless you're referring to an old Betamax plant?
This was more a general point about Sony slimming down its manufacturing than a contradiction of your point - but I can see it might look this way from reading the preceding post!

Just checked its:
ALSACE TEC SAV LCD
RIBEAUVILLE
Yes, the same place as the link I posted:
Centre de Technologie Alsace
Zone d'activités du Muehlbach
F-68153 RIBEAUVILLE Cedex
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:29
Kodaz
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Surprised no-one has mentioned the PS3 and PS4 when considering Sony's current situation.

I'm not a gamer, but from what I understand, Sony spent a *horrendous* amount of money developing the PS3 (and in particular the cell processor), then much more on top of that subsidising the early units to the tune of $3 billion, which is quite something considering they were notoriously expensive to start off with.

Despite having caught up with the XBox 360 after a slow start, the PS3 having not been sold at a loss for some time and (IIRC) the PS3 division now being profitable, this story confirms that Sony are unlikely to make back the massive amount of money sunk into the format over its lifetime.

So despite having sold (what is now) a massive-selling and popular console, they're still taking a loss on it. It's absolutely no surprise that the PS4 is based on relatively off-the-shelf hardware and not as revolutionary as its predecessor- they just couldn't afford to repeat that again. Particularly not in the current economy.

(Besides which, the hyped cell processor which might- on paper- have been a big deal apparently turned out to be a drawback, as everyone claimed it was hard to develop for).

Feel free to add more if you're a gamer, or there are any egregious mistakes in that lot.
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Old 09-03-2013, 15:17
alan1302
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Feel free to add more if you're a gamer, or there are any egregious mistakes in that lot.
No, seem all fine to me
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Old 09-03-2013, 17:45
Kodaz
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No, seem all fine to me
Ha ha

Seriously, though, as this is more a traditional AV-focused forum, it's easy for us to forget that earlier PlayStations were massively successful cash cows that made up a significant percentage of Sony's income. (The PS2 in particular).

The fact that the PS3 never dominated its generation in the same way (despite catching up with the XBox 360) and will probably never make back the sunk costs of its early days before it's obsolete has to have had a significant effect on Sony's financial health.

(Some may say that Sony deserved this for their "it doesn't matter how expensive it is, people will find a way to afford it" attitude when it was launched).

They have to do it all over again for the PS4, but that's not a guaranteed success- it's been argued that the market is moving away from traditional "big name" consoles.

So, now that the income stream that protected them as the market changed from the 1990s onwards (along, apparently with income from their own bank) is less certain, are they going to pull something else out of the hat?
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Old 09-03-2013, 18:59
BrokenArrow
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Surprised no-one has mentioned the PS3 and PS4 when considering Sony's current situation.

I'm not a gamer, but from what I understand, Sony spent a *horrendous* amount of money developing the PS3 (and in particular the cell processor), then much more on top of that subsidising the early units to the tune of $3 billion, which is quite something considering they were notoriously expensive to start off with.

Despite having caught up with the XBox 360 after a slow start, the PS3 having not been sold at a loss for some time and (IIRC) the PS3 division now being profitable, this story confirms that Sony are unlikely to make back the massive amount of money sunk into the format over its lifetime.

So despite having sold (what is now) a massive-selling and popular console, they're still taking a loss on it. It's absolutely no surprise that the PS4 is based on relatively off-the-shelf hardware and not as revolutionary as its predecessor- they just couldn't afford to repeat that again. Particularly not in the current economy.

(Besides which, the hyped cell processor which might- on paper- have been a big deal apparently turned out to be a drawback, as everyone claimed it was hard to develop for).

Feel free to add more if you're a gamer, or there are any egregious mistakes in that lot.
I was under the impression that all the games consoles were sold at a loss just as most printers are sold at a loss and mobile phones are given away for free.
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Old 09-03-2013, 19:43
Kodaz
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I was under the impression that all the games consoles were sold at a loss just as most printers are sold at a loss and mobile phones are given away for free.
While this is true of some consoles in their early days (especially ones based on state-of-the-art technology that companies know will come down in price when enough have been sold), it's nowhere near as universal as many people think.

Generally, such consoles move towards profitability- in their own right- later on. And some companies- like Nintendo- have had a reputation for selling at a profit from day one, which makes their planned loss on early Wii U consoles all the more unusual.

Of course, I assume that licensing costs from console games are also taken into account when calculating the total profit associated with the project.
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Old 09-03-2013, 22:13
Gary Brenton
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This is nothing new.

The local Sony Centre (now defunct) sold Akai and Kenwood stereo equipment as far back as 1987.

And I remember the owner candidly telling me that, at the specific range I was looking at at the time, the Akai separates system he was selling for slightly less than the Sony, was better-built and had superior sound quality for the same price. He was correct on both counts.

It was interesting actually that the guy was less inclined to slavishly recommend Sony than the Dixons guy down the road

Sony Europe's problem is that they've copied the other guys and plunged downmarket, albeit not to quite the same degree. The equipment they sell in Japan is of a much higher quality than that sold here; most is still made in Japan, is significantly more expensive than much of the competition and they still sell things like high-end hifi equipment with all-aluminium construction.

Here it's just generic, often Chinese-engineered and completely unremarkable brown goods. Yes, their TVs may be a cut above some other manufacturers, but some of the audio gear in particular is tat -- there's no other word for it.

I recently fixed up a Sony micro system for a friend, about two years old and the CD laser had packed up. That in itself isn't particularly unusual and the player was using the perfectly decend KSS213 series mech. But I was having a root around and noticed that the PSU was of very poor quality, and one or two of the (Chinese) capacitors were already starting to bulge -- I swapped them out as a matter of course.

Then I looked at the mainboard, proudly stamped with its manufacturer ID ... "AKI Digital". Oops.

AKI are a small Chinese DVD player manufacturer who also make cheap stereo gear. So not only are Sony selling tat as their own (in line with everyone else), but they're using third-tier garbage merchants in the process. Not good at all -- I'd expect that from Bush, not Sony.

(Granted, I think this thing only set the lad back about £40 from Argos, but even so, it's not what you expect from a premium manufacturer).
I recently fixed up a Sony micro system for a friend, about two years old and the CD laser had packed up. That in itself isn't particularly unusual and the player was using the perfectly decend KSS213 series mech. But I was having a root around and noticed that the PSU was of very poor quality, and one or two of the (Chinese) capacitors were already starting to bulge -- I swapped them out as a matter of course.


I havn't purchased any 'laser' product from Sony since the mid 90's as they are far too unreliable.

I once purchased a few CD players over a certain amount of time - including minidisc players and ALL only lasted a very short time.

The ONLY hi-fi equipment I have (and still use) are sony Tuners (seperates)
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:26
Nigel Goodwin
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I havn't purchased any 'laser' product from Sony since the mid 90's as they are far too unreliable.
Almost all CD players use Sony laser assemblies - including the stupidly high priced examples. As a company we've always purchased replacement lasers direct from Sony, they cost a little more but are 'supposedly' the 'better' ones off the production lines. An old friend of mine, who ran a disco with another mate, sent his Denon twin CD player back to Denon for repair - they charged him over £100 each for two new Sony KSS210's plus fitting

As such their reliability is as high as every one else's CD players (with the exception of Philips of course, who's lasers are different and less reliable).

There have been a few other minor players in the laser market over the decades, but none have ever had much impact.
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Old 10-03-2013, 16:33
Kodaz
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As such their reliability is as high as every one else's CD players
Or put another way, everyone else's CD players are likely to be as bad as Sony's
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Old 10-03-2013, 18:29
Nigel Goodwin
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Or put another way, everyone else's CD players are likely to be as bad as Sony's
Not at all - as the only alternative (from Philips) is considerably worse
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Old 10-03-2013, 21:00
Kodaz
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Or put another way, everyone else's CD players are likely to be as bad as Sony's
Not at all - as the only alternative (from Philips) is considerably worse
Okay, let me rephrase that... everyone else's CD players are likely to be as bad as or worse than Sony's.

Hmm... still doesn't have that ring of confidence about it
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Old 11-03-2013, 00:17
Soundbox
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Why the laser lenses changed from glass to plastic I don't know but every time I replace a laser the plastic lens has gone either smoky or milky (like a blinded eye) and the old CD players from the 80's and early 90's never have this issue.

KSS210, 213, all the same...
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:54
Nigel Goodwin
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Why the laser lenses changed from glass to plastic I don't know but every time I replace a laser the plastic lens has gone either smoky or milky (like a blinded eye) and the old CD players from the 80's and early 90's never have this issue.

KSS210, 213, all the same...
The older glass lens were definitely better - but the publics demand for cheaper and cheaper products caused the change for the worse.
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Old 11-03-2013, 21:00
Orbitalzone
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The older glass lens were definitely better - but the publics demand for cheaper and cheaper products caused the change for the worse.
Is it public demand for continuing lower prices or stupid manufacturers trying to out sell one another and reducing the costs down and down!
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Old 11-03-2013, 22:56
call100
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Is it public demand for continuing lower prices or stupid manufacturers trying to out sell one another and reducing the costs down and down!
It could be that the market place has changed since you used to buy overpriced tech.
In the olden days you bought a TV and expected to still be using it 5 or more years down the track. Tech is now outdated by the time it reaches the shop. Two years is a lifetime in the tech world and the next 'great' must have is always on the conveyor belt. People don't want expensive (anything), they just want to be able to have the latest......The churn enables the manufacturers to keep the prices down....

I'm not saying I necessarily agree with the market place, but, the market place is the market place!!!
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Old 11-03-2013, 23:47
Chris Frost
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Is it public demand for continuing lower prices or stupid manufacturers trying to out sell one another and reducing the costs down and down!
There used to be some sound economic reasoning behind this. But it was more manufacturer-lead than consumer driven.

Look up W. Edwards Demming to see how the Japanese got the idea in the first place. Making products more cost-effectively is a good thing: Stripping out unnecessary costs and streamlining supply and production. What's changed though is the commoditisation of what used to be luxury goods. The pendulum swung too far.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:12
Soundbox
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One thing is that higher end 'desirable Sony' gear from the 80's is still desirable and fetches decent money on the used market. It still looks good to this day and when I worked at Mastercare there was an early (aluminium and glass) Sony CD player in the duplication room. When Mastercare closed the first thing to be 'procured' was that CD player - not any of the more modern stuff.

Then again I have not gone in for the new-tech race and only buy modern white goods, not AV equipment. There is just no passion in the designs any more.
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Old 12-03-2013, 20:49
Orbitalzone
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True, tech changes too quickly really.... how many smart TV's get sold with bugs never to get fixed and next year there's a new model with new issues.

I'm sure many of us remember when a TV design lasted for years with only minor changes....

The one thing I'm very glad is to be out of the TV retail / repair business, we struggled to make a profit 15 years ago when we sold up and thankfully back then hardly anyone knew of the internet.
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Old 12-03-2013, 21:18
iangrad
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True, tech changes too quickly really.... how many smart TV's get sold with bugs never to get fixed and next year there's a new model with new issues.

I'm sure many of us remember when a TV design lasted for years with only minor changes....

The one thing I'm very glad is to be out of the TV retail / repair business, we struggled to make a profit 15 years ago when we sold up and thankfully back then hardly anyone knew of the internet.
What trade did you move into ?
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Old 12-03-2013, 21:46
mincepie
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I think they stopped making separates a while back??
But then the hifi industry isn't probably at it's strongest - for most people my age (mid 20's) - having a 'proper' hifi system isn't something that people consider any more - more about having an iPod and tablet.

As for the demise of Sony TV's...I guess things come and go. Look at Iiyama who used to be top for computer monitors in the CRT days, now they just push out cheap flatscreens with no real selling point.
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Old 13-03-2013, 13:48
Orbitalzone
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What trade did you move into ?
Radio telecommunications although do venture into non radio equipment depending on what a customer requires...it's a bit of a niche market but they pay is certainly better.
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