The future looks rosy for Sony Philippines’ television business. Two years ago, I could barely hear a whoop from the company.
“Yes, we were very quiet,” channel and accounts management division director Larry Secreto confirms at the sideline of the Sony Bravia launch in Cebu. “That was the downtime.”
This year is going to be different; Sony will be aggressive in promoting its new Bravias.
Earlier, Secreto showed the media their marketing plans for May, June, and July alone. Expect to see more Sony TV commercials, billboards, print ads, store renovations, and trainings in the next few months.
Just as well. The Japanese manufacturer’s top competitor, Samsung, has been in-your-face in its Smart TV’s promotional drive since March 2012.
“If we won’t have a problem this year, we are confident we will overtake the other brand,” Secreto explains. “You have to understand we had a problem in production because of the flood in Thailand and the tsunami in Japan. We faced shortage that’s why we’re playing catch-up.”
That’s true. I remember how some friends from the retail industry used to say that customers were asking for Sony Bravia models they couldn’t produce. “Sayang, benta na sana.”
Secreto admits they still feel the impact of the shortage that’s why they are making a lot of new, affordable models.
In the past, you can never put that word and “Sony Philippines” in one sentence. Today, though, the company’s cheapest entry-level television costs P17,999. The 32-inch TV coming out next month will retail at only P18,999.
“We were able to improve the engineering process. Because of that, we can lower the price without sacrificing quality or even our margins,” Secreto reveals.
The models Sony Philippines launched are, it appears, a testament to its belief of never having to sacrifice quality.
“The best part of the TV has always been — and will always be — the picture quality,” says Takao Kuroda, president and managing director at Sony Philippines. “We are making TV buying easier with model lines that have clear differences, each designed to deliver the most premium, best-in-class picture.”
The new lineup consists of the following:
- Sony Bravia HX855 (55”/46”). Is powered by Sony’s dual-chip X-Reality Pro picture engine, which optimizes video sources by using a huge database of signal patterns and comparing incoming signals with ideal scenes to display accurate detail and color. The flagship model, terrific for viewing pictures no matter the format, gets the Monolithic design and Corning’s Gorilla Glass.
- Sony Bravia HX750 (55’/46”/40”). Is equipped with the single-chip X-Reality engine, which separates incoming video into its constituent parts of outline, texture, and color or contrast, and then applies image enhancements to deliver great picture. This is perfect for first-time 3D TV buyers.
- Sony Bravia EX650 (46”/40”/32”). Also runs on the single-chip X-Reality engine. It is out-of-the-box WiFi-ready.
- Sony Bravia BX350 (32”)/450 (46”/40”). Powered by the Bravia Engine 3, this one’s suited to consumers looking for their first high-definition television. It’s packed with Sony’s Clear Resolution Enhancer for better clarity and a USB playback so files can be shared instantly.
But what makes the Sony Bravia stand out? I ask Larry Secreto.
“Our four-screen connectivity. All of our gadgets — our VAIOs, our mobile phones, and our laptops — can connect to the Bravia seamlessly,” Secreto answers. “So if you’re at home and you’re watching a video on your Sony Xperia, you can just ‘throw’ (akin to flicking through a screen) that clip to the Bravia using your home’s WiFi network. That way, the whole family can watch it.”
Secreto also reveals they will be launching the Sony Entertainment Network in Asia this year. The service, which is currently available only in the United States, will give owners of select Bravia models unlimited access to movies, TV shows, music, and games.
“The whole Sony family is working now to come up with total entertainment. Remember that we also have the PlayStation. Iyan ang wala sa iba,” Secreto adds. “In terms of content, then, we have a very big advantage.”
Whether Sony Philippines will achieve its goal or not remains to be seen. One thing’s for certain, though: there’s a bloodbath in the TV space, and I’m glad I am just watching the fight from the sidelines.