Philips Electronics India on Thursday announced the test launch of its digital satellite television, Philips Satellite Varadaan. This will enable rural populations to access the free-to-air channels without cable connections.
The company also announced that it has successfully tested the wood stove which burns energy more efficiently.
The TV, developed at the Philips Innovation Campus in Bangalore, is being tested in areas in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu where cable TV is not available. The TV is expected to hit the markets in the festival season.
Announcing this in Bangalore, Rick Harwig, CTO of Philips BV, Netherlands, said: “This is a leapfrog towards convergence. Our research has found that even though DTH programmes have gained tremendous popularity, the only option available to the customer today is to access this content from low-quality set top boxes from unbranded players. This new product will now provide consumers with an easy to operate yet advanced technology solution for enjoying high quality picture and sound and therefore wholesome entertainment.”
According to Philips, this digital satellite TV has been launched in response to the immense popularity of digital broadcasting of DTH signals from Prasar Bharati amongst consumers.
This TV has a set-top box integrated inside 15-inch monitor and also has external multimedia speakers with high sound output resulting in a product in which TV, PC and radio converge.
“When plugged into a CPU of a computer, this versatile product functions as a PC monitor thus saving the cost of a new monitor if the consumer wishes to buy a PC,” added Harwig. The consumer gets access to 35 channels covering news, sports, music and general entertainment, plus more than 10 FM radio stations.
Harwig added that the Indian centre is working on a host of other products through which the digital divide can be bridged.
“Close to $150 million is being invested on an yearly basis in Indian R&D operations to churn out major products for emerging markets and also for mature markets. India is leading the charge in the consumer electronics product development area,” he noted.
Philips also announced the test launch of its wood stove for cooking in communities relying on less-efficient means.
“This stove cuts the smoke and toxic emissions which are claimed to cause 1.6 million deaths a year. It also burns efficiently to reduce the load on the existing energy supply chain, without the dependence on non-renewable energy sources. The stove could benefit up to 300 million families in the world’s poorest regions,” he added.
According to the company, the secret to many benefits of this stove is an electronically controlled fan forcing air through the stove, leading to higher temperatures and a better fuel to air ratio. This results in cleaner burning and more efficient use of fuel.
“A thermoelectric generator using the heat from the burning wood generates electricity for the fan. Apart from ensuring autonomy from electricity supplies, the generator can also power external equipment like radio or lighting,” Harwig highlighted.
Philips Research also optimised the construction of the stove for low thermal mass and good insulation. This ensures that the stove take less energy to heat up, decreasing the time to get to cooking temperature, and make sure the stove loses less of its heat to the surroundings.
“We should be going in for a commercial pilot of this product in India later this year. At the same time, we are looking for partners to bring this technology to the rural markets that are difficult to reach through our existing distribution channels,” Harwig noted.