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Philips bullish about `Vardaan'

Our Bureau

Bangalore , Apr 20

Satellite TV will see a widespread adoption in rural India soon, said Mr Rick Harwig, CTO of Royal Philips Electronics, The Netherlands.

Philips has test-launched `Vardaan', its digital satellite TV offering. Vardaan packages a dish antenna, a set top box integrated to a 15 inch CRT monitor and multimedia speakers with 300 Watts PMPO. The only option available to consumers today is to access DTH content (from Prasar Bharti - DD) from low quality set top boxes, sold by unbranded players. With Philips' offering, viewers will now be able to enjoy 35 high quality digital channels and 10 FM radio programmes.

The product has been successfully test marketed in WestBengal and Tamil Nadu.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Harwig said that cable and IPTV would find more acceptance in towns and cities, while satellite TV could be used to reach out to remote areas.

He said $125 million was spent annually on R&D activities in India. The total amount invested in R&D by the company is $3 billion.

Woodstove

Philips Research is focusing on rural needs in emerging markets for innovations. A woodstove developed by the firm reduces fuel consumption by 80 per cent compared with traditional stone fires. A thermo electric generator uses heat from burning wood to run a fan, which forces air through the stove, leading to better fuel to air ratio. A commercial pilot will be launched later this year, said Mr Harwig. The firm also has come out with rechargeable lamps, to be commercially tested in May and a simple water purifier.

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