The Battle for the Digital Home

SofTECH and SDForum
74 minutes, 25.6mb, recorded 2004-04-28
Topics: Media

Go back to 1994 and people were talking breathlessly about "Digital Convergence" a buzzword, but not a reality.

Now fast forward 10 years to 2004 and we see real products delivering on the promise. The consumer electronics industry is a $30 billion industry worldwide and it is about to undergo more change in the next five years than in the previous 25.

As the electronics industry shifts from analog to digital technology there is a major battle going on between the industry giants and start-ups alike for leadership in the digital home. This is a battle where billions of dollars are being spent in new technology. This battle has been underway for several years and the recent changes are reshaping the entire industry.

Everything from set-top boxes to digital photography is driving new industry standards for the digital home. The arrival of broadband and wireless technologies is changing the rules. The Digital Home is becoming networked, getting closer to that 1994 promise.

Our panel will discuss these trends, and the technology shaping them while answering the critical question, does the consumer really want access to their favorite digital entertainment, including recorded TV, photography, movies and music anywhere in the home.


Don Clark, Deputy Bureau Chief for the Wall Street Journal

Alfred T. Chu, Principal, Panasonic Digital Concepts Center

Gary Sasaki,

Mark Ely, Senior Vice President - Strategic Planning, Sonic Solutions

Panelist Bios

Don Clark
Mr. Clark is based out of the paper's San Francisco office and is responsible for shaping the Journal's West Coast technology coverage, with a particular focus on events here in the Valley and in Redmond. He has covered technology for 24 years, starting with the St. Paul Pioneer Press and then the San Francisco Chronicle before joining the Journal in 1993. Mr. Clark is heavily involved in the daily spot news filed from San Francisco, and coordinates with other WSJ bureaus on breaking stories and features about individual companies and technology trends. Besides editing and assigning stories to others, Mr. Clark continues to write news stories and features, with strongest emphasis recently on the semiconductor and computing hardware markets.

Alfred T. Chu
Mr. Chu, with a background in investment banking and operational finance, joined Panasonic Digital Concepts Center (PDCC) in 2000. He focuses on venture capital investments and global business development with semiconductor, software, and systems companies in the broadband and wireless sectors. Prior to PDCC, Mr. Chu worked in the investment banking division of Salomon Smith Barney where he advised on and executed $11 billion of mergers, acquisitions, and debt and equity offerings for leading technology companies. Previously, Mr. Chu worked at Hewlett Packard, where he provided operational and finance leadership in the company's global printer and consumer products groups. Mr. Chu is active with a number of Bay Area venture capital and technology organizations, including the NextGen Partners of Silicon Valley, Venture Capital Round Table, and the MIT/Stanford Venture Laboratory. Mr. Chu received his bachelor degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude.

Gary Sasaki
Gary Sasaki was in HP Labs as a Strategic Business Development Manager for over 10 years. HP Labs offered a rich mix of cutting edge technology and a central point to work with any business division of HP or outside company. The recent focus was on finding and initiating billion dollar opportunities in digital consumer electronics and digital imaging. Other areas that were examined include mobility, automotive telematics, and automatic test systems. Before joining HP Labs, Gary was an HP division R&D Manager leading over 100 professionals. The lab had three separate product lines, each #1 in their market worldwide. The products involved precision time, frequency and distance measurements and standards. Other positions include R&D Section Manager, Project Manager and Product Marketing. He received his BSEE/CS from the University of California, Berkeley; attended the Brookings Institution, and had other coursework in Stanford and HP. Gary is interested in networking with people in the Consumer Electronics industry, or in other companies where growth through a creative look at markets and technology are valued.

Mark Ely
Mark Ely joined Sonic Solutions in August 1992. He has held positions in Technical Support, Sales Engineer, Product Marketing, Business Development and General Management. Mr. Ely received a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.B.A. from the Anderson School at UCLA.

Wednesday, April 28 2004

This free podcast is from our SofTECH series.