Canon develops printer for digital TV broadcasts

TOKYO: Canon Inc said on Thursday it has developed a printer that can print information from digital TV broadcasts and aims to expand the business to 100 billion yen in five years.

Canon plans to launch the ink jet printer in Japan in the autumn of next year ahead of the nationwide rollout of terrestrial digital broadcasts late next year, estimating the domestic market for it will reach 4.8 million units by 2011.

The printer will likely cost about 50,000 yen in Japan and will be launched in the U.S. and Europe at a later date, it said.

The world’s top maker of copiers and cameras is aggressively investing in the development of new products, keen to cultivate new growth drivers as competition in the office equipment market intensifies and growth in the digital camera market slows.

Canon, which competes in the ink jet printer market with Seiko Epson Corp. (6724.T: Quote, Profile, Research), Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) and Lexmark International Inc. (LXK.N: Quote, Profile, Research), said the printer would be used primarily to make hard copies of information related to a TV program rather than still images of what appears on the screen.

“If there was a TV commercial say for a pizza delivery place, perhaps there would be a discount coupon that you could print out,” Canon spokesman Richard Berger said.

The printer could help Canon achieve its strategy of establishing a larger presence in people’s living rooms, complementing a new type of flat panel TV co-developed with Toshiba Corp. (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research) and scheduled for launch early next year.

Supporting a common connection standard, the new printer will be compatible with liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma display televisions, as well as Canon and Toshiba’s own surface conduction electron emitter display (SED) TVs.

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