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Home > Media Reiews > Other Review Last Updated: 14:56 03/09/2007
Other Review #14: November 4, 2003

Japan Media Review Update: November 4, 2003

JMR Staff (Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California)

The following reviews are posted at:

New Cell Phone Boasts Built-in Digital Television and Video Recorder
Sanyo will soon release a cell phone with a video recorder and television built in, reports Australia's Gizmo magazine. The phone was displayed recently at a Tokyo technology show. Other companies like NEC and Samsung have similar models, and the new phones are expected to be released in the coming year. The phone uses a normal terrestrial TV receiver, as opposed to streaming video, plus multiple antennas for stable digital TV reception. It also can record and play back up to 30 minutes of programming. Users of this new phone in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya will benefit first, as those major cities will receive terrestrial digital TV broadcasts beginning in December.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Shellie Branco

Voice Recognition Software to Enable Keyword Searches of Online Audio and Video
In a few years, searching online audio and video will be as easy and quick as searching text, reports the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Technology Review. Japanese researchers from the University of Tsukuba, the Japan Science and Technology Corporation (CREST) and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology have found a simple way to retrieve stored audio and video information online using speech recognition software and character recognition scanning. The search technology generates text from audio tracks using speech recognition software and optical character recognition scans of related text. Users can broaden their search to include other materials such as lectures and newspaper articles. The researchers estimate the system will be ready in three to six years.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

NTT DoCoMo and Sony Develop E-Wallet for Cell Phones
Never mind pulling out cash at the store -- Japanese cell phone users will soon be able to buy groceries, concert tickets and train passes through their handsets. Sony Corp. and NTT DoCoMo Inc., the largest cell phone operator in Japan, will develop "e-wallet" technology based on Sony's FeliCa smart card, reports The Japan Times. NTT DoCoMo said it hopes to launch a test service for cell phones equipped with the technology in December and the "smart wallet" features will be available by mid-2004. Keiji Tachikawa, chief executive of NTT DoCoMo, believes the chip has many potential uses and could even contain passport data in the future.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Shellie Branco

Global French TV Station to Broadcast Satellite Programs in Japan
French broadcasting superpower TV5 Monde will target French and English speakers in Japan by launching French-language public satellite broadcasts on Nov. 1. An estimated 15,000 French people live in Japan, where French is the most studied language after English. The station is partnering with Japan's Nippon BS Broadcasting Corp., reports Japan Today. TV5 Monde, the world's second most popular station after MTV, broadcasts in other Asian nations. But Japan is one of the last nations in Asia to partner with the station because Japanese satellites "can barely receive foreign transmissions," said TV5 Monde president Serge Adda. The station will target students of the language and provide movies, news, dramas and culture programs with English subtitles.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Shellie Branco

Veteran Nippon TV Producer Caught in Viewer Ratings Bribery Scandal
A producer at Nippon Television Network Corp, one of the five major stations in Japan, bribed TV viewer rating monitors to manipulate the ratings of his variety show, reports Japan Times. The manipulation of viewer ratings is unheard of in Japan, according to the report. The producer, who has been in charge of variety shows since 1991, is said to have hired a credit research agent in Saitama to identify a dozen households selected as TV viewer ratings monitors by the only TV ratings survey company in Japan, Video Research Ltd. The ratings company keeps the identities of the households strictly confidential. On four occasions between July 2002 and last month, the producer asked an acquaintance to request the household viewers to watch at least six shows he produced. In return, he mailed rewards of between 5,000 yen (about $45) and 10,000 yen (about $90) to the households and paid the credit research agent 100,000 yen (about $920) as a reward. Toshio Hagiwara, president of Nippon Television, apologized over the ratings scam in a news conference held at the company's headquarters in Tokyo.
-- By Japan Media Review Associate Editor Keiko Mori

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