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Philips decides to do it with mirrors

Seven years bad luck?

Philips is showcasing its key gizmos for UK punters. Available over the course of 2004, goodies include televisions, hi-fi kit, DVD recorders, a comprehensive range of LCD screens and an innovative range of portable entertainment devices.

Among the most interesting new displays is a mirror TV. The UK is set to be the test market for the MiraVision TV which will be available as a portrait model with a 17in TFT screen built into the lower half so customers can check their appearance in the hallway while double-checking on the TV weather forecast that their new hairstyle isn?t about to be ruined by a sudden downpour.

Full-screen MiraVision TVs with customisable frames will also be marketed with likely pricing for a 23in LCD screen expected to cost around the £2,500 mark ? around £1,000 more than an LCD TV with the same sized screen.

There will be 20 new Flat TVs ranging in screen sizes from 15in to 50ins. At the top of the scale two models, the 42in 42PF9966 and 50in 50PF9966, are plasma models, while the largest LCD TVs are 42in and 32in versions.

Philips also demonstrated slimline DVD receivers and DVD+RW recorders including models equipped to play SACD (SuperAudio CD) discs.

Fans of PC-based music and video will be able to share downloaded tracks and films via a funky new £799 inc VAT entertainment centre. Streaming video capabilities will be offered by the Streamium MX600i, a six-channel speaker entertainment system with a five-disc DVD changer that delivers video and audio via broadband using an Ethernet or wireless 802.11g web connection.

Portable music fans can already get their hands on a mini MP3 player in the form of the HDD060 ? a 1.5GB player able to store up to 600 Windows Media Audio tracks or 375 MP3s ? stealing a march on Apple?s 1 April Mini iPod launch. Last month Philips launched a 20GB version of its iPod-rivalling HDD120 music player.

In a neat expansion to the capabilities of keyring-sized MP3 players and USB storage devices, Philips is to add photo capture functions to its keychain players. Set for launch in May and June and costing between £139 and £239, the Key 019 will offer up to 200 two megapixel stills or up to 30 minutes of video while, at the lower end of the range, the 128MB Key 010 will be able to store 200 digital still images but no video.

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