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Old 19th Jan 2019, 12:46 pm   #21
Craig Sawyers
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

They invested big money in setting the standards for CD. They wrote the Red Book standard that defines all aspects of the CD reproduction system. The serial digital protocol, SPDIF stands for Sony Philips Digital InterFace. I visited them in Eindhoven at their CD electronics plant in the late 80s- it was huge, with a rank of automatic surface mount machines churning out circuit boards.

But yes - LaserDisc was a flop, and is in the same defunct media class as tape cartridge, Betamax, VHS, and reproduction systems like Quadraphonic.

You might a few years ago have say that cassette tape and vinyl were dead and buried, but the are very much alive and growing in market share.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 1:05 pm   #22
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

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They invested big money in setting the standards for CD. They wrote the Red Book standard that defines all aspects of the CD reproduction system. The serial digital protocol, SPDIF stands for Sony Philips Digital InterFace. I visited them in Eindhoven at their CD electronics plant in the late 80s- it was huge, with a rank of automatic surface mount machines churning out circuit boards.

But yes - LaserDisc was a flop, and is in the same defunct media class as tape cartridge, Betamax, VHS, and reproduction systems like Quadraphonic.

You might a few years ago have say that cassette tape and vinyl were dead and buried, but the are very much alive and growing in market share.
I wouldn't actually say that Laserdisc was a complete flop, it was sold from about 1978 until the early 2000s when the last players left Japan and whilst it never was a huge hit in Europe and USA , in Japan they were in approximately 10% of households and Pioneer were the major player in Laserdisc ,even producing a unit with a built in DVD Player near the end.
I still have quite a few myself and 100s of discs on various LD formats.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 2:21 pm   #23
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

I like small portable radios with thumbwheel analog tuning, so bought a Philips AE1530 today from a well-known shop. I tried it out but am very disappointed with its performance. It will have to go back.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 2:33 pm   #24
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

I've normally done well with Philips products over the years.

Laserdisc ended up mostly a niche product for film buffs, even having a last lease of life when home cinema became popular in the mid 1990s.

Originally it was thought that video recorders would be for just for recording & pre-recorded tapes would be too expensive to mass produce compared to discs, which could be stamped out rather than bulk recorded.

Things didn't work out that way, probably because people were reluctant to buy 2 expensive devices when even buying TVs was only just becoming common.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 4:41 pm   #25
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

To be honest, I've always been a fan of Philips. I spent years collecting and restoring Philips 1700/1702 machines in the early 80s and again including V2000 machines in the early noughties (all gone now). I also had the first CD, the CD100, then the 473 (?) that had the favourite tracks feature. Mind you, that feature packed in after a few months, must dig the machine out and fix it. I also love vintage Philips sets, owning a 634a and others. I had a 9" model 353 (?) TV from the 50s when I collected TVs and I've owned other Philips consumer stuff like electric mixers, radio alarms etc etc. I like Philips stuff.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 5:29 pm   #26
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

I am also a fan of (old) Philips stuff. I have several of their tape recorders, a couple of N1500s and V2000 machines, some of their test gear etc. And the unit in the top of the rack in the attached photo (along with 2 of its later brothers).
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 6:26 pm   #27
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

There was a Philips factory just down the road from me. It used to be called Mullard Magnetic Components in the days of CRT televisions and had strong links with the Blackburn factory where my late uncle worked. There was always a humming noise and a "hot" smell emanating from it

It was then re-branded Philips and closed several years ago. The building hung on for ages but is now being demolished to be replaced by housing.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 6:47 pm   #28
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

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I wouldn't actually say that Laserdisc was a complete flop, it was sold from about 1978 until the early 2000s when the last players left Japan and whilst it never was a huge hit in Europe and USA , in Japan they were in approximately 10% of households and Pioneer were the major player in Laserdisc ,even producing a unit with a built in DVD Player near the end.
I still have quite a few myself and 100s of discs on various LD formats.
It's easy to overlook the fact that we're a subset of the World marketplace. We weren't the sole focus of Philips, or indeed of other manufacturers who went the same way.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 6:50 pm   #29
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

I'm kind-of glad Philips has refocussed on monetizing IP rather than the low-level business of churning-out-stuff-to-consumers.

These days, 'fabrication' is cheap; the truly-wealth-creating end is the seriously-techie side of embedded algorithms and suchlike. The postgraduate brainpower to do this doesn't come cheap - but the physical on-chip implementation can be outsourced to silicon fab-plants in China etc.

As an example: look at ARM - they've got away from the hassle of physically making the melted-sand stuff and now sell their smartness for millions of pounds per year from a nice comfortable office on the outskirts of Cambridge.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 10:34 pm   #30
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

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My understanding is the Philips always were strong in intellectual property and encouraged innovation.. Their patent department was run as a business unit that filed, and paid the prosecution costs of, patents for any worthwhile inventions made by the subsidiary companies, licenced the inventions to third parties, and collected the royalties.
I think you're right about that, but licenses eventually run out, and lots of new inventions that would otherwise have been made, won't be made inside a skeleton company.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 10:42 pm   #31
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

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Originally Posted by G6Tanuki View Post
I'm kind-of glad Philips has refocussed on monetizing IP rather than the low-level business of churning-out-stuff-to-consumers.

These days, 'fabrication' is cheap; the truly-wealth-creating end is the seriously-techie side of embedded algorithms and suchlike. The postgraduate brainpower to do this doesn't come cheap - but the physical on-chip implementation can be outsourced to silicon fab-plants in China etc.

As an example: look at ARM - they've got away from the hassle of physically making the melted-sand stuff and now sell their smartness for millions of pounds per year from a nice comfortable office on the outskirts of Cambridge.
That's not really comparable. ARM is especially good in one thing and keep doing that in the best and most efficient way. Also, Philips did sometimes outsource assembly a bit while still in the design and manufacturing business (so they actually did what ARM did). Philips however wasn't just in one market niche and that's where the comparison seems to fail. It's hard to see Samsung going that way anytime soon. Samsung is essentially what Philips was and still could have been business wise.
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Old 20th Jan 2019, 12:54 am   #32
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

I liked Philips because their products of the were not only of good quality, they were artistically designed. The packaging was eye-catching but tasteful, and even the components were beautiful! Braun on the other hand went all-out for visual design at the expense of good mechanics and electronics.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 12:16 am   #33
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

When I worked for NEI (Network Electronic Industries) at our Edgeware office, our CTV25/28 were based on a Philips chip set, the Micro controller software being specifically written by Philips.... a "one off".. no handset compatibility with any other set..not even the universal code of that time (1990's) . When NEI closed one of my colleagues.. Paul Ross ..got a job at Philips Southampton, as an application engineer. Unfortunately we lost contact a short time after.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 2:39 pm   #34
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Default Re: Philips to close last UK Factory.(Glemsford)

Philips continental radio-stuff from the 30s through the 50s was sometimes crazily designed - utterly unlike any other manufacturer! They did seem to have a love of the unusual - the 800-ohm directly-driven loudspeakers in some of their radios being a case in point. Their love of side-contact valvebases being another...

The last Philips product I bought was nearly 20 years ago - a "Brilliance 202" CRT monitor.

http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?id=508

I used it for 15 years in 2048x1536 VGA mode, but it developed a fault with the on-screen-controls and so I replaced it with a LCD - I'd have had to do that anyway because shortly after I replaced the computer and the new one only has DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, neither of which are supported by the Philips.

It was a nice monitor - I still have it somewhere, but it's not worth repairing. Can't complain about it - 15 years of daily use, often for 10 hours a day. It owes me nothing. Cheers Philips!
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