JVC in Prague: The Inside Story
Hopefully you will have read the news story on our website that reported live from JVC's European Press Trip – a quick overnight jaunt to Prague where we were given the complete lowdown on the company's products for 2009. If you missed it, take a look here.
Whether you think these trips are one big jolly for alcohol-loving journalists or a sleep-deprived 24 hours of non-stop hard graft (someone out there must think that), I'll aim to give you a bit of an idea... As ever, the answer is somewhere in between the two.
It's an early start to the day in order to catch a taxi to Heathrow Terminal 5 for a morning flight. The usual suspects from the AV industry – apparently there are other magazines and websites out there, for what reason we don't know – are gathered along with the welcoming committee from the company in question.
So for this trip we have half a dozen journalists and our PR contact for JVC – it turns out the rest of the assorted product managers and technical bods are already out in Prague. A quick coffee and a moan about the early start and we're on our way...
We touch down in Prague and are bussed from the airport to our base, the Hilton in the city centre. A sizeable chunk of the hotel has been taken over by JVC for a week-long showcase of all its new products to staff, dealers and journalists.
There's time to check-in, dump our bags, quickly set-up the wireless connection in the room and check a few emails, before it's back downstairs for our afternoon at the mercy of 'Victor'.
While we stuff our faces with assorted sandwiches and cakes - it certainly feels like a long time since we had any proper food - we listen to a number of speakers from both the Japanese and European offices of JVC, as they set out the company's achievements in the past year and plans for the future.
Susumu Sakakibara, general manager of AV & Multimedia for JVC, is the main draw, giving us a run-down on the coming year that focuses largely on TVs (super-slim, separate tuner boxes, wireless, Full HD),home cinema (Blu-ray players and systems, plus BD-Live support) and camcorders (we turned off a touch at this point... oh OK, the key here is one-touch sending of your content to iTunes and YouTube).
Looking to the future, there was also plenty of vague talk of 3D TV, with plans for 24, 32 and 46in 3D sets that will deliver 3D video when paired with 3D glasses. A proper lunch never quite materialised - not that we journalists are always looking to be eating and/or drinking, of course - so it was straight downstairs to see the products in action.
After being guided down a few corridors and through a few cavernous halls we finally find JVC's aladdin's cave, jam-packed with the company's new kit. For the full low-down on this, head over to the news story here. But if it's more pictures you're after, scroll on down...
This is the profile of a set from JVC's DV1 range.
While here's the even slimmer LT-42WX70.
All of JVC's new televisions use the company's freshly-designed remote control, below.
And here's the company's long-awaited Blu-ray player, the XV-BP1.
And finally, the chunky NX-BD5B Sophisti Blu-ray cinema system.
After seeing all the kit it was back to the hotel room where, resisting the temptation to have a quick forty winks, I set to work on the news story. In a matter of moments the pristine prose is posted online using our web-based CMS program for adding content to the site. Pictures are then emailed and/or sourced back in our UK office, and then added to the news story as it goes live. A few frantic emails later, and in this instance some pictures sent via mobile phone, and the story appears on whathifi.com. And relax.
As is customary - you'll be staggered to hear - we rendez-vous in the hotel bar for a much-needed drink, before the entire European press trip, together with the JVC representatives, head in to Prague to commandeer a restaurant for some food and perhaps another drink or two... This gives us a chance to pick the brains of JVC's engineers and product managers, while they attempt to gleam some nuggets of knowledge from the various journalists present (which doesn't take long etc.)
It's not long before the day - and possibly some of the liquid refreshment - catches up with us all, and we head back to the hotel for a night-cap...
...we retire to bed.
Sadly there's rarely time to take a proper look around the city you're apparently visiting, so we grab some breakfast before heading back to the airport for a flight home... And so another press trip and another look at a whole host of new products has come and gone in the blink of an eye.