Sony Goes To Print With Picturestation System

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Retail Digital Photo Finishing Systems Now Available

[PMA 2002] Sony Electronics announced the immediate availability of its new PictureStation™ retail digital photo finishing systems.

The PictureStation systems come in two standard configurations, a counter-top unit and freestanding kiosk. Designed for retail environments whose digital camera customers are looking for photo-like prints in minutes, Sony’s new systems provide consumers with fast, easy-to-use digital photo printing services. The PictureStation systems are a part of a global Print By Sony™ campaign. The campaign logo appears on all print media, equipment and signage, signaling a commitment of quality and consistency that both retailers and consumers can identify.

“We’re convinced that PictureStation systems will be adopted widely across the retail landscape, including drugstores, quick-print service bureaus, consumer electronics retailers, mass merchants, and, of course, photo specialty stores,” said Steven Blum, vice president of digital photography at Sony Electronics’ Broadcast and Professional Company. “Each of these retailers can use Sony’s PictureStation systems as the springboard of a marketing strategy to build and enhance their digital photo finishing business.”

“As digital cameras continue to enter the mainstream, consumers will increasingly search for easy and cost-effective ways to print their digital images,” said Kerry Flatley, a research analyst at InfoTrends Research Group, a market research firm in Boston. “The availability of Sony’s PictureStation system will expand the printing options accessible to digital camera users, and in turn allow retailers to capture some of the growing digital printing market.”

Among the retailers announced today that are offering the PictureStation digital photo finishing service to their customers is B&H Photo-Video in New York.

“Customers love receiving prints immediately,” said Henry Posner, director of sales and training for B&H Photo-Video. “Customers come into B&H to use the Sony PictureStation because they have gone on vacation, or they have an exciting event and they want a digital photo finishing system they can use quickly, simply and effectively”

Bergen County Camera, a Westwood, N.J.-based independent photo specialty retailer, recently installed a countertop PictureStation system in their store.

“Before we installed Sony’s PictureStation system, we would have to process digital printing requests by either burning a CD and sending it out or very laboriously printing the images ourselves on an inkjet printer,” said Tom Gramegna, president of Bergen County Camera. “Customers find the PictureStation experience very easy and gratifying. They like the idea of actually going home with the pictures they want in just one visit.”

“We like to bring people over who are contemplating the purchase of a digital camera,” Gramegna added. “We show them how easy it is to put the memory card into the PictureStation and leave with a print immediately.”

With its small footprint, the counter-top PictureStation system fits neatly on the top of a retail counter to save valuable floor space. Made up of two separate components, the customer ordering terminal and the photo printer, the unit is easy to install and it allows retailers to provide personalized behind-the-counter service to their customers. The freestanding Kiosk allows customers to order their pictures and print them out at one convenient terminal.

The PictureStation systems accept images recorded on standard removable media, including Memory Stick®, Smart Media™, compact flash cards, CD-ROMs and floppy discs.

The cornerstone of the PictureStation systems are their high-speed digital printers. Sony’s new UPD-R100 printer integrated into the systems support three borderless print sizes – 3″x5″; 4″x6″ and 5″x7″ as well as a choice of matte or glossy finishes. The printer media incorporates Sony’s lamination coating, for extended durability. Blum said that stand-alone PictureStation printers are also available to support third-party applications, while allowing for the adoption of the Print-by-Sony identity.

The PictureStation systems are currently available directly from Sony. The suggested list prices for Sony’s counter-top system and freestanding kiosk are $7,995 and $10,995, respectively.

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Through out my years, Sony has been a passion of mine.

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