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Bavarians with Laser TV a Top Attraction at Electronics Show

August 27, 1993

BERLIN (AP) _ A Bavarian company that claims to be the first to develop laser television showed off its 1,320-pound machine at a major consumer electronics show Friday.

Schneider Rundfunkwerke has invested tens of millions of dollars in a three-year effort to develop the tubeless TV. It created a $60,000 device with a screen the size of a minivan that won’t hit the market for at least another three years.

But the company drew a lot of attention at the International Radio and TV Exhibition, including a visit from Paul Krueger, Germany’s federal science and research minister.

″We think the tube is not the future of television,″ said Guenter Elster, vice president of research for Schneider Rundfunkwerke.

There are 740 companies from 33 countries at the 10-day show, which covers 1.1 million square feet of space at Berlin’s convention grounds.

For Schneider Rundfunkwerke, the event represents a chance to seek government support and corporate partners for its laser TV.

Elster said Schneider has talked to companies in Europe, Japan and the United States, but he declined to offer names.

The company, based in Tuerkheim, has annual sales of about $270 million and employs 11,000.

Some in the industry have expressed skepticism and analysts say they won’t be able to judge Schneider’s TV until it more fully explains how it works.

But Elster said, ″I can’t offer too many details while it is so early and we are actively seeking partners.″

″As far as I know I haven’t seen any Japanese company developing this,″ said Lee Kerk Phua, an electronics analyst at Baring Securities in Tokyo.

But Sony-Europe’s technical director, Roger Lagadec, was quoted by Der Spiegel magazine this week as saying that six other firms could also demonstrate laser TV.

8-27-93 1740EDT