Monday, January 08, 2007

Viva Las Vegas: Roundup of CES Day 1

As I had commented last week on Paul Kedrosky's blog, I don't do CES. These days I don't need to. However, as a service to my faithful readers, I will be dilligently blogging all the news and developments at CES that garner my attention. Indeed, all week I will be covering CES by remote. From my desk. In my office. In my house. Okay, it might not be Web 2.0, but it's definetely groundbreaking.

TWICE: Sony Introduces Internet TV Unit
Sony plans to market an add-on module designed to connect to a number of 2007 BRAVIA LCD TVs to receive high-definition video programming delivered over broadband connections.
Sony said during its CES press conference yesterday that the BRAVIA internet video TV system will incorporate proprietary digital connectors designed to link the module to any of Sony’s new BRAVIA LCD TVs. The box will access free streaming music and video content, including high-definition, for display on a connected set.

A black box, that only works on Sony televisions, that will let you watch IPTV. Sounds like Sony knocked another one out of the park. *cough*

TWICE: Samsung TVs Move To LED In 2007 Lineup
Among new technologies this year will be the use of LED lighting sources to produce a wider color gamut and reduced startup times for both flat-panel LCD and DLP rear-projection models. In the later category, the system is being expanded to six DLP SKUs this April.

As I've said for some time now, high output LED's in video displays and other applications is a hugely important emerging technology. Expect this to be one of the hottest tech trends for the next two years!

TWICE: Slower Growth Seen For iPod Speaker Docks
The docking iPod speaker market will see narrower growth this year, after a meteoric rise over the past two years, which gave birth to a new genre of audio.
Almost non existent a few years ago, the market for clock radios, boomboxes and table top stations that dock with iPods and other MP3 players has now become a $300 to $600 retail market, according to supplier estimates.
Growth for iPod docking speakers this year will slow to about 10 percent in dollar sales to consumers, as growth for the iPod itself narrows to between 10 percent and 20 percent over the next few years, according to industry estimates.

Well, I appear to have successfully called the Market Top for iPods. Second only to the iCarta "Stereo Dock for iPod® with Bath Tissue Holder" in my affections is the VUUM Audio VTi-B1 Vacuum Tube Amplifier Speaker System with Dock and Remote: the perfect synthesis of the early 21st Century with the early 20th!

CE Pro: LG's Super Multi Blue Player Debuts
Set to launch in the first quarter of the year, the Super Multi Blue Player will hit retail stores for $1199. The player will output 1080p video over an HDMI 1.2 connection, but is obviously noteworthy because it is the first product to playback Blu-ray and HD DVD movies in a single drive.

The great peacemaker that bridges the divide between rival formats, or a band-aid on a chest wound? History will have to judge this one.

CE Pro: Samsung Hypes Mobile TV Platform

A whole lot of hype, and not a whole lot of substance so far, but this bears watching.

Lastly, a great article in the New York Times about the extremely high cost of being an exhibitor at CES.

For a small technology company called Digeo, the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is one of the biggest opportunities of the year. For the next few days, the city will be jampacked with potential customers, partners and press — but the price of participation is daunting.
It starts with $24,500 for reserving 700 square feet of booth space on the sprawling convention center floor, tens of thousands more to furnish and operate the booth, plus $300 a night for hotel rooms for each of the 29 Digeo employees who are attending the convention.
Then there is the cost of rental vans, thousands of dollars to advertise at the show and meals for employees. The eight-year-old company, which makes gear and software for home entertainment, estimates that it will spend $500,000 to $1 million on the show this year.
Is it worth it? “Ask me afterward,” said Allison Cornia, vice president for marketing at Digeo.

This is a perfect opportunity to drag out that wonderful old saw about advertising: Half your marketing budget is wasted, but you'll never know which half!

More tommorow!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The great peacemaker...or a band-aid on a chest wound?" What evocative imagery! Perhaps by the time history is ready to decide everyone will have lost interest.