Maybe the economy is really taking off. Or maybe it's simply that the cancellation of the big fall compute show, COMDEX, has sent all the computer types scurrying off to CES, but this year the show seems incredibly crowded. The isles were blocked, the press room didn't have a seat to spare (in contrast to the press room at CEDIA, where you could play catch most afternoons without bothering anyone), and the traffic and parking made LA—at least on a slow day—look like Barstow.
Along with a deluge of bigger, flatter HDTVs of various technological stripes, a hot TV news item at CES 2005 was the arrival of digital cable-ready TVs with slots for a CableCARD. This credit-card-size device was designed to eliminate set-top cable decoders - those ugly black boxes that have squatted, like parasites, on or below our TVs for the past two decades.
A format war over a high-definition disc format now unfortunately appears inevitable. The all-but-formal declaration came at the Blu-ray press event on the first day of this year's Consumer Electronics Show (also see Rich Warren's article, "Next-Generation DVD").
Hordes of reporters - including S&V's Rich Warren (tan coat to left of center) - await announcements from electronics giant Thomson (RCA) the morning of CES's media-only first day.The American Chopper guys help Toshiba close their press conference
I live in Illinois near a town called Flatville. The buzz at this year's Consumer Electronics Show might lead you to believe that it's the capital of the universe. On Press Day, January 5, the day prior to the official opening of CES, every major manufacturer introduced myriad models of new flat-panel displays, which in the not-too-distant past were called TVs.
Most of the buzz about home-network entertainment applications has focused on wireless Wi-Fi connections and traditional wired Ethernet networks. But a potentially revolutionary new technology called Power Line Communications (PLC) was spotlighted at Panasonic's press conference the day before the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show opened to the public.
Electronics superstores are terrific. If you're out shopping for an HDTV, they're likely to have at least a couple dozen models to choose from, where a specialty store might have half as many. And, of course, a small store can't begin to compete with a superstore's prices.
The day before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) officially opens, members of the press are "treated" to an exhaustive lineup of press conferences. Some are good, some are awful, and very few are worth waking up before the sun rises. On the other hand, every now and then you find a nugget of golden information that makes all the coffee and pastries you can cram in your stomach worth wile.
CES doesn't officially open until Thursday, January 6, but for the horde of assembled press, it begins on January 5. While workers swarm over the Las Vegas Nevada convention center in what appears to be a hopeless attempt to have everything ready by Thursday's official opening, wall-to-wall press conferences are being held. Tolerated as a necessary chore by the scribes, the press conferences nevertheless serve a useful purpose for manufacturers, giving them a captive audience to do with as they will. This year the festivities were more efficiently organized than usual, the only shortcoming being the lack of sufficient pauses between events.