The forces competing to win the prize of the next-generation DVD - the disc that will carry high-definition movies and other HD content - squared off with competing press conferences on the first day of the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show. As in exhibition sports, they played real ball, but the score counted little toward the championship.
The popularity of flat-panel TVs with LCD (liquid-crystal display) screens was very much in evidence at CES 2005. From well-established names like Sharp and Toshiba to relative newcomers in the U.S. market like BenQ and Moxell, a good number of manufacturers displayed LCD models ranging from 15 to 55 inches.
By far one of the biggest challenges for most people installing a home theater system is wiring the speakers - especially the surrounds because they're typically placed quite a ways from the rest. Wireless connections are an obvious solution, and at this year's CES, several manufacturers offered systems taking advantage of 2.4-GHz wireless technology to feed the surrounds.
Audio gear - designed for high-fidelity reproduction of recorded music - once ruled the Consumer Electronics Show, but now audio is for the most part only a handmaiden to video. However, for those who place sound first, some impressive components begged a hearing.
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.
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.
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.