Is convergence dead? Not the concept - the term. With the Consumer Electronics Show awash in TVs, components, and speakers full of computer technology, maybe it's time to just dump "convergence" and embrace ever-shrinking, ever-more-powerful chip sets as our home-entertainment destiny.
The mutual embrace of A/V and PC got considerably tighter at this year's CES, most visibly with the proliferation of devices that let you experience all kinds of music and video entertainment on your TV and stereo. And almost every one of these products could connect to some kind of wired or wireless network - yet another sign of how deeply the PC mindset has taken hold in the home.
It wasn't long ago that you'd hear old-school audiophiles at CES bemoaning the disappearance of tubes - the vacuum tubes in audio gear, that is. But the latest technology to beat a quick retreat from the mega-electronics show is the picture tube, or CRT, used in traditional TVs.
The FireBall DVDM-100 isn't a DVD player. It's not an AM/FM receiver or a power amplifier. In fact, without supporting equipment and an Internet connection, it's not good for much at all. But once it's connected, you may never want to go back to non-FireBall playback again.
TDK and Blu-ray: Blank-media giant TDK has officially endorsed Blu-ray technology, according to an April 5 report out of the CeBIT technology show in Hanover, Germany. TDK is the latest to join the Blu-ray contingent, following Hewlett-Packard and Dell Computer. The 50-gigabyte capacity of Blu-ray discs will accommodate feature-length high-definition video programming and recording. TDK's contribution will make the 5" discs more user-friendly by eliminating a proposed "disc caddy."
Steven Stone gets his hands on the <A HREF="/videoprojectors/204infocus">InFocus ScreenPlay 5700 DLP projector</A> and stacks it up against the competition. "Perhaps," SS explains, "the new ScreenPlay 5700 will help tilt the scales of consumer interest more towards DLPs."
<I>Editor's note: On April 7, the <A HREF="http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/07/movies/07PIRA.html"></I>New York Times<I></A> reported that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) was planning to battle widespread DVD piracy in Russia on the only front that counts with consumers: pricing. In the report, Erin E. Arvedlund notes, Sony's "Columbia TriStar would price DVDs at no more than 299 rubles, or just over $10 . . . Warner Home Video has cut its DVD prices in Russia to the equivalent of $15."