LG demonstrated what may be the most exciting at the show. Mobile-Pedestrian-Handheld (MPH) technology piggy backs TV broadcasting to handheld mobile phones over fringe portions of existing DTV broadcasts. Working with Harris Corporation, a leader in communication infrastructure technology, you'll be able to watch Seinfield reruns on your phone for free or watch a premium service. While there's no anticipation that this is going to be high-def (hell, I'd settle for the right aspect ratio), it's going to be really, really hot.
Kenwood is working with LG and their MPH (mobile video) project team to develop a mobile digital television receiver, and I don't mean a 13" Sanyo on a hospital cart either. Hook up a Kenwood receiver to an LCD in your car, and you'll be able to zoom around the country picking up digital TV signals optimized for easy reception while traveling. I'll know more soon (like what it looks like), but seeing it work in their booth won't tell me how well it works driving around city streets or cruising down the highway. Vroom Vroom.
What if Nielsen ratings new for SURE what you were watching? I mean, you turn on the TV, go make a sandwich, heck go sking come home, and what have they got? Worse, all those stupid, stupid log books that a) you have to fill out if you're one of the lucky Nielsen families and b) they have to decipher. I'm betting most of them are more "wish list" than reality.
I was actually sad, sad for a consumer electronic company, when I saw what I saw over at the convention center late Saturday afternoon. Toshiba has always been an outstanding company, from the days of making some of the better rear projection (CRT) TVs, to their headlong dive into HD DVD, a format that offered a lot, most importantly, the potential for a single SKU with their Combo format.
Just before CES 2008, just two days before the HD DVD Promotion Group's press conference, Warner Home Video announced they would end their "format neutrality" by issuing Blu-ray discs exclusively. Releases already slated to come out in both formats would continue to do so through May 2008. After that, not so much.
Do you find that others in your home don't bond with electronics as well as you do? Do you get calls at work that start with "how do I . . ." and end with "your [optional expletive deletive] [brand and function of your last electronic purchase]?
So here I sit, my furniture all rearranged like an overcrowded antique store, just so I can be in the sweet spot. It is speaker review time again at the Manteghians.' It takes a long time to break out and set up speakers, and you've lots of boxes to deal with. But the simplicity of a speaker is what is most appealing. No HDMI to DVI handshaking problems, no video cross-coding issues, no 3:2 pulldown. You just sit down and listen to music and watch movies. Of course, it's only enjoyable when the speakers in question sound great – like this Definitive Technology Mythos system does.
I remember sitting in a CES press conference sometime in the year $149 D.V.D. listening to Toshiba whine about how no one was making any money selling DVD players any more. But moments later, they were announcing new models with new features and even lower price points. I guess you can't blame them. After all they had a lot of competition back then.