CES Showstoppers Page 7

What's Not

Multichannel Music VD-Audio and Super Audio CD aren't dead - yet. And you could find a few die-hard supporters at CES trying to keep both formats alive - like S&V contributor Mike Mettler, who moderated a discussion on music in surround that included Dweezil Zappa, Steely Dan's Walter Becker, and multichannel recording pioneer Elliot Scheiner. But there were no big hardware or software announcements, and the few-and-far-between panels were the only places where anyone was really talking about either format. With new releases having come almost completely to a halt and DualDisc's future uncertain, it looks like DVD-Audio and SACD are likely to remain audiophile playthings. - M.G.

Servers It's all but inevitable that some form of PC-like component will invade your living room to control most or all of your home entertainment - but it might not arrive as quickly as the computer and A/V manufacturers would like. The big news at last year's CES was the sheer number of companies pushing their version of a home-entertainment server. The big surprise at CES 2005 was how many of the same companies were laying low with their server plans. Many things have conspired to slow down the server revolution - among other things, byzantine interfaces, worries over copy protection, and people's reluctance to have a complicated, unfamiliar, computer-like black box controlling what they watch and how they watch it. But, as this month's "The Connected House" (April issue, page 32) shows, at least some companies are confident they'll have simple solutions to these problems sooner rather than later. - M.G.