In his keynote speech a this years CES Bill Gates talked about making connections and encouraged participants in the show to look for connections between themselves and other attendees. Looking around the show connections was definitely a theme. Here are some of the highlights from the Consumer Electronics Show this year:
LG BH100 hybrid Blu-ray and HD DVD Player
In the endless war between Blu-ray and HD DVD the company LG has attempted to make the peace with their Blu-ray HD DVD player. The player will play both Blu-ray and HD DVD’s making it so consumers don’t have to choose sides in the format war. The company also plans on making a standalone computer drive. Both devices are due out in stores mid February.
Warner HD DVD Blu-ray hybrid disc
Warner Home Video announced a Hi Def disc that is both Blu-ray and HD DVD compatible. The company has managed to put dual layers of both HD DVD and Blu-ray on one disc. At CES LG showed ff the disc in a Blu-ray player, HD DVD player and LG’s hybrid player. The disc is supposed to be priced similarly to discs that contain just one format. The multi-format DVDs are expected to be on the market mid-year.
Sharp’s 108-inch 1080p Aquos LCD
At CES this year Sharp showcased their 108-inch LCD screen television, the largest LCD screen television in the world. The television has a 120Hz refresh rate and its mammoth size is bound to fill any room.
Planet 82’s SMPD Image Sensor
Planet 82 launched its first VGA-color SMPD (Single Carrier Modulation Photo Detector) at CES. Planet 82 claims the chip is 2,000 times more light sensitive than current CMOS and CCD technology and can be made at half the size and near half the price. Essentially the chip is designed to be able to see an object in complete darkness without using any external light source; the company did demos of the chip in a camcorder as well as with the self-park function of a vehicle. The company plans of using the chip in closed circuit cameras o start and then expand to digital still cameras, video cameras, and self-parking vehicles.
I have been a fan of the SlingBox, which allows you watch your home television on your computer when you’re away from home. Now, Sing Media has developed the SlingCatcher, a device designed to allow you watch your computer on your television. The device has an optional built-in hard drive that at this point is unusable. The hard drive is installed so that eventually you will be able to download products directly from Sling through a subscription service. The company has yet to set up the relationships for the subscription service, so for now you just have a hard drive. The SlingCatcher is set to be released in mid-2007 and have Wi-Fi at a MSRP of less than $200.