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Notes From CES: Here Are Gadgets You’ll Be Talking About In 2013

By | Friday January 11, 2013 @ 5:20pm PST

The 2013 International CES was a lot like last year’s show: Manufacturers concentrated on updating existing technologies, adding more processing power and online connectivity wherever possible, instead of introducing brand new inventions. Still, there were a lot of eye-catching products for those who like to own the hottest gadgets, and have money to burn. Here are a few of the stand-outs. But remember: Consumer electronics makers are notorious for showing off products at CES that never make it to retail shelves, or take far longer to do so than companies envision:

Lenovo’s IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC: Want to liven up family game night? Lenovo’s marketing this Windows 8 device with a 27-inch, HD display as a multimode “table PC.” It lays horizontally so that multiple users can play knock hockey, Monopoly, or video games. It comes with e-dice and four joysticks. First models are expected to be available this quarter for about $1,600.

Harmon Kardon BDS-577: Here’s a Blu-ray disc player that’s also designed to serve as an all-in-one centerpiece for a home entertainment system that accommodates everything from the highest resolution TV sets to comparatively lowly MP3 files on a smartphone. It handles 3D videos. But it also boasts great sound with 5.1-channel digital high fidelity amplifiers, decoding for Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD surround-sound, AirPlay music streaming, wireless transmissions to home theater speakers. In addition it has  Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and support for YouTube. Read More »

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TV’s “Second Screen” Wins Respect As Ultra-HD Scores The Hype At CES Confab

Never mind the ballyhoo about ultra-high definition televisions that Samsung, Sony, Sharp, LG, Panasonic and other consumer electronics manufacturers will generate this week at the annual International CES gadget confab in Las Vegas. Only a few consumers have the money and desire to buy one of these beautiful but pricey sets which pack four times as many pixels as a conventional HD television: U.S. consumers will buy just 1.4M ultra-HD sets in 2016, accounting for 5% of all sales, the Consumer Electronics Association projected today. But it looks like the more meaningful announcements for ordinary TV viewers will come this week from companies that want to help them harness their small screens — smartphones and tablets. CEA Senior Analyst Shawn Dubravac says that consumers are becoming “digital omnivores,” adding that “the second screen is now robust.” Dish Network, which likes to use CES to unveil its new technologies, apparently agrees: It’s teasing Read More »

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Notes From CES: Here Are Gadgets You’ll Be Talking About In 2012

By | Friday January 13, 2012 @ 3:01pm PST

This was a year of incremental change at the 2012 International CES. The most prominent products didn’t wow people with their novelty; they’re mostly bigger, better and Web-connected versions of familiar technologies. But consumers who love hot new gadgets, and have money to burn, will still be intrigued by some of the devices that manufacturers displayed. Here are a few of the stand-outs to watch for this year — at least until Apple announces some of its own new products. But remember: Consumer electronics makers are notorious for showing off products at CES that never actually make it to retail shelves, or take far longer to do so than companies envision: Read More »

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Talking Tech: Four Terms You’ll Need To Know To Keep Up With The Digital Elite

By | Tuesday January 10, 2012 @ 11:26pm PST

The 2012 International CES isn’t just an opportunity for the digital cognicente to look at new gadgets. It’s also a chance to brush up on the latest industry jargon. Don’t let it throw you. If you know the following words and concepts, then you should be able to easily hold your own in a conversation with someone returning from the annual consumer electronics spectacle in Las Vegas:

Ultrabooks: These are what you get when you cross a laptop computer with a tablet, and they’re grabbling the lion’s share of attention at the 2012 International CES. Ultrabooks are thin and light; most use solid state hard drives instead of the traditional storage drives built around a rotating disc. Intel is leading the cheerleading squad for ultrabooks, which it hopes will reenergize the laptop computer market. Read More »

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Home Video Shows Signs Of Recovery

By | Monday January 9, 2012 @ 11:38pm PST

The years-long decline of home video sales appears finally to have stabilized, the trade organization Digital Entertainment Group reports. While filmed home entertainment dipped 2% for the year in 2011, there were genuine positive signs. Annual spending on Blu-ray discs rose 20% last year, hitting $2 billion for the first time, the DEG says. Additionally, nearly 40 million homes now have Blu-ray playback devices, 38% more than in 2010. The decline in home video revenues has leveled off, with consumer spending on filmed home entertainment rising 1% for the second half of the year. The third-quarter spending actually rose 5%, the first quarterly increase since 2008. Additionally, electronic sell-through was up 9% for the year, and spending on video-on-demand was up 7%. Consumers also continued to embrace HDTV, purchasing 27 million HD sets during 2011. HDTV penetration is now at more than 74.5 million U.S. households. Read More »

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