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Electronics Expo Is Window to Future

Posted January. 09, 2006 03:16,   


“Home and office will no longer exist separate from each other in a ‘fun world’ or ‘digital world.’”

The theme of the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which ended yesterday (local time) in Las Vegas, was digital entertainment.

“As the competition to develop digital products intensifies, this year could be the year of ‘digital lifestyles,’” predicted Bill Gates, chairman of the Microsoft Corporation.

Other areas that attracted observers during the trade show were the growing rivalry between Korean and Japanese digital TV producers and the race between blue-ray and HD-DVD formats for the dominant position in the next-generation storage device market.

More Fun through Convergence and Wireless Technology –

“Digital technology in the future will be primarily about how to play music, watch TV and connect with people while playing games,” Gates said.

“Intel will build a ‘media center in the living room’ based on wireless computing and digital entertainment,” said Paul Otellini, the CEO of Intel Corp.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, and Terry Semel, Chairman and CEO of Yahoo! revealed their business strategy by saying, “We will challenge Microsoft by providing more interesting content for consumers to run or play on their TVs or PCs.”

LG Electronics showcased its wireless PDP TV, a product that does not require connections to peripherals like AV devices and DVD players. The PDP TV is equipped with Intel’s home network system.

Motorola exhibited its Bluetooth-enabled (wireless short-range communication) cell phone, and a Bluetooth headset designed to allow users to wear it on their sunglasses. The products have wireless Internet capability.

Digital Spectrum Graphics, an American tech company, rolled out “Digital View,” a new type of digital album. Users can move to photos they want to see, play video or MP3 files, and even show different photos on its screen by remote control.

Fierce Competition in the Display Market –

Large sporting events such as Torino 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy and the 2006 World Cup in Germany are opportunities that display manufacturers are seizing.

Japan’s Panasonic unveiled an 103-inch plasma TV, an inch bigger than the former largest plasma TV from Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. A new Toshiba projection TV was on display at the show. The 72-inch model is an inch larger than Samsung’s projection TV (71 inches).

Haier, China’s largest consumer electronics company, displayed its LCD TVs with screen sizes ranging between 26 and 63 inches.

Datacolor, a U.S. company, launched “Spider TV,” a spider-shaped device attached to a screen surface and connected to a PC to enhance picture quality.

New Storage Devices, New Lifestyles–

As blue-ray and HD-DVD formats are about to be commercialized at the end of this year, competition between the two next-generation DVD formats at the show was heated.

Samsung Electronics and Japan’s Sony and Matsushita, supporters of blue-ray technology, had a booth on the show floor and received many visitors. Meanwhile, Toshiba, a major supporter of the HD format, set up its own.

Blue-ray supporters stress the larger storage capacity of their technology, while Toshiba stresses the lower production costs of HD DVDs.

LG Electronics vice chairman Kim Ssang-su said, “LG is ready to switch to either blue-ray or HD format regardless of which side turns out to be the winner.”

Sang-Rok Lee myzodan@donga.com