CES 2009 - What is Hot

Every year for the last 20 years, I have been making the trek up to Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Over the years, the show has evolved from a giant bazaar selling toys, watches and other household gizmos to the most important United States show for electronics, cameras, computers, gaming, audio accessories, etc. This year is no different. So far I have not seen any revolutionary announcements but several trends are definitely emerging.

CES Wrap-Up

We don't agree that this year's CES attendance was an indicator of an industry decline. The lower numbers were good for a lot of reasons. Unfortunately when the economic tide turns the hordes will probably be back. 3D movies/TV, mininotebooks and the constant din that we need our entertainment everywhere were the major news points for the show. Beyond that there were incremental enhancements/improvements. Paradigm shifts were not to be seen. But as CEA's Shapiro said it may be tough for a few quarters but the industry is going to innovate itself out of the global economic downturn. Flying to the seat of national government for handouts is not in the companies' DNA. Surviving and thriving in the PC/CE/content industry isn't always easy, sometimes not much fun but it is always interesting. This is one of those really, really interesting periods.

ISE 2009 - Special News Report

Hundreds of New Product announcements from Integrated Systems Europe 2009

Next Generation Remote Controls

With a single, universal RF remote device, consumers will be able to control every aspect of their connected home. RF is engineered to control more than a TV and DVD, it can also control lighting, heating and air conditioning, blinds and shutters. Two-way communication can also be used to help you locate your lost remote control hidden in the couch pillows or under the table. This new generation of RF communication is opening up a market for low cost, reliable high speed RF remote controls and is expected to have a huge impact on the user experience, as IEEE 802.15.4 remote controls will allow a completely new way to use a remote control. In short, the development of radio frequency remote controls will replace IR remote controls and deliver richer communications, increase reliability and improve flexibility

Visions for 2009

Despite what a lot of "financial experts" say (weren't they the ones who got us into this position?) things aren't real bad -- yeah they're not real great either. But people in the business/consumer computer/entertainment/communications industry have never been short on optomism or ideas. Looking up from what is near the bottom of the valley it is fairly obvious that it will be a long, hard trek back up to the top of the hill. Some firms won't survive by this time next year. Those that focus on developing a strong consumer centric strategy and lead/listen to the marketplace will be light years ahead of the competition when we enter 2010. What's it going to take? What will the the leaders do? We've got a pretty good idea...hope you agree. We know most have what it takes to survive and prosper!

What Happened To The Smart Home?

Ten years ago, the "smart home" was all the rage. Almost every company in our market had a concept center or display house that showed the functionality of the digital home.

Brand Messaging: Manage your message or someone else will.

Ask any six people in your company the following question: What does our company do? If your employees don't answer consistently, your brand is likely weak and diluted. Identifying key messages and communicating those messages throughout the organization, and then externally, will improve the productivity of your communications and strengthen your brand. When the organization communicates with consistent messages and a unified voice, you will earn trust. Trust is the foundation of a strong brand.

Choice of Storage Media for Portable Multimedia Players

Unlike in the digital audio player market, the fight between NAND flash and hard-disk drive (HDD) on the PMP platform is far from over.

Classic Home Toys Installment #19 The Final CD Format: HDCD

HDCD is capable of higher quality sound reproduction because HDCD encodes the equivalent of 20 bits worth of data in a 16-bit digital audio signal by utilizing custom dithering, audio filters, and some reversible amplitude and gain encoding. Peak Extend, which is a reversible soft limiter and Low Level range Extend which is a reversible gain on low-level signals. There is thus a benefit at the expense of an increase in noise.

Content Insider #111 - Cloud Computing Netbooks, Cloud Computing - Work, Play Without Boundaries

Hammer Repair - Netbooks and cloud computing are great for certain times, certain activities and they will be used by lots of people - young and old - who just want to stay in touch. But when it comes to working with important information/material nothing beats a higher performance, higher capacity, heavier notebook.

Content Insider #112 - The Entertainment Choice TV Viewing Without The TV Set

Our son has it tougher than we did growing up. Oh sure he's got his content wherever, whenever he wants. But we had power. We had juice!

EHExpo Fall 2008 - HomeToys Report

One feature of the show was "Demo Alley". This is a series of rooms with product demonstrations ranging anywhere from remotes to full home theatres. The demo that stood out to me was put on by a group of manufacturers to demonstrate a complete home theater system.

Even The Best Isn't Perfect

Regardless of the fact that you spent a minor (or major) fortune on your home stereo or theater system, it still is possible that a breakdown can happen. Since loudspeakers always manifest the problem regardless of where it actually occurs, many are quick to blame them. Sometimes folks are right - the loudspeaker failed. But often there is a failure elsewhere in the system that is merely being passed on to the speakers.

GPS Mileage Logger

Are you deducting the miles you drive for business? Are you logging them accurately or automatically? If not, you're losing 58.5 cents (IRS rates) per business mile. If you drive a lot for your business, you cannot afford not to deduct your business miles? With the 2008 Business Mileage Deduction of 58.5 cents per mile, and with gas prices at record levels, it's really a no brainer!

HDMI Football

HDMI, like many cutting edge technologies, lives on the hairy edge of functionality. Like THX certification before it, clever marketing and over zealous, under-informed publishing convinced the consumer HDMI was a must have technology, even long before it was of any use to them.

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