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CES 2009 Top Five Trends  Print E-mail
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Written by Dick Ward   
Monday, 26 January 2009

CES was simply abuzz with great developments this year, but what were our favorites?  We’ve narrowed down the extensive list to our top five trends for CES 2009.

5.  A Wireless World – In a society where we’re used to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as standard features, why are we so satisfied with cords on everything else?  CES was big on wireless this year including a great deal of televisions running wireless HDMI.
Imagine if you will, sitting at home, watching content from your home media server, hooked up wirelessly to your home PC and streaming to your television via wireless HDMI.  Find the channel you want, turn up the wireless speakers and put the remote down on the wireless charging pad.  Now if we could only get wireless power going through every house, we wouldn’t need all that spaghetti in the back of the set!

4. Autostereoscopic Displays – It’s a mouthful, but what it means is that viewers can see images 3D without the glasses.  It’s like Back to the Future II come to life, but without all the hoverboards and manure trucks.  

While multiple companies displayed the technology, the best looking was undeniably presented by Alioscopy.  Presenting a few different video loops, it looked pretty good from most distances, though angles are clearly a bit of a problem.  It’s not ready by any means, but it’s something we’re hoping to see a lot more of in the next few years.

3.  The EEE Keyboard – Sure it’s just a concept, but the possibilities for this thing are amazing.  It’s just larger than a standard keyboard, but contains a fully functional computer running Windows XP.  It’s got a built in 5” touch screen, and a 32GB solid state drive.  Ready for the exciting bit?
Among the connectivity features are Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, USB, HDMI, and Ultra Wideband HDMI.  Sure, 32GB of hard drive space isn’t much, but if you’ve got a wireless network in the house, you can essentially use the EEE Keyboard as the ultimate media remote.  Plus, as another writer suggested, if you pick up a small projector, this could make an incredibly portable way to entertain.

2.  Integrated everything –   What doesn’t have Netflix streaming at this point?  We’ve seen it on computers and game systems, but we’re finally getting it where we want it.  Samsung’s BD-Live Blue-Ray players feature not only Netflix but Pandora streaming capabilities via built in Wi-Fi.
More exciting though is the line of fully integrated TV’s shown by Vizio.  Currently equipped with plenty of Yahoo widgets and Netflix, we’ve also found out that they’ll be partnering with Blockbuster and everyone’s favorite free media aggregate, Hulu.  

1. High Tech at Low Prices – This just in: the economy has tanked.  The solution of course is to expand the offerings available for the more budget conscious consumer.  For a lot of companies that means economy line products without the really cool features.  Pioneer took it in a whole other direction.

The Pioneer VSX-819H features 3 HDMI inputs, 2 component inputs, 2 optical audio inputs, and 1 coaxial audio input.  It boasts Onboard Dolby True HD and DTS Master Audio decoding.  Automatic speaker calibration and auto level control are standard features.  It even connects with iPods and iPhones by USB, displaying track listing information right on the screen.  This is the baseline model of the new line of receivers from Pioneer with a price tag of $299. 






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