CES 2005: ‘Consumer’ show offers big screens for business signage applications

At the annual 2005 International CES show in Las Vegas this month, HDTV and projection vendors unveiled the next biggest and brightest consumer products
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Innovative digital signage attracts CES attendees to areas of the Las Vegas Convention Center where they can learn about new products.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) hosted its annual 2005 International CES event to showcase the latest in consumer technology in Las Vegas earlier this month. The show continues to grow in size, setting records in terms of attendees (142,585 according to the CEA’s first estimate immediately after the show), exhibitors (2550) and exhibit space (1.531 million net sq ft) as compared to previous CES shows.

Of course, with almost every major consumer technology company maintaining at least some presence at the show, several nooks and crannies of this vast, densely populated space in Las Vegas gave a glimpse as to what consumers can expect from technology used for digital signage marketing campaigns. And although CES is billed as a technology show for the consumer, thanks to large price tags for the biggest and brightest new displays, most consumers will likely get their first use of these products as patrons being targeted by a digital signage advertisement funded by a corporation.

HDTV manufacturers used CES as a launch pad for literally next big thing – the industry’s largest panels. This time, Samsung unveiled the biggest screen, launching a 102in plasma display panel (PDP) television. Products with 1080p resolution came in many forms providing a smoother picture. Samsung’s RPTV series of digital light processing (DLP) televisions will hit the market this year in sizes as large as 67in. LG’s 71in PDPs also feature the 1080p resolution. Sony and Samsung showcased 46in liquid crystal displays (LCDs), while the 3LCD-based Fujitisu front-projector and Epson RPTV were also 1080p resolution.

LG’s PDP will start at $75,000. Samsung’s 67in RPTV retails at less than $7000 - which is cheaper than its $12,999 46in LED screen. Sony’s 46in screen begins at $12,000. These price tags probably will not fit the budget for most consumers looking for a big-screen HDTV to put in their living room. However, a large retail store looking to create an eye-catching display may find it a worthwhile investment if the content filtered into these large clear displays leads to a better shopping experience and more purchases. These products may not be ready for Super Bowl parties, but a network of internal ads running Super Bowl promotions may just hook potential customers passing by a storefront or browsing inside the store itself.

Consumers may have to wait until next year’s CES show when manufacturers unveil the next biggest, brightest and clearest screens driving the price of this year’s debuts closer to their price range. Until then, they may just get a preview browsing for items that are actually within their budget.

For more information on the 2005 International CES Show, visit http://cesweb.org.

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