CES Highlights Latest HD, Mobile Digital Tech

Although HDTV was first introduced at CES in 1998, this year's show marked the point where the consumer market finally has caught up. This year the focus was on new 1080p monitors for consumers and thin CRTs.

Samsung and LG Electronics introduced new DLP-based 1080p monitors, as well as Toshiba which rolled out a 1080p LCD projection model featuring its own TALEN (Toshiba Advanced Light Engine) technology and measuring 16 inches deep. Other new 1080p HDTV sets were also introduced from JVC, Brillian, Westinghouse Digital, Epson and Optoma Technology.

For the price-conscious set, Thomson introduced new SD DTV tube-based sets--the 27-inch set is priced under $300 and two 32-inch set for less than $400. Also its 44-inch HDTV DLP sets are priced at less than $2,000. The sets are manufactured by TTE, Thomson's China-based TV manufacturing partner.

In keeping with the popular news year's resolution to be ever thinner, several manufacturers debuted new slim CRT-based models. Toshiba is using surface-conduction electron-emitter display technology (SED) technology to produce flat screens, similar to CRT. LG.Philips is showcasing its SuperSlim products, including the 21- and 32-inch SuperSlim color picture tubes (CPTs). Samsung launched "SlimFit TV" a 30-inch diameter, 16-inch-deep CRT-based HDTV. On the plasma side, Samsung introduced an 80-inch plasma screen, which it touts as the largest plasma screen on the consumer market. Samsung also announced a deal to manufacture low-end HDTV set-tops for Charter Communications.

For the household that wants to share digital pictures, music and video content from PCs, PVRs and TV sets, a multimedia network is the thing for them. HP showcased its Linux-based HDTV Media Hub and ATSC tuning technology. The HD ATSC tuning capability works with its HP digital entertainment center, giving consumers access to digital photos and music, a combination of TV and video, a digital set-top box and a dual tuner DVR.

For wireless HDTV transmission, Focus Enhancements debuted its ultrawide band (UWB) chip-set. The chips enable multiple HDTV transmissions, connecting PVRs, TVs, set-top boxes and DVD players. Focus expects that the distance for transmission will range from 880 Mbps at 26.2 feet to 37 Mbps at possibly more than 131.2 feet.

Philips Electronics showcased its new optical disk drive that reads and writes CD, DVD and Blu-ray formats, which can store up to 50 GB of content.

TiVo launched its new Tahiti strategy with an open software platform, allowing third parties to distribute content to TiVo subscribers. The roll out for components of Tahiti is slated for this year and into 2006.