CES2008 to Include DTV Insights

The folks with access to the ears of the top technology lawmakers in Congress will share their knowledge of the policy issues related to the DTV transition with attendees at the 2008 International CES next week.

No, we’re not talking about lobbyists and fundraisers. Instead, a conference session “The DTV Transition: A Hill Perspective” will include at least three of the Congress’ top telecom lawyers: Amy Levine, senior counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee; Neil Fried, senior counsel to the House Commerce Committee Republicans; and Jennifer Schneider, legislative counsel to Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.)

The discussion will take place Monday, Jan. 7, at 10:30 a.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) North Hall, Room N262. It will be moderated by Julie Kearney, CEA senior director and regulatory counsel.

This year, the giant conference is turning its attention from its hardware roots to the notion of content, with creative powerhouses like NBC Universal and Sony Pictures Television. “Content is everywhere at CES,” the conference says on its Web site. “It spans all consumer technology markets, every product, each part of the show floor.”

In all, more than 2,700 exhibitors and 140,000 attendees are expected.

The pre-show hype has not singled out one technology that’s going to change the electronics landscape. On the low end, several digital-to-analog converters for over-the-air TV will make their big-time debut. Technologies like home networking and mobile TV will likely bring their boosters.

The industry keeps looking for new frontiers, and nowadays that means stuffing home-entertainment products into your car. Providing that update will be General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner, one of the keynote speakers.

Among other potential high-buzz items: Westinghouse Digital Electronics, along with Pulse-Link, is introducing a wireless HDTV system. Sling Media is extending its SlingPlayer mobile software to BlackBerry users. Philips is showing a 52-inch multitouch screen, and Panasonic will bring down the house with its whopping 150-inch screen (more than 12 feet), that is said to be able to show life-size humans.

Bill Gates himself will be the Sunday (6 p.m.) keynote speaker.

For more on CES2008, see the preview in TV Technology, and look for a full wrap-up of the show in next week’s NewsBytes and the Feb. 6 issue of TV Technology.