Las Vegas (NV) - The first official day of this year's Consumer Electronics Show - which we who keep count call "Day 2" - brought the two competing high- definition videodisc formats back into the spotlight. Proponents of Blu- ray thought they had the day sewn up, when Sony led with a pre-emptive strike, announcing a multitude of new movie titles for near-term release on Blu-ray Disc. But HD DVD struck back, not with the counter-punch of more movies (though Warner did have that in mind), but with a below-the- belt jab: Toshiba's first HD DVD players, long delayed but still anticipated, will likely sell for less than half the price of Blu-ray's consoles. Blu-ray tried to counter-attack, but the notion of preceding the official "full profile" launch of Blu-ray consoles with lesser models without the Blu-ray Java - although pulling back to within Toshiba's price point - may not have gone over so well.
Meanwhile, a legendary consumer electronics company and the world's premiere microprocessor manufacturer, both took steps in parallel directions. Everybody's going Hollywood, it seems, as Sony made forward steps toward its content delivery platform, while Intel extended its new Viiv umbrella brand to encompass existing PCs, media center PCs, and the back-end service that feeds them with downloadable streaming videos and tunes. In a way, Apple was conspicuous by its absence here on Thursday, as it would appear the entire electronics world started following up on Apple's act, like it was 1984 all over again. Here now are the stories that made news from CES on Thursday, 5 January 2006:
Highlights From Day Two Of CES 2006
- Bill Gates announces alliance with MTV, reveals more Vista features
In his pre-show CES keynote address Wednesday evening, Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates outlined the latest upgrade (and perhaps bug fix) to his vision for the digital home of the future. Apparently, that vision now incorporates appealing to our inner "Urge," as MTV becomes one of Windows Media Player's new live-in guests.
- Sony's Sir Howard Stringer spotlights new Walkman, while skirting past DRM, PS3
In the Thursday morning keynote address at CES 2006, Sony chairman and CEO Sir Howard Stringer made a bold attempt to project an image of his company as not having gone off-track in the field of CE devices, high-definition equipment, and even movies. With a little help from Opie and Forrest Gump, he just might have pulled it off.
- Philips partners with Microsoft on VoIP phones, while promoting Blu-ray
Now, Philips finds itself standing against its VoIP content partner, Microsoft, in one of the most important format contests of our time, the victor of which - if there is one - is still uncertain.
- Powerline networking smackdown could get nasty
Now there's two other technologies challenging HomePlug AV for a piece of the AV powerline networking pie.
- Legally access DVDs across your LAN
Niveus Media says it has a way to access DVD's remotely across a LAN without running afoul of the DMCA police.
- Hawking puts ZigBee to work securing the home
Hawking has entered the home control / security market with a product line based on ZigBee wireless technology from Freescale Semiconductor.
- DirecTV slightly loosens grip on DV-R content
While TiVo was rumored to be making a deal with either DirecTV or Dish Network this week, DirecTV has apparently struck out on its own, with no less than a portable device.
- Phone-line networking not dead...its "just resting"
HomePNA was hot in the late '90s but virtually disappeared with the rise of wireless and powerline networking...until, it seems, today.
- Multimedia WiFi device opens the door for Microsoft
The tiny-screen wars heat up at CES 2006, with a Windows Media device with a 3.5" screen, on-board flash, and SD.
- Freescale beating WiMedia gang with real UWB products?
If product announcements are any indication, Freescale could be the first to market with a real, live wireless USB product.
- Improve your indoor cell coverage for $400
If your cell phone reception is dicey inside your home, Spotwave Wireless may have a solution.
- Motorola announces a really small Bluetooth headset
The company unveiled its H5 MINIBLUE Bluetooth headset, which measures only 33 by 41 millimeters.
- Samsung launches new "World" phone
Samsung will be showing off its new SCH-i830 multi-protocol mobile phone - an updated version of the SCH-i730.
- Netgear announces Skype WiFi phone
Netgear has joined the Skype economy with its announcement of a WiFi Skype phone.
- TVs hopping onto your LAN
ED Digital has announced what it says are the world's first high-definition (HD) network LCD TVs supporting Microsoft Windows Media Connect.
- Linksys unveils new wireless media networking components
The WMB54G Linksys Wireless-G Music Bridge acts as a "virtual sound card" to wirelessly stream any audio content that is available via analog audio or optical digital.