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Thu 1 Feb 2007 10:40 AM

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CES ‘07 makes its mark

The 2007 instalment of the world's largest consumer electronics show, which was staged in Las Vegas last month, showcased a range of innovative new products from some of the industry's leading vendors. ECN takes a look at the key technology releases at CES 2007.

LG Electronics

LG stole the headlines at this year's CES with the debut of the world's first dual-format next-generation DVD player. The Super Multi Blue Player, which is capable of playing both Blu-ray and HD DVD discs, has been lauded as an ideal solution to the current high-definition DVD format war. LG remains the only manufacturer to commit to developing a dual-format solution, after rival vendors argued the technology would prove too costly to manufacture.


Befitting its reputation as the industry’s top proponent of plasma display technology, Panasonic rolled out a new range of plasma TVs at CES, led by a ‘full-HD’ 1920x1080p 65-inch model. Others included an entry-level 37-inch HDTV and 42- and 50-inch ‘full HD’ models. Panasonic also debuted its latest range of digital cameras, HD camcorders, and home theatre systems.


While the Dutch electronics giant will be remembered as a prime innovator of plasma display technology, having released the world's first plasma TV in 1997, it has fallen behind its rivals in recent years.

The company revealed an enhanced range of Ambilight TVs at CES including 1080p resolution models. It also debuted its Ambisound product, which is a wall-mountable home theatre system that generates multi-channel surround sound from one bar of speakers and a subwoofer.


Samsung unveiled its second-generation Blu-ray DVD player featuring a HDMI V1.3 interface, and a new collection of MP3 players, spearheaded by the T9 multimedia player. While failing to make the same impact as its compatriot LG at CES, the South Korean giant still attracted huge numbers to its stand - testament to its growing stature in the US consumer electronics market.


One of the industry's biggest suppliers of LCD TVs stepped out with the biggest LCD TV ever developed at CES. The 108-inch behemoth represents a massive commercial leap for Sharp and leaves a significant gap in its product strategy, with its second largest LCD TV measuring a measly 65-inches by comparison. A Middle East launch date remained unconfirmed at the time of press.


Sony execs brushed aside rumours the company was returning to the plasma TV market, focusing on its Full HD strategy. A highlight was Sony's demonstration of its total home entertainment package, which includes the new Vaio home media server, VGX-XL3 Digital Living System and Wireless Digital Music Streamer.

Handset vendors phone home


Heavily promoted its rapidly expanding range of multimedia-enhanced handsets, with a particular focus on the impressive N-series. While we stop short of recognising Nokia’s claim the handsets are in fact ‘multimedia computers’, an impressive feature list including DVD-quality video recording and 2GB internal memory helps to set the N-series range apart from its rivals.


Revealed new online music alliances with Yahoo! and Warner Music respectively, and trumpeted its burgeoning relationship with Microsoft with a preview of the Windows Media-enhanced Motorizr Z6 handset. Not an iTunes-based Rokr handset in sight.

Sony Ericsson

Branding has proven key to Sony Ericsson’s recent success in the mobile handset market, so it was unsurprising to find the vendor heavily promoting its Cyber-shot camera-equipped and Walkman-branded ranges at CES 2007. Highlights included the K790a Cyber-shot handset and a preview of the forthcoming (and impressively thin) W800i Walkman phone.

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