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Connected Devices, 3D Hot at CES

3 Jan, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

The world’s thinnest Blu-ray Disc player, the world’s largest LCD HDTV, 2,500 exhibitors from around the world and 120,000-plus people will be in Las Vegas Jan. 6-9 for the International Consumer Electronics Show.

CES representatives say Internet-connected devices will be the big story for 2011.

“This won’t be about the technical feasibility of bringing the Internet to the TV; this will be about the meaningfulness for the end-user of marrying the TV with the Internet,” said Shawn Dubravac, chief economist and director of research for the Consumer Electronics Association.

Dubravac expects 3D to play a bigger role at CES 2011 than it did during its coming-out party in 2010.

“We’ll start with 3D eyewear where no standard exists (yet),” he said. “I expect to see several companies highlighting 3D active-shutter eyewear solutions. Autostereoscopic — 3D without the need for eyewear — will be more pronounced this coming year.”

LG Electronics will show off its LX9700 3DTV, the largest LCD ever at 72 inches, while Samsung Electronics is going small — really small — debuting a .88-inch-thick 3D Blu-ray player.

The usual consumer electronics suspects will all be on hand for CES. However, new faces will show off their stuff as well, with companies such as Trojan Brand Condoms making their CES debuts.

The 2011 CES also will see a larger emphasis on content, with the debut of an all-new Entertainment Matters program for entertainment professionals, featuring customized exhibits, conference programs and events for Hollywood’s film, TV and digital businesses.

“The entertainment community is a vital part of the International CES as consumers enjoy entertainment across a variety of devices, within the home and on the go,” said Karen Chupka, SVP of events and conferences for the International CES. “Entertainment Matters at CES is designed to customize the CES experience for the entertainment community so they can find the right exhibitors, attend targeted conference sessions and network with the crucial business partners. This robust program is a must-attend for the Hollywood community.”

The Entertainment Matters program features a panel hosted by D: All Things Digital, sees Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards handed out by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and watches mobile application developers pit their inventions against each other in the Mobile Apps Showdown. As part of the program, The Nielsen Co. will host a Media Money Makers panel with executives from Fox Television, Yahoo and NBC Universal.

Variety, which is sponsoring the Entertainment Matters program, will host a pair of big-name Hollywood panels Jan. 6. The “Hollywood Creative Masters” panel will include Conrad Green, executive producer of “Dancing with the Stars”; Tim Kring, creator of “Heroes”; and Megamind director Tom McGrath. A second panel, “Tech Tussles: Technologies That Can Excite and Frighten the Entertainment Industry,” will feature Thomas Gewecke, president of Warner Bros. Digital Distribution; Steve Nickerson, president of home entertainment at Summit Entertainment; and Bob Chapek, president of distribution at Walt Disney Studios, among others.

Also at the 2011 CES:

• Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, will be the featured speaker at the Leaders in Technology Dinner Jan. 7, where she’ll hold a fireside chat with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

• CES will feature 20 market-specific TechZones, including 3D@Home, Access on the Go, Broadband Communications, Mobile DTV, HDMI, Gaming Showcase and Connected Home Appliances.

• International exhibitors will be at CES in force, numbering at 1,200 — 25% more this year than last year. CES is expecting more than 22,000 attendees from outside the United States. The World Electronics Forum, an informal gathering of leaders from electronics groups from around the world, will run Jan. 8-10 in Las Vegas.

• iHollywood Forum will host a demo night and pair of panels Jan. 6. The first panel will bring Hollywood executives together to discuss consumer marketing, mobile applications and social media, while the second will bring consumer electronics company executives and content producers together to discuss 3DTV, games and the Internet.

• DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group will hold its annual state of the industry update and reception Jan. 6, with 2010 disc sales numbers expected to be unveiled by the group.

• The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem, the cross-industry consortium getting the cloud-based content service UltraViolet off the ground, will host a panel Jan. 6 featuring executives from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Best Buy and Samsung.

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