CES 2004 preview

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While the view from your window is probably rainy and grey, from mine the sun twinkles over the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and the Pyramids.

Yes it is the start of January, which means one thing – time to visit the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the capital of kitsch, Las Vegas.

The show officially kicks off on Wednesday with a host of press conferences and a rousing speech from microsoft’s CEO Bill gates. Needless to say we’ll be delivering coverage on a daily basis highlighting all the major announcements as well as trawling the smaller halls for the weirder stuff.

Anyhow we have been doing out detective work, so read on for a quick preview of the products likely to launch in the next few days from…

microsoft, Philips, Sony, HP, Shell and many others

The big stories so far

microsoft – Set to deliver SPOT watches, which receive data over FM so they can display the latest news, sports, weather etc. Also rumoured is an upgrade to the remote control PC operating system Media Center XP. We’ll be looking too for Portable Media Center devices (personal audio/video hard disk based unit that pair large capacity hard disks with three/four inch LCD screens).

Sony – We are eagerly waiting the arrival of the XXX, Sony’s personal audio/video player. There’s likely to be some big news on the Blu-ray front – the company’s next generation ultra high capacity DVD recorder, – and a slew of convergence products.

Philips – Top billing goes to a DVD+RW/hard disk video recorder and a wireless LCD based TV a bit like the Sharp Aquous.

Shell – A new package that will enable users to control their heating/lighting/small devices remotely via a dedicated website accessible from both PCs and mobile phones.

HP – A move into TVs, plus apparently some major news from the calculator division…

Dell – LCD TVs, MP3 players and a host of other consumer electronics goodies

Toshiba – A tiny 4Gigabyte hard disk for use in MP3 players

Panasonic – The latest version, and hopefully a launch date, for its Cocoon hard disk based home entertainment wireless server.

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