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CES Game Plan

Inch-thick stack of business cards to hand out? Check.

Comfortable walking shoes and hiking socks? Check.

Clif Bars in my laptop bag for when I don't have time to eat lunch? Check.

Inbox full of "can we schedule a booth appointment?" pitches from tech publicists? Check.

Yup, it's almost time for me to ship out to Las Vegas to cover the Consumer Electronics Show, the largest and most important technology trade show in the United States. I fly out Sunday morning to start my 11th (!) annual pilgrimage to CES, but my colleague Kim Hart will also be trekking out to Vegas for the show; we both chatted about it in yesterday's podcast (MP3). We'll be covering the show in blog posts and in print as frequently as time and bandwidth--two things often in short supply at CES--permit.

Here's my overall schedule for the week, so you know what to expect from me:

* Sunday: Although CES (put on by the Arlington-based Consumer Electronics Association) officially runs from Monday through Thursday, things start the day before with a series of press conferences from electronics manufacturers, followed in the evening by a keynote presentation from Microsoft founder and chief software architect Bill Gates.

* Monday and Tuesday: I'll be meeting with major electronics vendors like Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony to see what their product plans are for this year. I'm particularly interested in seeing how they're reacting to three ongoing trends: the ever-dropping price of HDTV, the continued stalemate in high-definition video discs and the increasing amount of digital and Internet-based media in our lives. Between meetings, I'll be roaming the most important of the three exhibit halls in the Las Vegas Convention Center--the Central Hall, where most of the name-brand manufacturers congregate.

* Wednesday, I will shift my attention to the other two halls in the LVCC. The North Hall usually holds almost all of the car-electronics firms, making it by far the loudest place in Vegas during CES, but satellite- and digital-radio firms also often exhibit there. The South Hall, meanwhile, is a vast grab-bag of other exhibits--digital cameras, computer peripherals, cell phones and other portable electronics, for example. Its lower level tends to attract a lot of newer vendors from China, Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere in Asia looking to cash in or (or kick off) the next trend, which can make it one of the more interesting parts of CES.

* Thursday: My print column, with this week's podcast, will try to give a sense of the show and what it says about where the electronics business is headed. I'll break away from the festivities for an hour for my Web chat--at noon EST instead of 2 p.m.--and then spend the rest of the morning browsing the fourth major CES area, the exhibit spaces at the Sands Expo Convention Center and the Venetian next door. That afternoon, I get back on a plane--not to fly home, but on to California, where Apple's Macworld Expo starts on the 15th in San Francisco.

I'll spend Friday catching up on sleep, then catching up on all the e-mail I will have missed. (Let's just say that if you need a quick answer to a tech query, I'm not going to be guy you'll want to contact over the next week and a half.)

Is there anything in particular you'd like to me to look out for at CES? Let me know in the comments!

By Rob Pegoraro  |  January 4, 2008; 11:11 AM ET
Categories:  CES 2008 , The business we have chosen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: "Eee" Could Have Meant "Excellent"
Next: CES, Day Zero


I used to live in Cedar City Utah, about 3 1/2 hours north of Vegas. Got to Comdex every year from 90 through 99. It seems that CES has taken over the tech displays that once were the province of Comdex, before it died. Presumably from convergence.

Do the Vegas residents hate CES as much as they did Comdex? All the hotels full, and no one gambling.

Posted by: wiredog | January 4, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Be sure to bring back a bunch of those cool give aways like the lanyards folks wear with thumb drives hanging from 'em....and I thought those things went out of style in the 60's when we forced ourselves to wear them b/c we made them at camp!

Posted by: Tina | January 4, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse


I am longterm shareholder of an innovative company called Transmeta. Could you please ask Fujitsu, SONY, Toshiba, AMD, MSFT and Intel "where, when and how they plan to incorporate Transmeta's IP". They each have in one way or another, (paid or settled acknowledging Transmeta's innovation). What are they waiting for? Oil is through the roof, we need efficiency.

The only utilization of a product incorporating Transmeta's IP is NEC in its M2 platform.


Posted by: Redbullanimal | January 4, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Compact, affordable home theater systems that don't require a mass of wires or speakers.

Posted by: Alexandria | January 4, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm more interested in what Apple has up its sleeve . . .

Enjoy you trips!

Posted by: also Alexandria | January 4, 2008 6:44 PM | Report abuse

I think I'm suffering from gadget burn out. This is the first year that I can remember when CES and Mac World SF aren't overlapping, and I don't really feel an overwhelming need to go to either of them.

Perhaps I'll feel a change of heart in time for MWSF, since I have relatives and friends in San Francisco. San Fran is always a nice trip, whatever the excuse.

Posted by: Marcos | January 5, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Looking forward to checking out Wireless HD and all the competing Wireless HD standards and of course slingbox HD..

...and no my perception is most vegas people dont hate CES. what we loose in gambling we make up in our rising hotel and restaurant prices..muhaha! lol

...if anyone is going check out the pinball hall of fame musuem, off tropicana ave. google it.

Cheers mate in 08!

Posted by: Matt from vegas | January 5, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Grill the TV reps as to whether we will be seeing slots on the 2008 models for CableCards, as I hear they may make a comeback. Of course, I will be esp. interested in these slots if they accommodate the second generation cards, or the MediaCards.

Posted by: Gordon, Iowa | January 5, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

transmeta, crusoe, etc are going nowhere

Posted by: lol | January 5, 2008 6:30 PM | Report abuse

CES has been on its death bed for several years now. Apparently the only consumer electronics show with any real meat happens in San Francisco. I hate to think that Apple is the only real innovator left, but, truth to tell it appears that they have very little competition - and that ain't good. Not for Apple or any other corporation. And certainly not for this country. Let's hope you find something at CES to be excited over. I am, by the way, a very big Apple fan; but, they need some competition to keep their competitive juices flowing or they will dry up just like everybody else. At least they aren't hampered by depending on Microsoft's innovation as is every other PC manufacturer.

Posted by: JCH | January 6, 2008 1:38 AM | Report abuse

JCH: Actually I think you'll find that it's the lack of design-talent with the OEMs that hampers Microsoft. Apparently Microsoft has more hardware designers than the top 10 OEMs put together (excepting perhaps Sony).

Posted by: Mike | January 6, 2008 5:13 AM | Report abuse

I am interested in internet radio. especially those that yu do not have to look at to tune so that they can be used by the blind and those that have to tune at night and avoide waking up one's spouse.

Posted by: Tim | January 6, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I'm interested in companies that deliver content to cell phones and PDAs. I've heard about a new company called Trek Exchange that is delivering audio content (like tours of cities) with GPS-enabled devices. They're supposed to be launching around CES.

Posted by: MB | January 6, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Hey Rob hows about a report on high end speakers ie those above $75k. And since HD DVD is on its death bed why not look into when Krell, Audio Research, CJ and Esoteric will come oout with premium Blu Ray players. Also take a look at premium turntables, tone arms, cartidges and phon preamps ie turntables in the $15k and up range since LPs still sound better than any other media. Also why not check out the AVN awards while you are there and get you picture taken with some hot young things. Yeah Rob this it that Clifton and I use the money I make investing in adult entertainment to pay for home theater and stereo system. Over the past 20 years I have an annualized return from these investments of 47.376%

Posted by: Clifton, VA | January 6, 2008 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Bill has got a few surprises up his sleeve!

Posted by: steve ballmer | January 6, 2008 9:36 PM | Report abuse

steve ballmer: What? Robotic arms? I hope they aren't controlled by VISTA.

Posted by: JCH | January 6, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Cmon: Warner going to Blu Ray exclusive is a big deal. How will Tosh respond will be the big question!

Posted by: Victor | January 7, 2008 3:33 AM | Report abuse

affordable wireless computer speakers?

Posted by: rjrjj | January 7, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

For some time there have been rumors of a Bluetooth remote-control with built-in display, which would control your iPod. The idea is that you would physically connect your iPod to your stereo, but rather than walking over to the iPod to select tracks or see the name of the currently playing track, all of this information would be displayed and controllable within the remote-control.

Please keep an eye peeled for stuff like this. Currently I have a Roku Soundbridge which fetches audio from a computer via Wifi, but I think that the solution described above would be better overall and consume less electricity.

Posted by: JAE | January 7, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Now that HDTV is assured and wireless technology stardards suitable for high bandwidth applications (as well as Gig-E in my home, at least), a good summary of media extenders is high on my interest list.

Posted by: Richard N | January 7, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Ask the new vendors if any intends to launch a dual Blu-Ray / HD-DVD player. LG, Samsung, and Sharp have been tardy to promote or distribute such devices. A portfable model for $150 and with an HDMI port to connect to big HDTVs would be very attractive.

Posted by: Jkoch | January 7, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

It would be helpful to get your perspective on the various keynote adresses following Bill Gates' address yesterday, in particular Paul Otellini's this afternoon and Brian Roberts (Comcast) tomorrow.

Also, your review of the current state of home automation and security systems: there's plenty of new innovations since the early days of x10, and I'm interested in how computer controlled media centers link to various subsystems (Automation, Lighting and Appliance Controls, and Security systems).


Posted by: M3 Sweatt | January 7, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Are you going to respond?


Posted by: HELLO reporter | January 10, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

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