CES 2009: Day One

Greetings from Las Vegas and the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show!  The big news this year is… there isn’t any really big news, there have been hardly any products that make you go “wow” and the show itself is noticeably smaller and less busy than usual.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a big show but usually the convention center and the city itself are so crammed that it is difficult to get around.  Not this year.  There’s empty space in the convention center… not much, but usually there is no empty space at all.  Some big players are noticably absent and I’ve had no delays navigating the city or the show.

The biggest trend has been HDTVs with Internet connections for streaming content from YouTube, Netflix, and other web portals… some free content, some subscription content.   Also of note is a huge slate of Blu-ray players at new, lower price points as well as newly refined, value priced flat panel HDTVs.  Worth mentioning (and they will receive there own separate posts) are a few products that were very impressive for the money.  I got to handle Pentax’s new afforable K2000 digital SLR and it is simply great, and Pioneer has a new receiver that brings features of its topnotch VSX-1018 to the $300 price point, which is certain to be of interest to my readers.  Dish Network’s new Sling-loaded high-def DVR was simply stunning, a clear standout in a show that is kind of blah, and its $200 price makes it one of the best values you will find in television.  Dish also announced $9.99 digital satellite packages meant to appeal to those who still get  their TV with an antenna.

In an uncertain year with a troubled economy, perhaps a low-key CES with a lot of high-value, vs. high-end, products is just what we need.

My card reader broke so I won’t be able to add images until tomorrow.  Check back Friday for more new and commentary from CES 2009.

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