Audio News for January 22, 2010

by | Jan 22, 2010 | Audio News | 0 comments

Six Trends in Home Electronics – Perhaps a bit late since this was ZDNet’s intro to the recent Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show, but these trends-to-watch are on target for the upcoming year: 1. Small laptops experience fragmentation; 2. Home Theater goes 3D; 3. Brighter, crisper, more flexible video displays; 4. Car tech gets smarter; Smartphones get agressive and tablets get impressive; 6.  Everything Gets Eco-Friendly.

Do Users Really Want 3D TVs? – That’s what some nay-sayers at CES and online are saying about the huge push for the TV transition to 3D which occurred at CES.  Discovery, Sony and IMAX have announced a joint venture to deliver the first dedicated 3D TV network in the U.S. Nay-sayers are pointing to the realities of having to pay another $2000 or $3000 to replace the hi-def flat-panel HDTV you just bought for Christmas; then having to wear a pair of $50 3D glasses, and having to buy several more pairs for all the family members or friends who watch with you. (Plus having to buy a new 3D Blu-ray player.)  Video gamers will jump at this, but will the rest of the general public?  The president and co-founder of RealD (providing the technology for the Avatar 3D theatrical showings) believes that 3D TVs will be the only option for homes in the future. He said “I don’t believe there’s a TV manufacturer in the world that will create and sell a TV without the 3D chips built in…and gaming is going to be a huge experience for consumers.”  In the short term, it is felt we are in a glasses universe, since the technologies that don’t require any glasses have limitations, such as having to sit at a certain angle and distance from the screen.  Glass-less 3D viewing may be two or three years away.

E-commerce Up During the Holidays – Spending at online retailers grew more quickly than in traditional stores, according to figures from comScore.com.  The market research firm said e-commerce sales from Nov. 1 to Christmas Eve were up 5% over 2008. The firm also gave credit to online retailers’ efforts to use social networking tools and free shipping offers.

Greenpeace Praises Apple, HP, Nokia & Sony – Greenpeace’s latest edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics shows Apple, Sony, and Nokia leading the way for introducing products free of the worst hazardous substances, with HP following close behind. Greener electronics were a subject of much concern at this years CES in Las Vegas. HP had been targeted last year for failing to meet its deadline for phasing out toxics in its products, but their new HP Compaq 8000f Elite Ultra Slim Desktop PC earned the computer-maker Greenpeace’s “Best In Show” award. Samsung, Dell, Lenovo and LG picked up penalty points in the Guide for failing to follow thru on a promised phase-out of toxic chemicals in their products, and their overall plans delayed their phase-out now to 2011 or beyond.  The majority of the companies in the Guide had pledged to remove toxic PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants from their products by the end of 2009.

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