Are you ready for C.E.D.I.A.? I don't know about you, but I have been inundated with emails and calls regarding seeing all of the new DTV and A/V products that will be unveiled next week. I think that I've reached a breaking point, but it won't stop. If I took 30-minutes for each company that had asked for a meeting, I would be spending the next couple of months in Denver, CO instead of just five days. C.E.D.I.A., in its own way, has become as important as CES for those of us who cover CE in all of its forms. While Digital TV DesignLine is primarily about advanced display design, set-top boxes, HD recording, and the like, there are also a lot of products and technologies that support DTV. Many of those products will be on display next week.
Since I IFA in Berlin started today (Aug. 31), there will be some overlap in new product announcements. Today, I posted a story from IFA regarding Sharp announcing its first Blu-ray Disc player, I'm sure that we will hear a similar announcement next week. I am also meeting separately with both the Blu-ray Disc Association and the HD DVD Promotion Group. I'm sure that each group will put their proper spin on the high-def disc format wars. While competing formats certainly foster confusion on the part of the consumer, I can, at least, say that some companies are trying to make it easier, e.g. LG and Samsung with dual-format players, and Warner Home Video with their TotalHD disc due later this year or early 2008 that will feature an HD DVD side and a BD side.
I can also expect to see more A/V Receivers and A/V Processors at C.E.D.I.A. that will include HDMI 1.3a connectivity. As well, several prominent audio-only companies will also offer top-of-the-line products that might include a video scaler, video signal upconversion, and/or a built-in video processor from companies like Silicon Optix, Faroudja, or Gennum. It would seem these days that Silicon Optix processing is definitely considered a step-up feature. Silicon Optix, itself, also offers different chipsets that are found -- not just in A/V Receivers or A/V Processors, but also high def optical disc players. It would appear that Samsung has changed video processors from Gennum to Silicon Optix, which clearly offers far superior image quality.
A few weeks ago I was at the Boston Acoustics headquarters to learn about their new line of loudspeakers, which are quite intriguing. However, the message from the loudspeaker community is that TV sales are driving speaker sales. And, loudspeaker manufacturers now have design products that fit with or blend into flat-panel displays. I think that from the proliferation of speakers that will be heard at C.E.D.I.A. that they will all be positioned to work or complement Digital TV.
Starting next Wednesday, I will be posting a new Blog each day through Friday, and then a summary early the following week.