Early Highlights Of CES 2007

The giant CES convention is underway this week in Los Angeles with many announcements trumpeted to the high heavens yesterday. Here’s a breakdown of the big ones that could affect you the movie consumer:

-LG’s combo Blu-ray/HD-DVD player (nicknamed ‘Super Multi Blue’) will be released the first week of February and retail for $1,199. Upside? Will play both formats along with regular DVDs – all in full 1080p. It’ll also write to blank Blu-ray discs. Downside? No HDMI 1.3 and as it’s essentially a Blu-ray player with HD-DVD tacked on it can’t display the cool interactive functions that HD-DVDs currently feature.

-LG also announced for a $1,199 price tag a computer disc drive that can read HD-DVD discs, and read-write to Blu-ray Disc, DVD, and CD. The speed is 4x meaning it should take about 23-24 minutes to burn a single layer Blu-ray disc.

– Sharp debuted the biggest TV in the world – a 108-inch Aquos LCD. Their new range of LCD TVs in January (46″ & 52″ models) and March (65″) feature 10,000-15,000:1 contrast ratios, 4ms response time and 120 Hz refresh rate – much closer to the richer blacks and colors of plasma.

– Samsung’s new 81-series of 1080p LCD HDTVs hit in July and feature whopping 50,000:1 contrast ratios.

-Sony announced a 70-inch Bravia LCD TV, and a module that clicks into Bravia TV’s to wirelessly stream HD content online.

-Pioneer claims to have completely re-engineered its Plasma models due this Summer to yield better colour and contrast than the missing in action SED TV models.

– JVC’s HD Everio camcorder delivers images in full 1080i resolution onto an in-built 60Gb hard drive.