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What AV gear can we expect from CeBIT 2007?

With the German tech show fast approaching, Crave gets all excited about cabbage and sausages and spares a thought for the victims of the hi-def format war

We always look forward to CeBIT, an opportunity to mix with a huge variety of tech people from all over the world and discuss the issues of the day over a breakfast of meat. What's more, there's also sauerkraut to sweeten the deal -- and who doesn't like fermented white cabbage?

Once we've eaten, we'll be looking out for the latest in the HD DVD vs Blu-ray battle. Will either side surge forward this year? Is there a chance that everyone will kiss, make up and produce players that will play both formats? We seriously doubt it -- with so much money to be made from royalties we suspect this battle will run until the public stops buying one or the other.

In the meantime we should at least applaud LG, which is trying to provide a solution with a player that reads both formats. If the LG was fully HD DVD compliant and could utilise the format's full interactivity, we'd probably declare the war over. Although that won't help the people who have already sunk their money into HD DVD.

Hopefully post-CeBIT we'll start to see prices fall on the next generation of players. Sony has already announced it's planning to introduce a budget Blu-ray player this summer. If one or other of the disc camps can reduce the price of their players, we'll be more likely to see a winner this side of Armageddon.

So what won't we be seeing in Germany this year? Well, it's pretty unlikely there'll be any SED screens after Canon's battle in court over the rights to the technology. SED was our hope for the future, but more and more it seems it will offer fewer gains over LCD and plasma, both of which are improving with each revision. Sony may give us another glimpse of the OLED screens they demoed at CES this year, but even that technology is a long way off hitting our front rooms.

Whatever we see at CeBIT, we'll be bringing you all the news, so don't adjust that browser... -IM