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CES 2009 previewCNET experts Molly Wood, Tom Merritt, and Erica Ogg discuss what they expect and don't expect to see at the next Consumer Electronics Show.
^M00:00:01 [ Music ] ^M00:00:04 >> Hi I'm Molly Wood from cnet.com here with Tom Merritt, Executive Editor at CNET TV and Erica Ogg, Consumer Electronics Reporter for CNET News. CES 2009 is right around the corner. It is of course the largest Consumer Electronics Tradeshow on earth and it gets underway in Las Vegas on January 8th. So we thought we'd sit down and talk a little bit about what we expect to see in terms of the gadgets of course, but also what we might not see because of these difficult economic times. Let's actually start there--I looked online today and you can still get a hotel room in Las Vegas during CES. That seems unheard of. Is this going to be like the tiniest CES ever? >> Tom Merritt: Yeah it's pretty crazy. You should not ever be able to book a room but you can book rooms at reasonable prices. What was it the Venetian for 400 bucks; and the Wynn we found a 200 dollar room. >> Molly Wood: I'm moving. I'm changing my reservation. >> Tom: What I heard is that the floor space is the smallest since 2006 but you were hearing differently right Erica? Not differently about floor space but there's still a lot of exhibitors. >> Erica Ogg: Well the number of companies, I think it's about 2700, will be the same as last year and the year before that. It's not increasing which is kind of telling but it should be kind of on par. >> Molly: So our feet will suffer just as much. And actually maybe a little bit more because it sounds like some of those companies, big name companies, are moving off the floor and into hotel suites. >> Erica: Yes which means more long difficult cab rides up and down the strip. >> Molly: Yeah so there will be no Yahoo booth, no Belkin booth? >> Erica: No Belkin, no Cisco, no Seagate, no Logitech. So the pretty big companies, the names we recognize, they'll still be there but just you can't necessarily wander over and play with the gadgets. >> Molly: So speaking of the gadgets, what kind of gadgets can we expect to see? You've seen a lot of thin TV's in the lead up to CES. >> Erica: Right I was at C-Tech which is like CES but in Tokyo and that was back in October, and thin TV's were huge there. Before at CES thin TV's were in but they're even thinner. So Hitachi's making really thin LCD's, also really thin Plasma's, Sharp's making really thin LCD's, and Toshiba has some really impressive thin demos as well. >> Tom: And there's a rumor on the Internet that Samsung dropped a hint they're going to bring a 50 inch OLED to CES. >> Molly: It would be insane because the largest shipping OLED TV right now is that Sony that's 11 inches. No I think it's like this big. >> Erica: Right and the biggest prototype besides a 50 inch so far has been Sony's 27 inch. So a 27 to a 50 inch that's a huge jump. >> Molly: So what else do you think we'll see? Anything that will wow us? I'm expecting content delivery services maybe a handful more set-top boxes of course. What else do you think might come out of nowhere? >> Erica: As far as things that we may not actually see as actual products, but it would be fun to check out there instead, 3D; I think it's going to be big. Panasonic's been showing off their 3D Home Theater which is basically a Blu-ray player, a big LCD TV and Surround Sound; but put together you have to soldier [phonetic] the glasses which is kind of annoying, but I think they won't be the only ones there that are showing off 3D products. >> Molly: Actually, I saw a 3D webcam at I stage in part of the lead up to CES and it was very cool. I think you're absolutely right--3D is a huge trend right now. >> Tom: Yeah Home Theater seems to be kind of the leading edge. Digital video of all kinds; having it wireless; having it delivered around the home; media centers; Netflix in everything. We were seeing it in Blu-ray players, we were seeing it on the Xbox so all the different ways to get that video into your home and move it around to all the different screens; and apparently smart phones. Both Motorola and Samsung have kind of set we're going to bring it. We need to get back in the game with RIM and Apple and Nokia of course; and so they said they were going to show off a bunch of smart phones. >> Molly: Which will be interesting; cell phones are not usually a big player at CES. Also it sounds like Green Tech is going to be bigger than ever this year. They have their own pavilion which is all new. What kinds of Green Tech can we expect? Solar stuff? Fuel cell chargers? >> Erica: Yeah I would say that. I would say there'll probably be some cars. Some fuel efficient cars; energy efficient TV's are actually a real big deal now too. That's kind of another area where the TV makers are competing. So you'll see that. You'll probably see some wireless power demos; anything that basically has some sort of green tinge to it. Companies will try to show it off there. >> Molly: Even the slightest bit green. >> Erica: Yes. >> Molly: Thank you so much Tom and Erica. We're of course very excited about the show and our feet can't wait. We along with the entire CNET Team will be in Las Vegas for CES. You can check all of our up to the minute coverage at ces.cnet.com. [ Music ]