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New technology buzzes at CES

Marketplace Staff Jan 7, 2008

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Doug Krizner: Geeks and their gadgets are descending on Las Vegas this week. The annual Consumer Electronics Show kicks off today. Our man on the ground is Brian Cooley of CNET.com. Brian, what’s generating the buzz this year?

Brian Cooley: There’s a couple of things bubbling up at the CES, and one of them is the idea of the car breaking out of its own technology kingdom. We’re seeing satellite radio companies beginning to deliver television as well to the car. We’re also seeing connected navigation, where your GPS nav unit actually connects to the Internet, so it can search for things and then take you there. Another big area we’re seeing is this idea of the Internet as a cable company. We’re seeing I think a watershed year for set-top boxes that let you reach out and get movies, television, various kinds of video for the Internet and display them on your television. This is not about PCs — it completely bypasses the computer.

Krizner: Have you been getting any reaction to the Warner Brothers’ announcement last Friday that they have now aligned themselves with Blu Ray? And how does this change the landscape in that Blu Ray/HD-DVD war?

Cooley: Yeah, I’d say if you were to pull people here on the floor at the show, they would say that their gut tells them the battle is over. I’m not quite that sure — the HD-DVD camp has risen from the ashes at least once, but I just don’t know what else, though, could save that format now. And this is all about consumers feeling confident. If they see the format is being left or being de-emphasized by the content that they want, they just won’t buy it. To me, this is more than just a battle between two formats, it’s a battle of whether we need high-def disk or not, as we were just talking about delivering movies and television over the Internet.

Krizner: Brian Cooley is editor at large at CNet.com. Brian, thanks so much for talking with us.

Cooley: Thanks, Doug.

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