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A new year for consumer electronics

Bill Radke Jan 5, 2010
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Bill Radke: ESPN is going 3-D. USA Today reports the sports network will launch a 3-D channel this summer, starting with a World Cup soccer match. ESPN 3-D expects to show at least 85 live sporting events
in its first year.

Now to see the ball coming at you, you will need a 3-D-capable television. And those might be on display later this week in Las Vegas at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Reporter Michael Learmonth covers digital media for Advertising Age, he’ll be there at the Consumer Electronics Show. Morning, Michael.

Michael Learmonth: Good morning.

Radke: I hear talk about 3-D televisions getting their time in the spotlight in Las Vegas. Is that true?

Learmonth: Well, I mean there will certainly be a lot of talk about this, I mean but this isn’t really a product that you can buy in a store or exists yet. And, you know the mean problem with this is that, I mean if you can imagine, you know sitting in your living room with glasses on, you know I don’t think that’s something most people would want to do. But I do think that someone will sort this out and there will be a lot of talk about, you know, how the home video business can jump on the 3-D bandwagon, just like the theater business has.

Radke: What about smartbooks? I keep hearing that the netbook, which has been the buzz, is, “Forget that, the smartbook is even cooler.”

Learmonth: Yeah, I mean, these are, sort of split the difference between a netbook and a phone. You know, very tiny laptop that connects to the Web via cellular networks. And it might be sold, packaged with a data plan from, you know, one of the telecos. It would be presumably less expensive, and you know, I think that it’ll be interesting to see those products and see where they’re priced, because netbooks are already very inexpensive. So you just have to wonder what advantage these new, smaller computers actually have.

Radke: Michael, is the Consumer Electronics Show aware that there’s double-digit unemployment and everybody’s in debt?

Learmonth: Um, we shall see. I mean I think last year, the show was notable for just how small it was, and I think that what you might see is a bit more enthusiasm for CES this year. Because the Christmas season was actually pretty good for the CE industry, as in not horrible. So I think there’s a general sense that the economy really can only go up at this point.

Radke: Michael Learmonth is digital media reporter at Advertising Age, reporting to us about the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Thank you, Michael.

Learmonth: Thank you.

How We Survive
How We Survive
Climate change is here. Experts say we need to adapt. This series explores the role of technology in helping humanity weather the changes ahead.