Updated from 10:36 a.m. EST
LAS VEGAS -- This morning's
news will cast a pall over the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. An industry already struggling with a tidal wave of "me too" products, iPhone knock-offs and declining margins on big-ticket items now has the tangible evidence that it knew was coming.
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Thousands of buyers and thousands of exhibitors are here to try and find a way out, and they will keep putting on their best faces, but it will be interesting to hear what they say off the record in the coming days.
Meanwhile, you know all about HDTV-ready TVs, but what about 3-D ready? You may not be thinking about dropping $7,000 on a new TV, but if you were, the
model I saw at the Consumer Electronics Show press event Tuesday evening here is one you should consider.
The TV is from the company's LaserVue line, which
Gary Krakow first showed you last summer.
Laser TV Puts Plasma to Shame
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What makes this one amazing is how it displays 3-D content, a big trend here at CES 2009.
Over the next week I'll be looking at things -- not as an expert like Gary (see his story on the big
) -- but as a reporter assigned to different beats. My first beat is 3-D and green tech.
Now, back to the 3-D TV. This 65-inch LaserVue is amazing enough, but add in a media center PC -- this one ran an Aspen Media Center with a high end
G-Force graphics card with a soon-to-be released driver -- and you have a whole new game. The crowds around this 3-D TV tell me it may work -- even with the glasses you have to wear.
One idea that may not work, however, is 3-D webcams. The lovely women from
drew a crowd, I believe, more for their looks than the product they were demonstrating. To make the 3-D webcam work, anyone looking at your video output needs the traditional blue and red glasses. The webcam costs $89.95 on Amazon.com and ships this week. It's a neat idea, but unless everyone you know has one, or the glasses that go with it, it will have a hard time catching on.
As you can perhaps imagine, green technology is a big topic here at the conference. With President-elect Barack Obama making it clear the government will spend your tax dollars to get solar and wind energy projects up and running, gadget makers are hoping to ride the wave.
is showing off a green battery that looks and performs just like the batteries you know and use, but with a twist. The batteries are advertised as having no mercury, no cadmium, no PVC, no special disposal, and are packaged with recycled materials. I can understand repositioning your product in a world going green, but at the end of the day it's still a battery, it will still wind up in a landfill, and it still will be here on the planet when we are long gone.
Much more useful and a little closer to the green ideal is
line of solar- and self-powered radios. These had everything you could want -- AM/FM, USB plugs, shortwave, NOAA weather radio, walkie talkies, cell phone chargers and flashlights. When I first heard about a company with solar- powered flashlights, I thought it was a joke, but these have hand cranks too and come in all sizes. The little Microlink FR150 was adorable and everything you could ever need, all for $30 at etoncorp.com.
We'll be filing a lot from Las Vegas this week. If there is something you'd like me to look at, or you have a question or comment, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alix joined TheStreet.com TV in February 2007. Previously, she held positions in film and theater production, management, and legal administration. Alix has a degree in communications and theater from Northwestern University.