Cyber Sizzlers: Home Electronics Trends and Products for 1999

By Goldstein, Michael | Sunset, April 1999 | Go to article overview

Cyber Sizzlers: Home Electronics Trends and Products for 1999


Goldstein, Michael, Sunset


The January Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (attended by nearly 100,000 people) is where companies roll out new products and test the market. It's chaotic but exciting, like the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Here's a sampling of trends and product introductions from this year's show.

TOWARD SUPER-REALISM ON THE SCREEN

High-definition televisions, more prevalent than ever, may stun you with their picture quality but shock you with their prices (from $6,000). Flatscreen, wall-mounted televisions based on plasma technology are still evolving (and price tags are still stratospheric), but the buzz is that these will be the TVs of our future.

If you're still bound to analog TV, you won't be left behind with RCA's DTC100 ($649) digital TV converter, due out by late summer. This receiver/decoder receives both analog and digital signals, so you can keep your existing TVs until digital prices drop. (800) 336-1900.

PRIME TIME IS ANYTIME

ReplayTV is a new breed of VCR without videotape - it records directly to its hard drive and has instant playback capability. It can record and play two sections of a show simultaneously. While watching a broadcast, you can "pause," "rewind," or "fast-forward" (i.e., catch up to the realtime feed). The device can even build a "Replay Channel" based on your preferences-for instance, it will search for cooking shows, record them, and create a Cooking Replay Channel. The ReplayTV 2001 with six hours of recording capability costs $699. (800) 266-1301, (650) 968-9923, or www. replaytv.com.

ELECTRONIC NOVELS

Although reading a book on a handheld 4 1/2- by 3-inch computer screen may not appeal to everyone, it does have advantages. The Rocket eBook holds the equivalent of 10 400-page books, and its backlight lets you read at night. You can scribble notes, highlight passages, and search the text. Visit www.barnesandnoble.com to download electronic editions, from $3 to $30 each. …

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Cyber Sizzlers: Home Electronics Trends and Products for 1999
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