Washington, D.C. (January 9, 2013) --
The Consumer Electronics Show
is more than a convention. It's an opportunity for companies to
position themselves as leaders in their respective categories.
And with the world's media -- and more than 150,000 attendees --
watching, there's a lot at stake.
with the 2013 CES nearing the end of day three, it's a good time
to take a first look at which companies have emerged as this
show's winners and losers.
The online home video service doesn't make a single piece of
hardware, but it captured the show's attention on Monday
when it announced
that it had signed a deal with Warner Bros. for the exclusive
streaming rights to eight popular TV dramas in 2014. While
Netflix continues to have difficulties building its library of
movie titles, its collection of TV programs, both past and
present, remains impressive and a major reason why roughly 30
million people subscribe.
Then on Tuesday, Netflix came back with
-- that it was adding 1080p and 3D titles. Well done.
Redbox Instant wants to be a Netflix killer, but the company's
Beta offering is taking a beating in the media. Due to a limited
number of A-list streaming titles, it's hard to see why anyone
would drop Netflix for Redbox Instant at this time. That could
change, but Netflix's strong showing at CES and Redbox Instant's
shaky media clippings makes the latter a CES loser.
The 4K TV, which offers a resolution four times greater than
current 1080p HDTVs, may never reach the masses due to high
prices and other factors. But there's no doubt that it's
dominated the show -- and the media's coverage of the show.
Last year, the ultra-thin OLED set was the hit of CES. This
year, questions persist whether TV makers will be able to mass
produce the set because that panel is
so thin. LG helped the cause a bit by announcing that
it would begin selling OLED TVs in the U.S. in March, but with a
price tag of $12,000 (roughly $4,000 more than expected), no one
is lining up at the store.
Samsung whipped up plenty of excitement prior to the show with a
cleverly orchestrated PR campaign for a mysterious TV that,
according to a company photo, appeared to be able to bend and/or
project translucence. In high anticipation, lines began forming
for hours before Samsung's Monday press conference. As it turns
TV is neither translucent or bendable,
but it is a marvel of design, sitting on an easel that can be
moved up and down. Samsung perhaps oversold the set, but it got
everyone's attention here -- and the company did deliver an interesting
Prior to the show, there were rumors that Intel would unveil an
innovative new TV service at CES that would challenge the pay TV
industry. However, the company not only didn't do that, but news
reports on the eve of the show indicated that Intel may have
bitten off more than it could chew. As Apple has found,
challenging the pay TV industry isn't as easy as it looks.
Meanwhile, Intel held a press conference here that was a bit on
the snoozy side.
Speaking of snoozy, Panasonic's press conference also failed to
generate any excitement with much of the 30-minute session
devoted to some kind of Interactive TV venture. And let me
repeat that: 30-minute session; Panasonic couldn't even fill an
entire hour like everyone else. Panasonic tried to make amends
the next day during the company president's keynote address in
which he unveiled a 56-inch combo 4K OLED TV. However, the set
was just a prototype, which means it may never reach a store
The nation's second largest satellite TV service once again
shook up the town with the introduction of a new HD DVR that
includes Sling Media features; Dish subscribers can now transfer
their recorded HD DVR programs to a mobile device or computer --
and they can also watch live TV on an iPad without a wireless
connection. Last year, Dish got everyone buzzing with the
unveiling of the Hopper HD DVR which can record up to six shows
at a time and automatically zap TV commercials. You can't say
Dish doesn't come to play.
But you can say DIRECTV doesn't come to play. Once again, the
nation's largest satcaster basically sat out the show. (No press
conference; no announcements.)
The Internet streaming player announced two big deals here --
one to distribute 300 live channels to
Time Warner Cable
subscribers and one with Westinghouse to allow consumers to
watch streaming video by simply inserting a Roku stick in a
USB-like port in Westinghouse TVs. Roku arguably did more here
to promote streaming video here as any other company. (Possible
Top 10 Selling HDTVs