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CES 2013: Winners & Losers!
By Swanni

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.

So
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.

Winner: Netflix
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
another announcement -- that it was adding 1080p and 3D titles. Well done.

Loser: Redbox Instant
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.

Winner: 4K
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.

Loser: OLED TV
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.

Winner: Samsung
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 out, the
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 new product.



Loser: Intel
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.

Loser: Panasonic
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 shelf.

Winner: Dish
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.

Loser: DIRECTV
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.)

Winner: Roku
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 exception: Netflix.)

See Today's Top 10 Selling HDTVs

What do you think? Offer your comments below!

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