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Switched On: Fond memories of CES Press Conference #417


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Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a weekly column about the future of technology, multimedia, and digital entertainment:

CES Press Conference #417

[Cue montage of extreme demographic stock video. Panatoshnysung CEO Akira Steurenberger walks on stage.]

Good morning and welcome to the 2005 CES press conference for Panatoshnysung. We are pleased to introduce our new amorphous corporate slogan, "Live the Digital Lifestyle." We believe that this will communicate our vision of empowered entertainment far better than our previous slogan, "The Digital Lifestyle. Live it."

2004 was a great year for us. We greatly expanded our brand, made progress with major retailers, and were the market share leaders in 50-inch+ DLP televisions that cost more than $3,500 and sell through the A/V specialty channel to Australian monkeys.

This year, we are pleased to introduce you to the world�s largest and most realistic television ever. In fact, you�ve been looking at it since you entered the room. It�s exactly the height and width of the Las Vegas Convention Center. I am not real, but am actually a televised image, as is everything behind me. We figured this would be cheaper than actually buying a lot of booth space. What name could signify such grandeur? Yes, it�s Model EMR091204, Rev. B.

We must caution you, though, that any attempt to visit Booth #34681 behind me will result in a shower of skin-piercing glass and plasma. And at a cost of $10.3 million, you break, you buy.

In the world of DVD, we are announcing that we are upgrading our DVD recorders to read and write all currently available formats, including the inferior ones from our rival trade group. This is occurring just at the time that most consumers have thrown up their hands at the whole confusing prospect. In retrospect, dividing the market was a dumb move we�ll never do again.

But the future belongs to high-definition, and we are very excited to announce that we have joined the Hi-Blue DVD Alliance. Hi-Blue DVD is far superior to the format from its rival trade group and we are extremely confident that it will be the only format that consumers will adopt. As we speak, major content companies are joining one alliance or the other and praying hard that one turns into a Betamax as fast as possible.

At Panatoshnysung, we believe in a future of rich, broadband high-definition media dynamically and instantaneously distributed to anyone in our hyperconnected society. This is why we�ve gone to great lengths to ensure that none of our products actually has a network connection. Networks are complicated, unlike the 15 different A/V connectors we have on our devices. Rather, the key to this digital revolution is our proprietary 256 MB flash card that will work with 10 percent of your devices. It now has stronger DRM protection to ensure that you can�t copy anything on to or off of it.

In other news, you will find that each of the 700 products in our booth now costs 10 percent less than last year and has been superseded by a model with a different bezel and upgraded product number.

Thank you again for attending. Representatives from our press relations team will be on hand to question whether you really belong here. Please enjoy some fried carbohydrates before boarding the complementary shuttle bus back to your theme hotel.

Ross Rubin is director of industry analysis at NPD Techworld, a division of market research and analysis provider The NPD Group. Views expressed in Switched On, however, are his own. Feedback is welcome at

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