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CES, in Bits & Pieces

There’s plenty more of interest to radio engineers and managers happening here.

There’s plenty more of interest to radio engineers and managers happening here. A flavor:

  • Neural Audio and VoiceAge Corp. are demoing advanced audio compression technology in conjunction with the mobile DTV concept mentioned above. Demos show good audio quality at 24 kbps and below, Neural told me. …
  • I’ve heard SiPort is showing a single-solution HD-R receiver chipset in its Hilton suite, however I haven’t had a chance to see that yet. …
  • Clear Channel’s Total Traffic Network will provide traffic data on several 2008 Volvo models, joining BMW and Mini Cooper. Jeff Littlejohn says Volvo has a similar service in Europe with RDS now, so installing the Clear Channel traffic service on its vehicles here is simple for the automaker. “We need to be able to provide data in ways customers want it,” he tells me. …
  • NDS: The company is here in Vegas, giving demos of its conditional access capability. Spokesman Tom Rucktenwald says Ibiquity is due to release a new IC to receiver manufacturers that contains the conditional access capability this spring. He also hopes to demo what he’s calling an ad substitution concept using conditional access capability at the spring NAB.
  • Talk about product placement: Verizon has a plush booth in the middle of the press room in the South Hall where reporters can try out 12 of the latest cell phones and devices such as the BlackBerry Pearl, Venus by LG and Juke by Samsung. Domestic calls on the devices are free. Two Space-Agey phone booths featuring the BlackBerry World Edition are available for international calls.
  • Members of the National Radio Systems Committee are meeting here today, but the agenda is said to be light. The group is still working on the latest update to the IBOC standard, NRSC-5-B. I’ve heard they plan to put the AM Subcommittee on hiatus; that group, co-chaired by Jeff Littlejohn and Stan Salek recently completed an AM bandwidth study.

And just for fun: Some products that have caught my eye in the exhibit halls in the LVCC and the Sands include a home theater in a chair from the I-FI company featuring a leather recliner with two speakers, a built-in subwoofer and shaker, iPod dock and headphone jack. Of course, it also includes a cup holder. … Audio-Technica is showing an LP-to-digital recording system and Ion Audio is debuting several audio conversion systems.

The Phoenix WiFi radio from Com One has been updated and Isisdei is featuring laptop covers made of neoprene and memory foam. Several companies are showing robots; the Yujin Robotics iRobi claims to serve as a receptionist and teacher and talks to the robot that cleans your house.

If you are attending CES and see something cool, write to me at [email protected].