I enjoy the digital home I’ve created for my family, and am always on the lookout for new technology that will improve my experience or capabilities for enjoying my digital entertainment. What better place to search for the next big thing than CES 2008.Unfortunately, I’m a tiny bit disappointed I didn’t find the killer solution or technology that will bump my digital home up a notch. Yet, I didn’t go home without something fun to envy. Actually, I found three things to envy! My first stop is always the NextGen “Next Generation” connected home. This is a real 2000 square foot digital lifestyles home featuring the hottest products on the market from industry leaders like Intel, Microsoft, HP, Klipsch and Lutron for integrating all technology in your home from lighting, security, climate control and digital entertainment with PCs and touch panels throughout. It truly is really cool and I want every bit of it in my next home; I just didn’t see anything that blew me away. If you read my post on Hollywood and digital content you know I’m not happy that NBC pulled out of iTunes. So, I stopped by NBC Universal’s booth to see what they had done with my favorite shows. Turns out they are launching their own service called Hulu that will carry all their premium programming. I learned more about it and sure, I’ll give it a try. It’s not the integrated remote-controlled solution I still want (like, ah.. iTunes!) but at least I can get my content digitally. So, what did put a twinkle in my eye? Logitech was showing two products that I’m pretty sure I’m going to get. First, the Logitech Squeezebox Duet that actually won two awards this show – CNET’s Best of CES 2008 for Home Audio and the CES Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Showcase Award. It’s an ingenious network digital audio streamer that uses a handheld remote with a built-in color screen that lets you navigate your entire music collection on your networked PC as well as access some online music services and a majority of the free Internet radio stations. It’s connected to your home stereo or powered speakers. And it’s much more affordable than Sonos. Second, the Logitech diNovo Mini palm-sized, cordless min-keyboard and media controller which also won a CES Innovations 2008 Design and Engineering Showcase Award. I have a couple media center PCs and for the most part, I use the remote control. But occasionally, I like to pop open a web page or stream some content from a branded player and need to get up from the couch or bed, grab the full sized wireless keyboard and sit with it in my lap. This little gem can hide in my night stand or on the coffee table and give me that same control without the bulk of the larger keyboard. It comes out in March and I’m putting in my pre-order now. I finished my tour with a little taste of bliss. I sat in front of some of the best speakers that have ever caressed my ears – HiVi Swans 2.3 HT Flagship Home Theater system. The Swans 2.2 system was a finalist in TechTV’s Best of CES 2003 High End Audio category and the 2.3HT is the next generation of this ribbon speaker system. These babies are designed for superior sound quality and sound stage reproduction and have the dynamic range to handle everything from tiny 1W power inputs to 1500W easily, yet still remain warm and accurate. How sick is that? It’s experiences like this that remind me just how much I truly enjoy high end audio systems and remind me how much my own system is in need of a serious upgrade! I’d love to hear if you’ve identified anything for your digital home that you’d consider the next great thing. Leave a comment if you have. Anyway, I’m done with CES 2008 and am heading home tomorrow morning. It was a long and tiring week, but it was a good show. I always enjoy coming here. I’ll be back!
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