Consumer Electronics & Appliance News, Reviews & Information.

Jan 12

Top 5 Past CES Star Products

1969 televisions on display at CES

The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2012) in Vegas this January holds a Last Gadget Standing competition in the CES 2012 schedule,  in which a single 2012 CES product product earns the title: “most likely to change the face of technology”. We’d like to do a similar countdown with past CES products, awarding the “Best CES Products”  Many of them aren’t still standing now, but they towered and triumphed during their glory days. Best yet, you can still buy them all at Vann’s.

Top 5 Past CES Products

  1. VCR (1970): VCRs had been around since the 1950s, but they cost around $50,000 and were used mostly by television networks. 1970 marked the year that the VCR came to be affordable and available to the masses, when the VCR debuted at the CES. Hollywood attendees at CES Show, just like they feared internet streaming, worried that the advent of VCRs meant the end of network television.  While some cap VCR at a 30-year lifetime, plenty of devices play both VHS and DVDs and you can even transfer VCR content to DVDs with a DVD recorder.
  2. Camcorder (1981): At the 1981 CES Show, the hybrid of a voice recorder and a video camera known as a camcorder made its debut. Compact compared to previous recording devices, camcorders served family videographers, Speilberg imitators, and investigative journalists well because they were far more discrete. Everyone’s a videographer today, posting videos on YouTube and Facebook, but  camcorders still compete with phones, iPods, and point-and-shoots that capture video. Today’s camcorders come in all shapes, colors, even with interchangeable lenses, but none of the camcorders in the 2011 CES Show recorded on tape.
  3. DVD (1996): At first, DVDs made families with massive video cassette collections groan. But people groaned louder when they had to wait so long to rewind and fast forward VCRs, so DVDs ultimately won everyone over. DVD players officially replaced VCRs in 2006, when Hollywood studios (always a key player or whiny complainer) stopped manufacturing VHS tapes. Fortunately, you can still find players that play both DVDs and VHS today.
  4. Satellite Radio (2000): Just when the radio seemed like it would lose listeners to iPods, along came Satellite Radio, which has the selection of an iPod combined with the spontaneity of a radio. From the 15-hour road trip to a restaurant’s mood music, Satellite Radio boosts 21 million subscribers as of 2011.  Check out these satellite-ready receivers AND satellite-ready iPod docks to maximize your experience!
  5. Blu-ray DVD (2003, 2008): DVDs were still children when Blu-rays entered the scene. Fortunately, Blu-ray players play both DVDs and blu-rays, so money spent on your DVD collection was not a waste. But even though Blu-rays were introduced as a successor to regular DVDs at CES’s 2003 conference, Blu-rays did not have a clear path to replace DVDs until the 2008 CES, when Warner Brothers announced it would no longer release their films on HD-DVD. Now Blu- ray players have exploded and include 3D dimension, 7.1 surround sound, and HD 1080 progressive format. Best yet, most Blu-ray players play DVDs too.

The largest and most influential consumer electronics manufacturers present their projects for a test-run at CES. Often times these “projects” become global phenomenons, revolutionizing technology for years–and it all starts at CES. The five featured products above serve as prime examples. Tell us about your favorite electronic or CES groundshaker– whether you got it when you were five or fifty.

Check back daily! We’ll be covering the CES conference before, during, and after to give you the preview of the next superstars in consumer electronics.

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