Products '84 CES
Over 75,000 people are expected to descend on Las Vegas during the four days of Jan. 7-10 with sole purpose of attending the 1984 International Winter Consumer Electronics Show.
They're being treated to a record 1,225 exhibitors, that are taking up nearly 725,000 square feet of exhibit space. This represents 25 percent more exhibit space than last year, say show organizers.
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In addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center, the show is being held in the Hilton Hotel Pavillion and the Grand Ballroom, and rooms and suites in the Riviera Hotel and in the public space at the Sahara Hotel. What's more, much of the additional space will be the 120,000 square foot West Hall addition to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
About 335 audio, video and full-line manufacturers are displaying in the East Hall and its meeting rooms, with video software in the Hall's open area. About 275 computer and game hardware and software suppliers are in the east third of the East Hall and in the new West Hall.
Approximately 300 telephone, calculator and watch exhibitors are in the South Hall and in the Hilton. Some 100 autosound makers are in the North Hall.
The Riviera has about 200 limited-distribution audio suppliers. The Sahara has about 40 video software suppliers.
On the following pages is a sampling of what they're showing.
CASIO, Fairfield, N.J. -- The Casio PF-8000 is a data bank calculator that lets the user "write" an equation on the unit's face with a finger. It can also store other forms of data, including personal material that may be kept private with a special code word, and has a memory that can store up to 1000 characters. $69.95.
EMERSON RADIO, Secaucus, N.J.--The VCR 900 videocassette recorder is a front-loading system featuring three event/14 day programming and 10-function wired remote control. The model also offers a 16-channel tuning system, two-hour SP, five-hour LP, and eight hour EP modes, a noise bar reduction system on search mode and auto rewind. The deck also includes an LED digital timer/position counter and an LED channel display. $599.
DYNASCAN, Chicago--This company's Cobraphone model RP-780S cordless phone/clock-radio offers a nine-number memory, last-number radial, and speakerphone capability, with Secure Lock and Ring Guard features to reduce interference. Range is 300 feet; in wood tone with black. $189.95.
TECHNICS, Secaucus, N.J.--Designed to be wall mounted, the Technics SAR-100 is an integrated audio system that is only 3 inches thick. Its midsection has a Dolby cassette deck and a 25 watt receiver. Also included are detachable two-way speakers which use concentric drivers, with a 3-inch tweeter mounted inside a 12-inch woofer. Comes with wireless remote control and an antenna. $1,000.
FISHER, Chatsworth, Calif.--The PC200 is a 19-inch color monitor with a 140-channel receiving capability and a full-function wireless remote control. $699.95.
SONY, Park Ridge, N.J.--Sony's SRF-A1 is the company's first personal sterio unit to offer stereo sound in AM as well as FM. The unit is compatible with all four systems of AM stereo transmission. $79.95.
SHARP ELECTRONICS Corp., Paramus, N.J.--The 20J580 is Sharp's first 20-inch color television with a flat, square picture tube that the company says reduces distortion providing a more natural-looking TV picture. The model also includes a 142 channel cable-compatible tuner and a 22-key wireless remoce control. $759.95.
AIWA AMERICA, Inc., Moonachie, N.J.--Aiwa enters the video market with its portable V-5 VCR system. At its center is the AV-50M, a VCR that weighs only 13.7 pounds and includes a built-in 105 channel tuner with a seven-day, one-program timer. A single cable connection links the unit to the SV-50M Beta hi-fi adapter, which offers a built-in 5 watt amplifier. $1,395.
BSR (USA) LTD., Blauvelt, N.Y.: BSR will distribute in the United States the complete line of computer care products from am, a European manufacturer. Included in this line is the CDC-8, a wet-cleaning disk drive cleaner for 8-inch floppy fisk drives. $34.
SANSUI ELECTRONICS CORP., Lyndhurst, N.J.--One of three new midi-systems, the M-900B features an autoreverse linear tracing turntable which many programmed to play selections from either side of the record in any order. The system also includes a double-speed dubbing deck, a 70 watt per channel amplifier, slimline tuner and detachable three-way speakers. $1,350.
QUASAR CO., Franklin Park, Ill.--Quasar's new 37-inch diagonal projection TV, the PR4690, offers a four-speaker stereo sound system as well as a 139-channel tuner and a 54-function unified TV/VCR remote control. $2999.
PIONEER ELECTRONICS (USA) Inc., Long Beach, Cal.--The main component in Pioneer's new Centrate autosound system is the FEX-95, a tuner-cassette unit with digitally synthesized tuning, Dolby B and C noise reduction and a radio program timer. Also available as companion items are a seven band graphic equalizer and a remote control unit. $699.95.
SANYO ELECTRICS Inc., Compton, Cal.--The MSP5 is a self-contained portable speaker system that folds down to roughly the size of an audio cassette case. Designed for use with personal stereo players, the unit includes a built-in amplifier and may be connected to any standard mini headphone jack. $39.95.
GUSDORF Corp., St. Louis--Styled in oak, the model 2550 cabinet is designed to create a console furniture look for a 19-inch television. The cabinet's decorative tambour detail covers a dropdown door that opens onto a storage area, and the entire unit rests on a swivel base. $99.95.
KENWOOD ELECTRONICS Inc., Carson, Cal.--The Kenwood 1100B is a front-loading horizontal compact disk player featuring a wireless remote control unit. $899.
PIONEER VIDEO, Montvale, N.J.--LD-700 LaserDisc optical video disk player has infra-red remote control for all player functions and front-loading through sliding drawer. With semi-conductor laser pick-up unit. List price: $800.
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With video consciousness at an alltime high, the industry is looking forward to continuing the record-setting sales pace it experienced during 1983.
And it is banking on a number of new products to stimulate even more excitement.
In color TV, manufacturers in Las Vegas suites and on the show floor are expected to make a major effort showing new sizes and square screens, as well as stereo TV. This display of stereo TV technology is expected to be more prominent than ever before of the recent decision by the EIA subcommittee to throw its support behind the Zenith TV transmission system with dbx noise reduction.
New VCR models are out in force on the show floor, too, and the big question is: who is showing an 8mm machine? The name Kodak keeps popping up, and there are whispers that others, including RCA, may be demonstrating units, too.
Hi-Fi products this show are mostly of the "drop in" variety to fill in the line introductions of last spring. Suppliers will be touting digital ready loudspeakers, compact disk players at close to half the price of last season and some unusual convenience oriented products. These latter include a Sony cassette deck which can play 10 cassettes consecutively, a wall-hanging system from Technics and a midi-system with an autoreversing turntable from Sansui.
Feature laden units, such as double tape decks, continue to gain in the portable market this season. And in personal audio, Sony is advancing the walkman with the introduction of the first AM stereo version.
The number of telephone suppliers exhibiting at the Consumer Electronics Show this week far exceeds the number at any other show, as companies vie for a piece of the booming telephone market.
This year is expected to be particularly strong at retail because of the divestiture of AT&T and the breakout of phone charges on customer's monthly bills. Consumer awareness about phones should soar.
In products, suppliers are adding more features and functions. Two line and hold, for example, are becoming commonplace on basic phones, while memory and redial permeate the lines at the high end. In cordless, suppliers have gone to great lengths to alleviate interference and piracy. These problems are expected to be further reduced once the FCC approves new frequencies.
Concerns over pricing and supply, both overinventory and possible shortages, are receiving a lot of attention in Las Vegas.
The home computer industry, for the most part, is not expected to produce any major product innovations at CES. After a year in which the industry was buffeted by plunging prices and margins, multi-million dollar losses and the exit of one of the major players--Texas Instruments--the accent in Las Vegas will be on refinement and continuation of existing products and trends.
Specifically, there will be an advancement of the move begun last year by Coleco with its Adam of the marketing of more task-specific computers. Adam, while it has other capabilities, has been promoted primarily on the basis of its word processing qualities--a direction that is expected to be followed by Commodore and Atari, among others.
Also of note is the first appearance at CES in several years by Apple Computer, expected to make its first major foray into the home market in 1984.
In best car audio speakers reviews in the world this CES, suppliers are revamping speaker lines, dropping prices on electronic-turning radio cassette players, and trotting out more European "EDIN" styled units.
Two suppliers. Blaupunkt and Pioneer will introduce wireless remote controlled radio cassette units for the first time and the industry will get a glimpse of the future with compact disk players designed specifically for the car. The new digital players are expected to appear as prototypes from Kenwood, Fujitsu Ten, and Philips.
In addition, exhibitors here are broadening their target markets, with high end suppliers adding popular pricing and low end suppliers moving up the price ladder. Sony Betamax
SONY CORP., Ridge Park, N.J.--The latest addition to Sony's E-Z Beta series is the SL-2300, a front loading VCR with a three day-one event timer. Other features include a high speed search function and a three function remote control unit. Yamaha CD Player
YAMAHA ELECTRONICS Corp., Buena Park, Cal.--Yamaha's new CD-X1 is a horizontal, front-loading disk player that can be programmed for up to 23 selections in numerical sequence. Using a digital filtering system and new three-beam laser pickup, the CD-X1 has a dynamic range of better than 95 dB. $649. GTS modem