CES 2002 Wrap-Up
More than 110,000 people took part in the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the Winter Consumer Electronics Show. While Videomaker editors ogled the endless aisles of high-tech gear with the rest of the attendees, we brushed aside the grandiose glitter to get to the heart of the matter – new video products. Here’s what we found.
CES 2002 by the Numbers*
1.2 Million Square Feet of Exhibits
4,000+ Members of the Media
110 Countries Represented
Announcing that it would no longer manufacture tape-based camcorders, Hitachi revealed three new disc-based models. Starting at $899, they are designed to record DVD-RAM or DVD-R to 8cm DVD discs, and claim compatibility with DVD-Video players.
Canon announced three new Mini DV models; the ZR40 ($699), ZR45 ($799) and the ZR50 ($899). In addition, Canon introduced two new Hi8s. The ES75 will come with an astounding $229 price tag. The ES8400 is priced at $299.
JVC unveiled 13 camcorders at CES, including seven new GR-DVL Mini DV models, ranging from $599 to $1,099, and two new vertical Mini DV camcorders; the GR-DVM76U ($1,099) and the GR-DVM96U ($1,299). Four new S-VHS-C cams will range from $349 to $499.
Panasonic also announced several new Mini DV camcorders.
Sharp’s new line of Viewcams includes four Hi8s and three Mini DVs. The top DV model, the VL-NZ150U, has a $799 price tag. Sharp’s new VL-A111U is the industry’s only 8mm camcorder for 2002.
Sony officially unveiled its line of MICROMV camcorders (announced in Videomaker’s December 2001 issue). Sony also announced three new Hi8 models priced from $300 to $400 and five Digital8s that will range from $500 to $900. In addition to its camcorders, Sony announced the nifty GV-D1000 Mini DV Video Walkman VCR ($1,299).
Writeable DVD was huge at CES this year, with several companies introducing new products.
Philips showed a freestanding DVD recorder. The DVDR985 will allow users to record to disc as easy as they now record to VHS. The device is said to allow basic video editing functions.
Pioneer announced two freestanding DVD-recorders; the DVR-7000, and a prototype of its budget-priced DVR-3000. Pioneer also announced that it will consolidate its alphabet soup of formats under the DVD Multi logo.
Hitachi-LG announced its first PC DVD drive (the GMA-4020B), which it claims will record and play back various DVD formats, in addition to CD-R and CD-RW.
Toshiba, a company that we don’t get to mention often in the pages of Videomaker, announced plans to introduce the RD-2000, a stand-alone DVD-R player/recorder with both a DVD-RAM drive and internal hard disk recorder of a yet-to-be-determined size.
While most of these recorders are meant for the living room, videographers will surely see them as a quick-and-easy way to get video onto DVD.
The Future of DVD?
Research teams are already at work on the next generation of DVD recorders. Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony and others are working on blue laser optical discs with data capacities of 30GB to 50GB per side. At CES, Toshiba detailed the key elements of its Land & Groove Weave, which it said will allow 30GB-per-side capacity.