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CES 2012: 10 Burning Questions
tvpredictions.com ^ | Jan. 8, 2012 | Phillip Swann

Posted on 01/09/2012 2:07:22 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave

Washington, D.C. (January 8, 2012) -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will give the pre-show keynote address Monday night kicking off the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. With Microsoft saying it will be its last appearance at the gadgetfest, the Ballmer keynote likely will be more symbolic than one of substance.

Like Microsoft at CES, the CE industry is changing, reassessing past projects and future goals. Consequently, companies are getting more creative and entering fields they once feared. For instance, tablet/mobile king Apple is now facing stiff competition from a host of companies, even low-cost TV maker Vizio. And Apple itself is reportedly preparing to launch a company-branded HDTV. What was once black is now black and white.

And speaking of the TV category, manufacturers are desperately trying to morph the traditional TV by adding features like 3D and Internet capability to compel cost-conscious consumers to buy. While the new products have been met with mixed success at best, CE companies hope that better marketing and (perhaps) better versions of the devices will ultimately change consumer attitudes.

But always looking to plan B, TV makers are also rolling out new sets (OLED and 4K) featuring possibly revolutionary picture technologies. Although they will initially carry hefty price tags, TV makers believe they could boost consumer interest in televisions as a category, which could lead to greater sales of all sets.

What the CES attendees -- and the tech media -- say about these sets could go a long way to whether they succeed. Which is why, by Wednesday, you might see a few TV company executives walking around the show floor looking as if they've had a few restless nights.

(Excerpt) Read more at tvpredictions.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: hdtv
So, as you make your way to the City of Lost Wages, here are 10 big TV questions that could be answered during the conference.

1. Will No-Glasses 3D TVs Be a Hit? Toshiba this week will showcase a new 55-inch 3D TV that does not require glasses to experience the 3D effect. Surveys -- and sales numbers -- have sent a strong message that consumers are not enamored with home 3D, particularly if they have to wear the specs. Toshiba is hoping that the glasses-free set might persuade folks to give the concept a second try. But if the tech media walks away from Toshiba's booth unimpressed, it could be another nail in 3D TV's coffin.

2. Will 4K HDTV Really Look 4 Times Better? Several TV makers, including LG, are expected to display new 4K HDTVs which purport to offer a picture resolution four times better than current HDTVs. But will that claim stand up on the show floor? Will attendees say "Wow" when they see a 4K HDTV? Or, just "Oh." With price tags likely to start at $10,000, 4K makers better hope for a lot of Wow.

3. Dish Network Unveils a New DVR; But What About DIRECTV? The two satellite TV services often engage in competitive sword play at CES, trying to out-top each other with new announcements. However, DIRECTV has been a bit quieter here in the last few years while Dish apparently still sees CES as a great forum to bring attention to new products. With that in mind, Dish reportedly will unveil here a new Broadband service and a DVR that can automatically record all major network programming in primetime. Will DIRECTV surprise us by offering something as interesting?

4. Will Apple Finally Introduce An Actual TV? No, not this week anyway. Apple skips CES every year. While there have been rumors that Apple will partner with a TV maker to introduce a set that comes with everything but the kitchen sink, it's likely that it will not launch until 2013.

5. Will TV Makers Introduce Lower-Cost TVs No. While consumers are clearly voting with their wallets and buying lower-cost sets over new feature-laden, expensive TVs, CE companies (and retail partners) make their profits from higher-margin products. At CES, TV makers will want to give the biggest spotlight to the biggest, most expensive sets they have a chance to sell.

6. Will the OLED TV Capture Everyone's Fancy? LG (again; busy folks these days) will showcase a 55-inch OLED TV. That may not seem like an exceptionally large set, but to date, the biggest OLED set has been Sony's 11-inch model.

An OLED set, which is based on the organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology, is just one-eight of an inch thick, compared to today's Plasma and LCD flat-screen sets which measure up to four inches thick. The set promises to offer a better picture than today's Plasmas and LCD/LEDs as well. But because of its thin panel, TV manufacturers have had difficulty developing an OLED set at a size that would appeal to consumers.

The LG 55-inch set has been getting great media buzz prior to the show. If it emerges as a CES top attraction, it could set the stage for OLED to overtake LCD, LED and Plasma for the top spot in TV sales by 2014, or earlier.

7. Can Google TV Make a Comeback? Google TV, designed to make it easier to search for programming, has been a bust, largely because it hasn't made it easier to do almost anything. Users have complained loudly that Google TV's navigation feature is hard to master. But Google TV is back at CES with a slew of new TV partners and a promise that it has worked out the kinks. We'll see.

8. Will Microsoft Hand Out a Parting Gift? As we noted at the top, this will be Microsoft's last appearance at CES, at least in a formal way. So will the software titan surprise everyone by introducing a sensational new gadget of some kind? Hard to see the company just walking quietly into the sunset without doing something that will make people remember it. Right?

9. How Many Apps? With Smart TVs and other smart devices exploding onto the scene, app makers will be everywhere here, proclaiming to have the Next Big Thing. But will there will be a new app that indeed could revolutionize the Smart TV concept? That could compel consumers to overcome their technological fears and connect their sets to a home network?

10. Will There Be a Next Big Thing? Yes, will there be a new 'Next Big Thing' -- of any kind? In past shows, whether it was tablets, 3D, HDTV, some product always emerged with the tag, 'The Next Big Thing.' Pundits said the device would revolutionize the industry, if not the culture itself.

But this year, the early buzz has been that that product doesn't exist, at least not here. There is no 'Next Big Thing' on the horizon.

Somehow, I find that hard to believe. Something tells me that by week's end, the media will be talking about...yes, the Next Big Thing.

Swanni will be attending this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Come to TVPredictions.com often for his reports -- and check out his comments on Twitter at http://twitter.com/swannionhd

1 posted on 01/09/2012 2:07:30 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: ADemocratNoMore; advertising guy; aft_lizard; AJMaXx; Alice in Wonderland; american colleen; ...
Pinging the HDTV list..

HDTV pings!

Interested in the HDTV ping list?
Please Freepmail me(freepmail works best)if you would like your name added to the HDTV ping list,(approximately 375 freepers are currently on the HDTV ping list).
The pinged subjects can be HDTV technology, satellite, cable, and OTA HD reception (Over The Air with roof top or indoor antennas), Broadcast specials, Sports, Blu Ray/HDDVD, and any and all subjects relating to HDTV.

LVD

Note: if you search Freerepublic using the keyword "HDTV”, you will find most of the past HDTV postings.

2 posted on 01/09/2012 2:09:58 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Brings back old memories of when I participated as an exhibitor, but that was over 30 years ago.


3 posted on 01/09/2012 2:12:37 AM PST by AlexW
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To: AlexW

So was your 11 inch floppy disk drive a huge success?


4 posted on 01/09/2012 2:16:31 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I haven’t seen more than a half hour of anything for a good 5 years now.

The only thing that even remotely interests me about tv’s is video gaming. Otherwise they are of no interest.

And I’m too busy to even play video games.


5 posted on 01/09/2012 2:22:51 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: AlexW

Does anyone know where I can get a C124W tube for my old Philco ?


6 posted on 01/09/2012 2:25:46 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: Jonty30

“So was your 11 inch floppy disk drive a huge success?”
______________________________________

Computers were not even an issue then.
I was a rep for Hy-Gain Electronics, an old line antenna manufacturer that got caught up in the CB craze.
There was nothing even resembling PC then.


7 posted on 01/09/2012 2:25:46 AM PST by AlexW
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To: AlexW

10-4, good buddy.

That’s cool. I wouldn’t mind attending these things, just to see the gadgets that aren’t going to be released for another 6 months.


8 posted on 01/09/2012 2:29:00 AM PST by Jonty30 (What Islam and secularism have in common is that they are both death cults.)
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To: knarf

My father-in-law used to build tvs in the 50’s as a hobby. He saved a box of vacuum tubes that my mother-in-law is trying to get him to throw out. He is determined to hold on to them. Maybe I can get him to part with one! LOL!


9 posted on 01/09/2012 2:35:19 AM PST by sneakers (EAT YOUR PEAS!)
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To: knarf

About 4 years ago an old friend of mine passed away. I helped his family clear out his house of 50+ years. He had been involved in designing and building scientific equipment.

I kept some of his old stuff for posterity. If I knew how much some of those old tubes were in demand (although I imagine you are joking) I would have kept the four large boxes of them that we took to the dump. He was also a Ham radio buff - one of his son’s took an old one he had as a memento.


10 posted on 01/09/2012 2:35:44 AM PST by 21twelve
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To: sneakers; knarf

Just visited ebay to see how muck those old tubes I tossed might have been worth. Probably not much - 110 for $25 are listed.

Although he had some that were HUGE - 2 to 3 inch diameter and 10 to 12 inches tall IIRC.


11 posted on 01/09/2012 2:39:13 AM PST by 21twelve
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To: knarf

“Does anyone know where I can get a C124W tube for my old Philco ?”
______________________________________________

While I had some old four pin tubes, the C124 does not ring any bells.

I am sure there are dealers of old radio parts...Did you try just a simple internet search?
Type in “antique radio parts”
You will be amazed at the links.


12 posted on 01/09/2012 2:39:52 AM PST by AlexW
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To: AlexW
I'm impressed ... I pulled that number out of my ... someplace ... and by golly, if a bunch of Freepers actually picked up on the possability.

I apologize, guys.

I was trying to be funny.

When I was in the Army, I was a radio-teletype operator and that was the last time I saw tubes .. circa 1967

13 posted on 01/09/2012 2:54:44 AM PST by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: knarf

“When I was in the Army, I was a radio-teletype operator”
_______________________________________________

I did RTTY as a ham and on Army MARS.
I had some old model 15 and 19 machines.


14 posted on 01/09/2012 3:06:21 AM PST by AlexW
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To: AlexW

That’s pretty cool, I’ve got a Hy-Gain antenna rotator on a 200 foot tower that turns a 3-element tri-band Yagi. Bought it used of course a few years ago, but it’s still working very well.


15 posted on 01/09/2012 3:32:01 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper (You have entered an invalid birthday)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

“That’s pretty cool, I’ve got a Hy-Gain antenna rotator on a 200 foot tower that turns a 3-element tri-band Yagi.”
__________________________________________________

My last antenna was a HyGain TH6DXX.
I made it to “Top of the Honor roll” late 1980s, Having worked every country there was to work. DE W4EX.
My DXing ended when fire destroyed my station, as well as all of my house.


16 posted on 01/09/2012 4:11:25 AM PST by AlexW
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I think the big thing will be LG’s 55” AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode) display TV, which will likely cost about US$8,000 when it hits retailers later this year. It’s supposed to have better “blacks” than any plasma TV, have a “refresh rate” that makes plasma’s 500 Hz seem slow, and have power consumption that makes LED side-lit LCD panels seem like power hogs in comparison. If LG can offer a 3840x2160 version within two years, they have a huge winner right there!


17 posted on 01/09/2012 4:21:41 AM PST by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: RayChuang88

Do they have 4 track prerecorded tapes for my Akai reel to reel machine ?


18 posted on 01/09/2012 4:39:06 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Gimme that old time fossil fuel.)
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To: AlexW

My antenna is the Hy-Gain TH3-MK4. DE AA7YA


19 posted on 01/09/2012 4:43:05 AM PST by BigSkyFreeper (You have entered an invalid birthday)
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To: BigSkyFreeper

I have three HY-Gain rotors that are from the late 70’s and still turn big yagis just fine... I have three spares that I have never used. I have disassembled them and cleaned and lubed them and replaced a few parts over the years but they keep on trucking!

73,
LLS


20 posted on 01/09/2012 5:10:30 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (obamao... ...the bastard son of a hippie slut and a drunk communist British Kenyan!)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I have this “friend”, who loves his gadgets, and routinely wastes his money on them (hey, more power to him, he overpays for the stuff that funds the market which eventually brings the price down...). Anyway, last summer, he was all set to get a 3D TV. I argued that he was wasting his money, that he would be better off spending the money on a larger screen. But nooooo, he had to have his 3D. So he spent his money on a 42 inch 3D TV, instead of a nice 52 inch or so. Well, here he is, 6 months later, with a wittle TV that does a kind of cool effect, which is good for a few minutes until you tire of the glasses and the overwrought 3d effect, with all its quirks. He hardly uses the 3D anymore.

Not just that, but he insists on using the “motion flow” setting, which makes everything look stupid. sheesh..


21 posted on 01/09/2012 5:35:39 AM PST by Paradox (The rich SHOULD be paying more taxes, and they WOULD, if they could make more money.)
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To: RayChuang88

I was at CES last year and Samsung showed some fantastic OMLED’s you could bend, etc. One thing they showed us on film (well, video) was a 19 inch screen you could roll out like today’s front projection screens. Imagine 120 inches where the screen’s the TV.

Won’t happen for a while, but the picture quality on those screens blew my socks off. Wonder if LG’s is true AMOLED..

Cheers
Jim


22 posted on 01/09/2012 7:00:46 AM PST by gymbeau (Free Tibet! (limit two per customer))
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Do they have 4 track prerecorded tapes for my Akai reel to reel machine ?

Yeah, but only in 3 3/4" speed, hardly worth the bother.

(And yes, I had purchased both 3 3/4" and 7 1/2" pre-recorded reels from the Columbia Record Club. Lafayette Electronics carried them too)
23 posted on 01/09/2012 8:09:00 AM PST by Dr. Sivana (May Mitt Romney be the Mo Udall of 2012.)
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To: Dr. Sivana

Someone on this board reported them still being mastered and for sale in the UK. I also need some new rubber bands for inside the machine. It is beginning to slip a bit.


24 posted on 01/09/2012 8:32:34 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Gimme that old time fossil fuel.)
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To: AlexW

While in the Navy I worked on RTTY machines as a teletype repairman, (the Model 28 ASR machines made by Teletype Corp), both high-level and low-level machines.


25 posted on 01/09/2012 10:37:50 AM PST by stbdside
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To: 21twelve

“Although he had some that were HUGE - 2 to 3 inch diameter and 10 to 12 inches tall IIRC.”

Tubes for large radio transmitters. Some ham operators like my buddy still use them. If the tubes were still good, you threw away some real money.


26 posted on 01/09/2012 12:52:23 PM PST by TexasRepublic (Socialism is the gospel of envy and the religion of thieves)
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To: AlexW

I know one computer that was available 30 years ago. The Commodore 64 which was available in January 1982.


27 posted on 01/09/2012 1:07:39 PM PST by I Drive Too Fast
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To: RayChuang88

I heard about that too. They predict the price should drop in half by the end of 2013.


28 posted on 01/09/2012 1:11:13 PM PST by I Drive Too Fast
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To: I Drive Too Fast

“I know one computer that was available 30 years ago. The Commodore 64”
______________________________________

I, along with most everyone else, had a C-64.
The vic 20 came before it, along with my first computer play toy, the timex/sinclair...maybe 1980?


29 posted on 01/09/2012 2:55:48 PM PST by AlexW
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To: I Drive Too Fast
Interestingly, Samsung also showed a 55" OLED panel, and even Sony showed what they call a Crystal LED panel with 6 million LED's. As such, by the end of 2012 we'll see flat panels--despite their steep price!--with beyond-plasma black levels, extremely low power consumption, and screen refresh rates measured in the thousands of hertz. In short, pictures of breathtaking clarity.
30 posted on 01/09/2012 10:44:01 PM PST by RayChuang88 (FairTax: America's economic cure)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks; Dr. Sivana
Do they have 4 track prerecorded tapes for my Akai reel to reel machine?

Someone on this board reported them still being mastered and for sale in the UK. I also need some new rubber bands for inside the machine. It is beginning to slip a bit.

Don't know about the tapes, but for outstanding service, parts, repair and/or rebuilding of classic high-end audio equipment I highly recommend Soundsmith in New York. For tape decks they specialize in Tandberg, but can probably help you with your Akai as well.

They are so good that when necessary replacement parts are no longer available they manufacture their own. In my case they restored my 32-year-old Bang & Olufson Beogram 4002 turntable, including a new belt and motor. My phono cartridge/stylus was okay, but if I'd needed one they build their own (under license from B&O) which exceed the specs and performance of the B&O originals. I'd bet they have your Akai belts.

Here's the link: www.sound-smith.com

31 posted on 01/10/2012 7:42:57 AM PST by tarheelswamprat
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To: tarheelswamprat

Thanks very much !


32 posted on 01/10/2012 7:55:22 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Gimme that old time fossil fuel.)
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To: I Drive Too Fast; ADemocratNoMore; advertising guy; aft_lizard; AJMaXx; Alice in Wonderland; ...

PINGING THE HDTV LIST, (with special thanks to “I Drive too Fast”)!

http://news.yahoo.com/vizio-to-ship-ultra-wide-screen-tvs-by-february.html

Vizio to ship ultra-wide-screen TVs by February

LAS VEGAS—Do you think your wide-screen TV isn’t wide enough? Vizio’s 21:9 TVs have you covered.

(Credit: Vizio)

The company’s CinemaWide models, dubbed the XVT3D0CM series, offer three screen sizes (50, 58, and 71 inches) that have an aspect ratio of 21:9, which in person is noticeably wider than the normal 16:9 rectangle shape used by typical HDTVs.

The advantage of the shape, according to Vizio, is that it allows the sets to display 2.35:1 (CinemaScope) movies without any black bars. As the company points out, many big-budget Hollywood flicks are shown in CinemaScope, which means that standard 16:9 wide-screen HDTVs have to either zoom the image, cropping or distorting it, or show black bars above and below (more info). The new Vizios will have a 2,560x1,080 native resolution, compared to the 1,920x1,080 of standard TVs.

The wider aspect ratio also allows the TVs to display a full 16:9 wide-screen image while simultaneously showing a screen-worth of Vizio’s Internet Apps.

If the above two paragraphs elicit a sense of deja vu, it’s not a glitch in the Matrix. It’s because Vizio’s 21:9 TVs were announced at CES last year but, along with the company’s full-array local dimming passive 3D XVT3D5 series and Google TV equipped VIA Plus XVT3D6SV series, never shipped in 2011.

The company assures us that the CinemaWide 50- and 58-inchers will be available to buy in February, with a new 71-inch size to follow later in the year. The main differences? The smaller models will be edge-lit with local dimming and a 120Hz refresh rate, while the 71-inch gets a full-array LED backlight with local dimming and 240Hz (more info).

Here’s my quick take from last year, which still applies:

It’s a cool idea, and I’m always intrigued by something different, but when I asked Vizio’s reps how the TVs handled CinemaScope Blu-rays I was disappointed by the answer. Since such movies are formatted to a 1,920x1,080 resolution, some of the 1080 lines actually consist of black bars. That means that the 21:9 TVs have to zoom the image to eliminate those bars, scaling the image and preventing the 1:1 pixel matching achieved by actual 1,920x1,080 HDTVs. Still, I’m curious to see the sets in action, and I doubt most viewers will notice the scaling. On the other hand, they might notice the need to zoom/stretch/crop (or deal with black bars to either side) when watching normal 16:9 movies, TV shows, and sporting events.
When I mentioned these issues again to Vizio VP John Schindler during a CES 2012 prebrief, he told us that the company intended to face the chicken-and-egg problem of sparse ultra-wide-screen content by delivering the hardware first, and encouraging software and content developers to follow the lead.


33 posted on 01/11/2012 2:35:45 AM PST by Las Vegas Dave
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To: I Drive Too Fast

The original IBM PC came out in ‘81. I got mine in Spring of ‘82, it had an Oct ‘81 ROM date.


34 posted on 01/11/2012 2:53:37 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: Las Vegas Dave

Thanks for the ping. In attendance.


35 posted on 01/11/2012 5:49:05 AM PST by wita
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To: Las Vegas Dave

I think I’ll pop by there one day this week to see what’s happening.

I’ll be interested to see the crowd size.


36 posted on 01/11/2012 10:19:27 AM PST by Las Vegas Ron (Rush Limbaugh = the Beethoven of talk radio)
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To: AlexW

I use to go to both CES shows back in the 80’s, come home with a ton of gimmes. I have stacks of electronic gear out in my storeroom, some of it never used.


37 posted on 01/11/2012 9:00:56 PM PST by razorback-bert (Some days it's not worth chewing through the straps.)
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To: AlexW

I use to go to both CES shows back in the 80’s, come home with a ton of gimmes. I have stacks of electronic gear out in my storeroom, some of it never used.


38 posted on 01/11/2012 9:01:19 PM PST by razorback-bert (Some days it's not worth chewing through the straps.)
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