Scott Ramirez, television marketing VP, Toshiba America Consumer Products
“The DVD player. The quality and convenience of the DVD player drove both software sales and HDTV sales.”
Sidney Harman, executive chairman, Harman International
“Without question, the iPod. It is responding to and altering the mode of life of the current generation — and the future.”
Dave Workman, executive director, Progressive Retailers Organization (PRO Group)
“One is flat-panel television. In this instance, the form factor defines the technology and it is a purchase consumers aspire to.
Bob Lawrence, executive director, Brand Source
“One product is the DVD, and the other, flat-panel TVs. These two products have transformed the industry and consumers viewing habits. Consumers truly have a theater-like experience in their home.”
Stan Glasgow, president/COO, Sony Electronics
“High-definition products (television, camcorders, cameras, etc.) are the most groundbreaking, in my opinion.”
Bob Perry, consumer electronics division sales and channel marketing VP, LG Electronics USA
“Plasma television, which provided the competitive catalyst to also drive the LCD large-screen TV business, and both technologies have driven the flat-panel revolution.”
Sandy Bloomberg, founder/chairman, Tweeter Home Entertainment Group
“New technology TVs, which would include high-definition, new format TVs, LCDs and plasmas. These products have the most relevant replacement cycle in the history of the CE industry.”
Bob Weissburg, sales and marketing president, D&M North America
“DVD. It was such a dramatic improvement over tape in picture quality and functionality. CD and DVD created the necessity for better audio gear and display devices.”
Saul Gold, former executive director, NATM Buying Group; CE Hall of Fame member
“Recordable DVD — about as valuable in today's electronic world as fire was to cavemen.”
Bjorn Dybdahl, president, Bjorn's Audio Video
“Flat-panel television. When television came into the market over 60 years ago it was predicted that flat-panel, hang-on the wall TVs were right around the corner. Well, [it's] is finally here.”
Steve Caldero, senior VP/COO, Ken Crane's
“Yamaha's DSP-1, the first multichannel surround processor to recreate actual room acoustics from real music venues from around the world.”
Harry Elias, U.S. chairman, Akai Products Holdings; former executive VP/COO, JVC; CE Hall of Fame member
“The all-digital television system and flat-screen TVs. Both have led large sales increases for our industry.”
Max Wasinger, senior VP, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America
“The iPod and DVR have to be near the top. Other products that have made an impact are DVD players and recorders, high-definition TV and the Xbox 360.”
Phil Schoonover, president/CEO, Circuit City
“I think it would be the MP3 player — changing the game forever!”
Martin Kono, president, Panasonic Consumer Electronics
“DVD has allowed for content delivery, storage and portability in a way that would not have been possible with tape media, CD, or even solid-state memory cards. DVD has revolutionized the entertainment industry.”
Gary Shapiro, president/CEO, Consumer Electronics Association
“The HDTV has changed the way we see the world! But the Internet has changed access to the world and spurred a phenomenal amount of innovation.”
Richard Glikes, executive director, Home Theater Specialists of America
Bill Trawick, president/executive director, NATM Buying Corp.
president/CEO, Jasco Products
“The laptop computer, cellphone and the iPod.”
Jim Barry, media spokesperson, Consumer Electronics Association
“The cellphone, the simplified Web browser and digital television. Each is changing communications fundamentally on its own, and the full impact of the three in combination is just beginning to be realized.”
Bob Abt, CEO, Abt Electronics
“I think there have been three very significant recent product introductions: the DVD player, flat-panel television and, of course, the iPod.”
Steve Wozniak, creator, Apple I, II computers
“Cellphones, digital cameras, the combination of the PC and digital imaging and the iPod.”
Craig Geiger, executive VP/COO, JVC
“The DVD format. It ushered in the digital age, delivered a range of genuine consumer benefits, its adoption rate was unprecedented, and it made the concept of home theater a reality.”
Don Patrican, executive VP, Maxell
“The cellphone, no question about it. Not only can you call anyone anytime or be called you can send and receive e-mail, take pictures of planograms and do video clips or music videos. Talk about a multi-productive product.”
Ed Kelly, president, Nationwide Marketing Group
“Wireless products of all types and improved audio systems.”
Ed Stravitz, CEO, Bell'O
“These include everything from the true portable computer to the CD player to the camcorder to Bluetooth wireless headsets to plasma TVs, LCD TVs, HDTVs, the flat TV and the true portable cellphone.”
Bob Scaglione, GM/ senior VP, Sharp Electronics Corp. of America
“I think the iPod (along with iTunes) changed everything — consumers will never listen to or purchase music the same way ever again. That product literally invented a category.”
Con Maloney, CEO, Cowboy Maloney's Electric City
John Shalam, chairman/founder, Audiovox
"Portable DVD players and iPod nano."
Roger Dressler, technology strategy director, Dolby Labs
Joe Clayton, chairman, Sirius Satellite Radio
"HDTV. More simplistically, its digital technology. I first saw HDTV in 1985 at the RCA Sarnoff labs in Princeton. Before we got a standard I had five kids. But, clearly, it's driving the business today."
Bernie Appel, president, Appel Associates; former president, RadioShack; CE Hall of Fame member
"Handheld portable cellphones for all and the iPod for the youngsters. I would also include DirecTV and TiVo."
Mike Townsen, VP field sales mobile business group, Pioneer Electronics
“Detachable face security for CD head units. This security feature really launched the sales of CD and created not only a sense of safety with consumers but also a kind of culture with the 12-volt community.”
Jay Buchanan, electronics division director, Nebraska Furniture Mart
"The most important product is the PC. The most exciting product with the most impact is the CD, which pioneered the way to other digital platforms such as DVD."
Stephen Witt, marketing VP, Alpine
"The DVR has single-handedly allowed users to decouple their lives from the TV schedule and live life the way they want. Personal and family time can really be prioritized."
John Taylor, public affairs VP, LG Electronics USA
"Flat-panel TVs. Who would have predicted how fast the transition has gone from the good ol' CRT to sexy and sleek plasmas and LCDs? Driven by HDTV, phenomenal growth of a phenomenal product."
Tony Mirabelli, marketing and sales senior VP, Cobra Electronics
"GPS navigation. This technology has changed the way consumers commute to work, enjoy a leisurely road trip, pick up their kids or just drive around."
Gary Richard, CEO, P.C. Richard & Son
“High-definition, plasma, LCD and DLP technologies have completely reshaped both the range of entertainment options available to consumers and the scope of hardware alternatives.”