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CES Press Day Part 2: Samsung, Panasonic, Sony

So back to CES Press Day, which from the perspective of the pace of International CES, seems longer than 48 hours ago.

Yesterday I went through my impressions on how LG Electronics, Monster Cable, Toshiba, Audiovox and Sharp positioned themselves on Press Day. The remaining three press conferences I attended Wednesday were Samsung, Panasonic and Sony, three powerhouses that emphasized 3D HD of course, but highlighted their differences too.

Samsung: Market share and plenty of it, from HDTV to cellphones and beyond, plus the technology to back it up, was the message from Samsung. It’s a far cry from the company’s image a decade ago when it entered the digital era. Its presentation emphasized its new status as one of the leaders in CE.

“Innovation, application and connectivity” are the core goals of Samsung, according to Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America, whether it comes from mobile phones, its new Samsung Apps effort, 3D HD and LED TVs, digital cameras or other categories across the board.

In its presentation to the media Samsung flexed its newfound market share and technology muscles for all to see.

Panasonic: When is Fumio Ohtsubo, president of Panasonic worldwide, a quipmeister? Ohtsubo joined the CES festivities direct from Osaka via Panasonic’s HD visual communications system that will be available in the U.S. in April. He showed Panasonic’s 3D HD pro camera, which he called an industry first, and bantered about the company’s “end to end 3D” commitment.

Panasonic’s support of the 3D hit “Avatar” got plenty of play during the conference, with the movie’s producer, Jon Landau, joining to thank the company for its help. Panasonic also announced its support of the DirecTV’s full 3D, to rollout in June, and of course a full presentation of its Viera 3D HDTVs. And did I mention Panasonic’s support of the Skype service across its line?

Senior VP Bob Perry gave an overview of the tons of video and audio products that will support this effort, along with a relaunch of the Lumix digital camera line, among many others.

Sony: Jimi Hendrix from Woodstock in 3D? Not improbable. Many who attended that legendary event probably thought they saw Hendrix in 3D (hell 4D or 5D) live, based on the substances they consumed back in the summer of ‘69 …

Hendrix footage kicked of Sony’s press event, followed by chairman, CEO and president Sir Howard Stringer, who could always take over for Jay Leno if his current executive gig doesn’t work out.

He was there to introduce pop star Taylor Swift for a live, recorded and broadcast 3D TV performance. The presentation was a balance of Sony’s synergy in providing content via standard and 3D Blu-ray and broadband, leveraging the company’s rich technology and content legacy.

On Wednesday night Sony wanted to show that it is Sony once again. It highlighted improved Bravia Internet Video developments, the use of the PlayStation Network to soon provide not only standard but HD programming via broadband, and the ability to connect this with mobile, portable and home devices in a seamless fashion.

The spin from all three companies and the other five mentioned in yesterday’s blog all seem plausible. All make strong cases on how they think their brands will win. To get details on each line, check coverage of these companies from CES here at

But as we all know too well, the proof is in the success these suppliers have in selling the lines in to retailers and selling them through to consumers.