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PC, CE Set To Converge At CES

Well, it finally happened.

After years of bandying about the dreaded “C” (convergence) word at International CES, manufacturers are finally flooding the show floor with devices that truly bring the computer and consumer electronic categories together. Companies are bringing affordable, finished products to the show, not just concept pieces or devices that only work in a proprietary environment.

For this show, at least, it is the computer side of the business that has added CE functionality to its merchandise. This can be seen with the number of desktop PC and notebook makers that have jumped onto the Windows Media Center bandwagon, the display companies that added TV tuners to their monitors, and the peripheral companies that are coming out with dozens of media devices designed to distribute audio, video and data throughout the home, over a wired or wireless computer network.

Home networking manufacturers joined the convergence fray by rolling out next generation 802.11n wireless-networking devices capable of streaming video, even before the 802.11n specification is finalized. The computer product vendors did not hesitate to seed the market with their product as they all believe CE companies will soon build Wi-Fi technology into an array of A/V products to take advantage of this situation.

The following stories give a quick glimpse at what will be shown at CES starting today.