The early part of 2008 saw the victory of Blu-ray over HD-DVD in the high-definition video disc format war, and throughout the year Blu-ray disc players’ prices diminished as their features grew. The Samsung BDP2500 Blu-ray Disc Player is a good example of an innovative, feature-packed player at an affordable price. It is BD Live 2.0 ready and Netflix Instant Streaming ready, and it has Ethernet and USB connections for firmware upgrades. If, by chance, you wanted to view your Blu-ray discs on the new Mitsubishi LaserVue 65″ Black DLP HDTV, you’d be watching the first TV to utilize laser beams to produce rich, complex colors and an immersive depth of field. The LaserVue delivers two times the color of many of today’s HDTVs, and it’s also environmentally friendly, consuming much less power than LCD or plasma TVs.
Mitsubishi LaserVue HDTV
In the audio realm, Yamaha released the YSP-3050 Digital Sound Projector, also referred to as a Sound Bar. The YSP-3050 is a single component that delivers excellent sound along with great new features like 1080p-compatible HDMI, iPod compatibility, and several beam settings including My Surround, which produces realistic, multi-channel surround sound.
Yamaha YSP-3050 Digital Sound Projector
Digital cameras continued to push the megapixel boundaries, with Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II offering a stunning 21.1-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4 image processor. It also is the first digital EOS to offer recording of full HD video in Live View Mode, shooting clips almost half an hour long at full 1080p resolution.
As in most years, 2008 saw no advances in computer hardware or software (just kidding!). Apple released a new line of MacBooks, featuring precision unibody enclosures constructed from a single block of aluminum, making them thinner and more durable. Other new features include a large multi-touch trackpad made of smooth glass, with almost 40 percent more tracking area and support for more multi-touch gestures than previous versions. The entire surface is also a button, so users can track and click virtually anywhere on the trackpad.
New 13″ MacBook and 15″ MacBook Pro
These are just a few of the many innovative electronic gadgets released in 2008. To see the rest, just visit us in person or click through our website and see what you’ve been missing. What’s coming in 2009? Abt will be represented at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in about a week, and we’ll have full reports on all the new products you can expect to see while you’re having a Happy New Year! —by Graham W.