On the slightly more down-to-earth side, there were also several new PC monitors. One that caught the eye was the 20in widescreen M203WX with 1,680 x 1,050 resolution. The specs include an 8ms response time and an impressive 700:1 contrast ratio.

Staying with display technology, there was an interesting wall-mounted AN110 DLP projector. This can be mounted flat against the wall, making it more discreet and easier to install than conventional ceiling mounted units. It has a native resolution of 1,280 x 768, an 1,110 ANSI brightness rating and a claimed contrast ratio of 2500:1.

LG also set the trend for the day by being the announcing its Blu-ray player. The long awaited next generation optical drive format will finally appear in the spring in the US market. However, I was disappointed to hear that it is only a player, not a recorder and that seemed to be the pattern for other companies too. LG pointed out though that it as the world’s largest supplier of optical drives it isn’t overly concerned whether Blu-ray or HD-DVD wins the format war.

Also on display were two diminutive digital media players. The JM53 contains an 8GB hard disk, and sports a 260,000 1.77in colour OLED display that can show images and MPEG4 video and it can also play MP3, WMA, OFF and ASF. The FM30 is even smaller, with 1GB of capacity. Flash based, the battery will last for 60 hours.

Finally LG also unveiled the first Microsoft based Portable Media Center machine for the US market, the PM70. It has a 30GB hard drive and a 4.3in widescreen. The one on display had a run down battery so I couldn’t see it in action but it looked far better than the early iRiver PMCs I’ve looked at.

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