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CES is about connecting your gadgets, and IPTV

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iSee adapter
The dominant theme at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is "connectivity," according to our Mercury News stories today. You'll see companies selling new products to help all kinds of gadgets connect to the Internet, and further, link them together via a single home network.

Our prolific colleague Dean Takahashi writes about this in the lead piece in today's business section (free registration), and coincidentally, it is very similar to the NYT's piece about the CES (sub required).

In a related Merc story, Dean writes about a San Carlos company, Advanced Technology Office, that has come up with an adapter for Apple iPod music players (free registration) so that they can play videos or display photos. It is called the iSee 360i. The cost, $249, is cheaper than going to buy a...

...video iPod.

Dean also writes the latest on San Mateo start-up Sling Media's offerings: Sling Player, which will enable people to watch shows they record, for instance on TiVo, anytime, anywhere, on cell phones with access to high-speed Internet service. It requires a $249 Sling Box that the company released in June. (The Sling Box allows for ``place shifting,'' or moving videos stored on a TiVo digital video recorder or cable TV set-top box to a PC or laptop, where a consumer could watch them on the go.)

The NYT has a story in tomorrow's paper about a new $9.95-a-month subscription offered by Starz (sub req) that will allow people to download movies from the Internet and watch them on their computers, portable video players and television sets. This is significant because Starz previously did something similar, but could not offer the service via portable devices. It is now able to do so by switching to Microsoft technology, away from that of RealNetworks.

Of course, when it comes to broadband and the home, Om Malik always has something to say. He suggests there are way too many TV-over-the-Internet (IPTV) players out there. Hopefully, the fierce competition will be good for consumers. Remember all the freebies that came during Web 1.0, when all those Web companies offered free shipping, free trials, and even free goods -- if only you just signed up? In one example where Om is "underwhelmed," he points to Matrix Stream Technologies, a six-year-old San Mateo-based company that is about to introduce a way for you to get video over broadband connection, which you hook up to your high definition TV. The company is looking for venture funding.



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