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Inside Move: Boon and Bane

Gadget gurus grab H'wood's eye at CES

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show, held Jan. 9-12 in Las Vegas, featured a million ways to drive Hollywood crazy, mostly with gadgets that copy and share content without studio-approved antipiracy protections.

Here’s a quick list of products headed toward status as Hollywood headache or haymaker:

  • Connecting was a big theme, particularly networking gizmos that let users play content stored elsewhere on a stereo or TV. Next step is a full-fledged “media server” that stores movies, TV shows, music, Internet content and games in a single box that can be accessed throughout a home.

  • Porn giant Private Media Group will launch a Netflix-like online subscription-rental service this week, specializing in adult DVDs.

  • ClearPlay will sell a sub-$100 DVD player with its content-filtering technologies built in. The DGA has sued ClearPlay over the filters, as part of the CleanFlicks lawsuit.

  • DVD player prices have plummeted so low that companies are struggling to differentiate. One solution: Make them compatible with all kinds of formats, including pirate faves such as DivX

  • Ibiquity’s “HD radio” format will threaten sat radio companies Sirius and XM. It already has more than 100 broadcasters sending digital AM and FM signals that include goodies like a text display showing who’s singing. And listeners can hear their local stations and won’t pay monthly fees.

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