Changes at the Consumer Electronics Show
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
NPR's Laura Sydell reports.
LAURA SYDELL: Media executives at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, usually bring out the stars. Last year Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks made appearances. But this year CBS's Leslie Moonves shared the stage with stars from the tech world including YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and Blake Krikorian, head of Sling Media. As Moonves sees it, CBS must look beyond the television set.
LESLIE MOONVES: We are doing just about everything we can to see what's going to work now and in the future. For us that means teaming up with those who understand how to showcase our content in new ways tomorrow.
SYDELL: Moonves says he's not afraid of competition from sites like YouTube. In fact, CBS is making deals with the Web site. YouTube users are competing to get a homemade 15-second video clip of their message to the world broadcast during the Super Bowl. Moonves showed one entry of an underwear-clad couch potato.
(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO CLIP)
TV: Unidentified Male #1: Oh!
SYDELL: Media companies like CBS and Disney are turning up at the Consumer Electronics Show because survival depends on finding ways to distribute their content through the new outlets of the digital age. Josh Bernoff is an analyst at Forrester Research.
JOSH BERNOFF: The objective here isn't to try and become the next YouTube because they know they can't do that. The objective is to just make sure that you don't lose all of your audience to these new ways of consuming content.
SYDELL: This week it announced the Bravia Internet video link explained here by Sony's Nick Culcy(ph).
NICK CULCY: It's a small module which hooks up to the back of your TV set, you use the TV's remote control to control it. And what it does is connects directly to the Internet without a PC to your TV screen to your living room.
SYDELL: But the world of consumer electronics is spinning as fast as the roulette wheels in Las Vegas. No one knows for sure which devices will be most exciting to consumers. Analyst Bernoff of Forrester Research says Sony's new Internet video link or any other gadget on the floor faces hurdles with consumers.
BERNOFF: Any of us who've tried to install technology in the home know that things don't always go the way you expect them to go. And so when you see a new device like this you just have to ask, is it so exciting that people are willing to get past these little difficulties along the way?
SYDELL: Laura Sydell, NPR News, Las Vegas.
MONTAGNE: Get a look at the Apple iPhone and some reactions to its debut at npr.org.
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