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January 11, 2008

Comcast and GM Keynotes Highlight Impact of Consumer Tech

By Meenakshi Shankar, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Veterans from Comcast and General Motors (News - Alert) delivered keynote addresses on the second day of the 2008 International CES, emphasizing on the impact of consumer technology on the content and automotive industries.

Mentioning the convergence of media in his keynote, Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast (News - Alert) said the advancement in technology has transformed Comcast into Comcast 3.0. He identified innovation, technology, choice, and customer service as the four major elements at the center of Comcast 3.0.
Roberts announced the introduction of an OpenCable platform called tru2way.
Supporting multiple technologies and high-definition video contents beyond set-top boxes, the OpenCable platform offers expanded entertainment experiences.
Panasonic (News - Alert) president Toshihiro Sakamoto shared the stage with Roberts and revealed the launch of their joint venture product, AnyPlay, the first portable DVR and DVD combination with tru2way capability. Roberts also noted that more than 1,000 HD choices will be available for the portable device in 2008.
Roberts also unvelied Fancast, a launch pad for the convergence of the PC and television, creating a personalized television experience. Using wideband instead of broadband, Fancast is able to download a two-plus hour HD movie in just four minutes. He said that this could be the first site where consumers can find, watch and manage all their video content in one place.
Rick Wagoner, chairman and CEO of General Motors Corporation, delivered the first CES (News - Alert) keynote address by an automaker. “If the automobile was invented today, it would have debuted at CES,” said Wagoner. “Because more and more, that’s exactly what today’s cars and trucks are — highly sophisticated consumer electronics.” Wagoner highlighted the company’s OnStar technology, which is designed to give drivers control of their cars directly from their wireless phones.
Meenakshi Shankar is a contributing writer for TMCnet. To read more of her stories, please visit her columnist page.
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