There are a handful of trade shows out there that cater, in at least some part, to home entertainment technology. Some of the big boys include CES, Computex, and CeBIT; but what about a show with a name that actually tells you what it is all about without deciphering an acronym? The Home Entertainment Show, as the name implies, is dedicated to "products ranging from loudspeakers, turntables, HDTV, home theater systems, computers, gaming consoles, imaging products and much more." The 2007 edition of the show runs from Friday May 11, 2007 through Sunday May 13, 2007, and I spent a few hours on the opening day trying to focus on the computer and gaming console portion of the show.
The location for the show is the Grand Hyatt Hotel, located directly between Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building in New York City. Unlike other shows that have the vendors featured in booths on a convention center floor, the bulk of the roughly 300 exhibitors at the Home Entertainment Show are located in about 100 'private demonstration rooms' (emptied hotel rooms on the 14th, 15th, and 16th floors). This allows for demonstrations to be conducted without interference from the neighboring exhibitor's product, and makes for an excellent atmosphere to enjoy some high end home audio and video equipment.
As I mentioned, my goal was to focus on the computer and gaming console portion of the show, and it didn't take long. I apologize if I missed anyone, but after having stopped by every private demonstration room at least briefly, I found only three companies that met might search criteria... HP, Logitech, and Axonix.
HP is a well known name thanks to their line of personal computers and printers. In addition to these products, they seem to have taken a hint from Dell and expanded their line up to include HDTVs, digital entertainment devices, and other devices outside of the mainstream computer market.
HP's exhibit may have been the largest at the show, and it featured a few home entertainment related products, as well as several notebooks, desktops, and printers. The desktops all had sleek designs which went well with the widescreen LCD montiors they were attached to, but for the most part nothing was really 'new'.
The below left image shows off a wall of HDTVs on display, while the below right image is from a display of network attached storage devices baring the HP name. The device on the right is set to hit the market in the fall (price unavailable), and allows for a variety of disk arrays, PC connections, and was demonstrated running Windows Home Server. Many players are getting into the multi-disk NAS market, and this offering from HP looked to be a well conceived, complete package of hardware and software.