The 16 next-gen gadgets you'll want to buy in 2009

28 August 2008 4 Comments Mike Evans

Its been a great year already for home entertainment gadgets, but what’s in store for next year? You might think it too soon to ask, but with with the IFA consumer electronics show in full swing, all the major gadget manufacturers are showing off their wares and setting out their stalls for next year.

So, in no particular order, here’s a list of the 16 next-gen gadgets you’ll want to buy in 2009.

Super-thin and super-smooth HDTVs

Sharp XS1 super-thin HDTV
HDTVs have suddenly dropped in price and look set to go mainstream by the end of 2008. For 2009, expect the newer models to come super-slim. How slim? How about slimmer than your mobile phone? Amongst the exhibitors were the following tiny TVs:

  • Sharp XS1 LCD TV. 65″ viewing screen, just 23mm thick (see pic). Due in 2009, with a huge 131″ screen coming out the year after.
  • Sony ZX1 LCD TV. 40″ viewing screen,super crisp picture, and an incredible 9.9mm thin. Available in the next few months, but for a whopping $4,000!
  • Philips 32″ LCD TV – just 8mm thin! Only a prototype at the moment, but expected to go into production early next year.

To give you a sense of scale, the first generation Motorola RAZR was 13mm thin!

In addition, new advances in picture quality mean the next-gen of HDTV will look better than ever before:

  • Toshiba Regza ZF – uses the same Cell processor found in the PS3 to upscale an existing TV signal to near-HD quality. The TV plays at 24fps, has a contrast ratio of 30,000:1, and will also play full HD (1080p) if you a suitable high def input. Toshiba would rather you didn’t use BluRay, and so their new TVs aim to provide BluRay-esque quality without the need for a BluRay player.
  • LG Scarlet LG7000 – with super clear picture quality, the LG7000 features a response time of just 2.7ms,full-HD, and the ability to tweak its parameters to a “professional level”. Better still, it’ll come with Bluetooth, so you can listen to your programmes through Bluetooth headsets, or display photos on the TV from your phone or camera.

Video, Home theatre and DVD

JVC NX-BD3 BluRay player
Naturally, BluRay was all the rage this year, particularly after Toshiba dropped the competing HD-DVD technology.

There were many firsts, with competing manufacturers battling it out to shove BluRay into virtually any device in order to secure their own personal firsts.

Among the more impressive gadgets this year were the following:

  • JVC NX-BD3 BluRay player with DLNA – the world’s first DLNA-equipped BluRay player,which means it’ll sync seamlessly with your PC and other DLNA-equipped devices such as cellphones and PMPs in order to share music, photos and videos. It also comes with an internal amp rated at 4x55W,and will pump out 200W of bass through its subwoofer.
  • Sony Bravia BDV-IT1000 Blu-Ray home theatre system – finger-thin speakers and a devastating 700W of power, this new Blu-Ray home theatre system looks gorgeous and should be capabale of seriously upsetting your neighbours.
  • Philips CinemaOne iPod speaker and DVD player (below) – combines a 1080p upscaling DivX-compatible DVD player iwth an iPod dock, so you can listen to yours tunes loudly without needing any extra gadgets.
  • The Loewe network media center is a 32″ or 42″ TV with a whole host of internal gubbins that’ll suck up your video wherever it’s stored. Each TV has a built-in USB port, Ethernet port, WiFi and HD tuner, and a new model will be out in 2009 with a hard disk drive as well.

Philips CinemaOne DVD player and iPod dock

Super-smart Camcorders

Hitachi DZ-BD7H BluRay camcorder
BluRay wasn’t just evident in DVD players, either. Take a look at these camcorders coming soon.

  • The Sanyo Xacti HD is the world’s camcorder that can record at 1080p (that’s full-HD)
  • Hitachi DZ-BD7H, the world’s first BluRay camcorder. With a 30GB hard disk and BluRay recorder, you can record four hours of full HD video, and can even copy from the hard disk to the BluRay recorder internally without using a computer.


Philips Streamium MCi-500H
The Philips Streamium MCi-500H is a new Wi-Fi Hi-Fi designed to stream music from your PC and to other wireless speakers around your home.

With 50Wper channel output, it also comes with a USB connection and a 160GB hard drive for ripping music from CDs.

There wasn’t much in the way of Hi-Fi news at IFA, but that’s because all the hi-fi manufacturers will be presenting at the CEDIA event in a few days’ time.


Portable Audio

Logitech Squeezebox Boom
Of course, there was a seemingly endless stream of MP3 players, iPod docks and the like, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Logitech Squeezebox Boom – the next-gen Squeezebox with its own wireless speakers that lets you stream your tunes to any music in the house. Comes with its own amp as well, so you don’t need to plug it into a HiFi.
  • Sony Walkman S series – a 7.5mm thin MP3 player with 2″ LCD screen that also lets you watch content from the BBC’s iPlayer. Top Gear on your Walkman? At last!

Random oddness

As well as the usual lust-worthy gadgets, there were one or two other gadgets that made you wonder what their inventors were smoking thinking when they designed them:

  • Compositor media streamer – Take a WiFi digital photo viewer. You know, the small LCD screens that wirelessly pull in pictures from your PC or from Flickr. Then give it the ability to play not just static photos like any old photo display, but er, movies as well! That’s what the Compositor Media Streamer will do for you! They want you to buy dozens and distribute them liberally around the house so you can have your very own set of unremitting attention hoovers wherever you look! Great guys, great idea!
  • Samsung UbiSync digital photo frames – not quite so mad as the Compositor frames, the new Samsung UbiSync frames are wireless 8″ and 10″ photo frames with 1GB of memory and the ability to act as a secondary PC monitor. Set one up in your home office with a picture of your girlfriend next to your PC, then use it as a second screen when you’re working. OK, so it is as mad as the Compositor!


So there you have it – 16 of the most drool-worthy home entertainment gadgets coming up for 2009. Hope you’ve got your chequebooks ready (or maybe even your second mortgages!)

Note: This post is taking part in the ProBlogger writing competition, so feel free to check out all the other entrants.


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  2. I could use a new lcd but I think I’ll wait till 2010 when the price goes down.


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