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Sometime in the mid to late ‘70’s while strolling among the catacombs of the CES exhibits in the “old” South Hall, I was attracted to a small exhibit space manned by a tall, erect German gentleman. With a very thick accent, he was demonstrating 10:1 time compression digital B/W video via a commercial satellite link. Using side-by-side 13” monitors to compare the compressed versus uncompressed video, he demanded acknowledgement from me (his only audience) that this was indeed real and was the future of television. I didn’t believe him – or the demo.

Convinced he was a retired SS Storm Trooper who firmly believed that he was still alive, I politely nodded in acknowledgement and slowly backed away. Little did I know that a decade late I would be immersed in that very same “voodoo” technology.

Fast forward 35 years to the depths of the “new” South-Hall, second floor at CES 2013. While strolling through the almost vacant area, a happened upon two very colorfully dressed ladies speaking in to a tall, erect German gentleman. I tensed. My God, the Strom Trooper reincarnated! Then he proceeded to walk right through the ladies! To my utter astonishment, he explained it was an advanced hologram display delivered via satellite from Germany. I didn’t believe him – or the demo, and I slowly backed away.

An emergency call to my shrink revealed that the soonest appointment I could get was April 1.


Posted by Ed Milbourn, April 1, 2013 7:50 AM

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About Ed Milbourn

After graduating from Purdue University with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Industrial Education in 1961 and 1963 respectively, Ed Milbourn joined the RCA Home Entertainment Division in 1963. During his thirty-eight year career with RCA (later GE and Thomson multimedia), Mr. Milbourn held the positions of Field Service Engineer, Manager of Technical Training and Manager of Sales Training. In 1987, he joined Thomson's Product Management group as Manager of Advanced Television Systems Planning, with responsibilities including Digital Television and High Definition Television Product Management. Mr. Milbourn retired from Thomson multimedia in December 2001, and is now a Consumer Electronics Industry consultant.