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CeBIT, the world's largest computer fair,
from the classical music perspective,


For people who love good music and are in search of decent sound systems there is only one place to be in March: Hannover, Germany, for CeBIT!

CeBIT takes place annually in Hannover and is the world's largest computer/IT trade fair. With a total of 25 halls, it attracts exhibitors from all five continents. Needless to say, you can find there the very latest in audio developments and, especially interesting for technology-minded classical music lovers, this includes state of the art speaker equipment, whether computer connected or otherwise, as well as impressive surround sound systems, DVDs and televisions. This was as good a reason as any to take a look around the fair with a view to finding out what could be of particular interest to Music & Vision readers -- after all, to enjoy downloaded samples from CD reviews, you need a decent speaker system connected to the computer!

First, there were two real eye-catchers: the impressive stands of Panasonic and Samsung. Panasonic put on a lavish presentation of their latest multimedia products, complete with dancing models and a pretty young singer: this attracted shoppers by the hundreds and there was standing room only!

Fun and dance at the Panasonic presentation at CeBIT 2005 in Hannover. Photo © 2005 Phil Crebbin
Fun and dance at the Panasonic presentation at CeBIT 2005 in Hannover. Photo © 2005 Phil Crebbin

Samsung had an amazing display of their flat-screen TVs in all sizes, including a huge one that they claimed would be the largest production plasma TV, although it was a pre-production prototype on display, giving an impressive full cinema effect when a film was being shown, supported by an almost equally impressive surround sound system. Just imagine what such a system would do for an opera DVD! A lot, no doubt, but there is something else that is going to do a lot too -- this time a lot of damage to your wallet -- and that is the price-tag: the cheapest, quite small system I liked starts at 6.5 -- that is 6.5 thousand euros, or, in pounds approximately 4,600 -- with an additional 1.8 thousand for the sound system that came with it.

So, on we went to look for a more affordable range of products that would still satisfy the discerning ears of music lovers. But where to find these when one needs quality, preferably Sony or Panasonic quality, at a better price?

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Copyright © 17 April 2005 Tess Crebbin, Germany


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