CES 2004: Pioneer and Sony back away from networked entertainment plans What\u2019s not said is often more important than what is. That was the case at the\u00a0Consumer Electronics Show\u00a0this month, where two giants kept decidedly mum about the splashy networked entertainment products they\u2019d unveiled at CES 2003.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0Last year Sony announced CoCoon, an \u201cAV home gateway\u201d product line it had introduced earlier in Japan. The product design was sexy with its big hard disk drive, personal video recorder software and network connectivity.\u00a0\u00a0In the same vein, Pioneer announced its DigitaLibrary product line of home entertainment servers \u2014 products that would \u201cdistribute three DVD-quality streams and 21 audio streams simultaneously\u201d around a home network. So what happened?\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0Apparently not much of anything.Details on CoCoon\u2019s fate were scarce at this year\u2019s show, with Sony saying it will ship in Japan but not in the U.S. in the foreseeable future. Querying on the company\u2019s Web site didn\u2019t turn up much more information, where the word "CoCoon" on the Sony Electronics U.S. Web site got me a whopping total of zero hits.\u00a0\u00a0Pioneer missed on its May 2003 ship date and appears to have backed off from the project, at least publicly.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0Of course, this doesn\u2019t mean either company has abandoned its plans to win the entertainment networking market in the future. Either could revive these specific products. In fact, Sony\u2019s been shipping its RoomLink media adapter \u2013 a bridge device that streams audio and video from your PC to a TV - since spring of 2003, and its online gaming push for Playstation2 is moving along extremely well.\u00a0\u00a0Even so, Sony\u2019s current posture resembles little that of one year go, when company President Kunitake Ando unveiled the \u201cUbiquitous Value Network\u201d strategy, with CoCoon as the centerpiece.\u00a0So what does Sony's and Pioneer's apparent skittishness say about the state of the home entertainment network?\u00a0\u00a0 After all, this year\u2019s show produced even more announcements from Microsoft and Intel, and introduced a gaggle of media adapter and server start-ups.\u00a0\u00a0First, it just means the home entertainment network market needs more time to gel. Technologies that send streams of high-definition television around the home are still in early stages, and getting consumers to connect a PC to a TV to stream downloaded movies requires a serious behavior adjustment.\u00a0\u00a0Second, Sony, Pioneer and the like are ruled mainly by profit. If new products don\u2019t move off store shelves in large quantities, don\u2019t expect them to hold their attention for long.But take heart. My next few columns will focus on some interesting announcements and actual products that came out of the show.