News is pouring out of the annual Consumer Electronics Show, hosted by the Consumer Electronics Association, which is now underway in Las Vegas.

The biggest trend so far is the slew of mobile video related announcements. Verizon Wireless introduced its long-awaited VCast Mobile TV service, which unlike existing mobile video services that stream pre-recorded content, allows for the viewing of live TV from specially equipped mobile phones. The service is expected to go live sometime in the first quarter.

Pricing was not discussed, but technology partner Qualcomm MediaFlo revealed, for the first time, some of the programming expected to be available. CBS, Comedy Central, Fox, MTV, Nickelodeon and NBC have all agreed to provide their live content to the service.

Meanwhile Modeo, a company offering a competing live mobile TV technology, launched a live beta test of the service in New York with content provided by Fox News and the Discovery Channel.

In other CES news:
- Toshiba, maker of the critical favorite Gigabeat MP3 player, has partnered with MTV to be the featured device of the URGE music service. The partnership includes collaboration on both marketing of their respective products, as well as a tighter technical integration.

- Microsoft made in-car communications and entertainment a strong focus of Bill Gates' keynote. Microsoft and Ford have partnered on an in-car system called Sync which, among other things, lets users access their mobile phone or digital music play vie voice commands. Additional benefits include command, control and charging support for a wide variety of Windows-enabled MP3 players directly through the car stereo. Meanwhile, MSN unveiled an initiative with Clear Channel Communications to deliver MSN Direct news and information services using HD Radio technology.

- CEA revealed that 34 million MP3 players were shipped in 2006 and a projected 41 million will ship this year. Overall, MP3 players represent 90% of the $6 billion portable entertainment market today. The organization expects a high replacement rate this year as consumers swap out first-generation devices with new products that feature video playback.