Toshiba's big announcement concerned the incoporation of the advanced Cell processor into selected models of its new, 2010 Cell series of HDTVs. The Cell was developed by Toshiba but is best known up to now as the brains in Sony's PlayStation3.
LG's new LED LCD TVs are now ultra slim, including one model that is an incredible 6.9mm thin. The Infinia range includes full LED backlighting technology (Full LED Slim, in LG's phrase, but a bit thicker than that 6.9mm set). Some LG sets will now offer 480Hz operation thanks to a newly developed ASIC. The company also plans on marketing a 15" OLED display.
Sharp's big announcement, apart from listing of their new models, was Quad Pixel Technology. Instead of the usual red, green, and blue sub-pixels that make up each pixel in the LCD image, Sharp adds a fourth, yellow-filtered sub-pixel. This is said to increase the number of colors up to 1 trillion. But who's counting?
Will the phrase "phoning it in" lose its negative connotation with the mainstreaming of videophones? It sure seemed like it as Panasonic president Fumio Otsubo chatted with other Panasonic folks at today's press event at the Venetian. The chat set the stage for a major announcement: All Viera Cast TVs will henceforth coming with Skype capability (LG made a similar announcement earlier in the day). One-third of Skype calls are video calls and moving them from the PC to the TV must qualify as a historic moment.
Noel Lee is always good for a quotable line or two. For instance: "We loooove 3D!" And, if your 3D experience isn't all you wished for, "don't blame the TV. Blame that cheap-ass HDMI cable you bought." Monster's four classifications of HDMI cable speed have now gone to six, topped by the 17Gbps Hyper Speed cable. HDMI wasn't the only thing on Lee's cable agenda, of course. He also discussed USB 3.0 cables for next-gen drives, players, cameras, etc.
The future of mainstream multi-room entertainment is wireless, whether it be Wi-Fi, Powerline, RF, or some other magical, yet-to-be-discovered communication protocol. Easy end-user installation is important, too. (Thus the popularity and success of multi-room audio systems such as Sonos.) Klipsch is getting into the act with a new product called the LightSpeaker. Although it was impossible to hear a demo during last night’s CES Unveiled event, the LightSpeaker’s particulars make it something we’ll be searching for on the CES floor. The LightSpeaker combines an LED light with a powered speaker and fits most 5-inch and 6-inch recessed lighting fixtures using a standard Edison socket. Klipsch says there are only about 620 million recessed can light fixtures in the U.S. alone. (Now that’s a market worth paying attention to.)
Despite what you’ll hear from the other journalistic types, the only real reason why anyone who pontificates about electronics makes the annual pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show is the free food and booze. And the free hats and t-shirts…and the pampering of the press…and the potential for (maybe) a free set of earphones or iPod case… Then, of course, there are all the attractive female booth greeters and canned-demonstration presenters who make you feel like you’re the first person they’ve talked to all week and that you’re someone very special…if you’d only sit through this incredibly fascinating presentation. I guess there are also some cool gadgets and gear to see here, too, but it really comes down to the free food. (Did I mention free booze, too?) Tonight, it’s the “Annual Pre-CES Sushi Feast 2010” sponsored by DTS. Can life get any better?
To borrow a line from UAV reviewer David Vaughn, CES 2009 is now receding in the rear-view mirror. It was a grueling week during which we all put many miles on our shoesand cars, since Gary Altunian, Kim Wilson, and I all drove to the show and around Las Vegas, avoiding what we thought would be long cab lines. (We would have all driven together to be more eco-friendly, except that each of us was heading in a different direction after the show.)
CES not only introduces all the new products we can expect to see on store shelves for that year, new trends in technologies and how we will use electronic products in our everyday lives come into full view, as well. CES is not just a showcase of the latest and greatest consumer products, it is a vision into the future.
CES is over and by this time the huge exhibits have been dismantled and put in storage until next year. This year marks my 20th CES, and that doesn't include the summer CE Show that used to be held every June in Chicago, Ill.
At the stroke of 4:00 PM on Sunday, a great cheer was heard throughout the show and the mad rush to tear down the booths began. Stay tuned for our wrap-up reports in a couple of days after we catch our collective breath and take a little time to digest all that we saw and heard.
As in-wall speakers have grown in popularity, manufacturers have introduced in-wall subwoofers to complete the package. They have also struggled to deal with the inevitable rattles and vibrations of a subwoofer mounted inside a wall. Paradigm has introduced the RVC-12SQ Architectural Subwoofer, which solves the vibration problem by using two drivers in-phase but firing in opposite directions, thus canceling vibrations. The drivers face each other and fire horizontally rather than from front to back, further reducing vibrations. The RVC-12SQ can be used as a standalone sub or with the optional enclosure shown in the photo. The new Paradigm sub will be available in the first quarter with price to be announced.
Sony's OLED demo included several 27-inchers and some 11-inch XEL-1s as well as a new 11-inch model (in the center of this shot) that's less than 1mm thick. The prototypes were all mounted in super-cool brushed-aluminum flat stands. As OLEDs are wont to do, these looked stunning. I only wish this technology was practical and economical from a manufacturing perspective.
Even though Samsung has announced it is suspending research and development of OLED, there were still some prototypes at the front of its booth, including a 31-incher and several measuring 14 inches. They looked amazing.