CES - Cool Electronic Stuff
Digital Deck is a company that's been teasing custom installers (and journalists) for several years with their unique vision of how to distribute digital media throughout a networked home. Now, at last, it looks like there's a real deal ready to be dealt from this deck. A Digital Deck system consists of Digital Deck Media Connectors (bascially a digital set-top box located in each connected room) and a central Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PC running Digital Deck's Media Connector Software. Each room's Media Connector not only receives streaming media routed from the central PC but also uplinks local A/V sources to the system. Any connected A/V device in any room can be accessed, controlled, and viewed from any other connected room - and everything is done through a single, common interface. The homeowner's PC provides the central storage while the Digital Deck Media Connector Software and Media Connectors do the rest of the work. The system lets you pause, record, and playback live TV, or play digital music, digital photos, or digital video through any connected TV or stereo throughout the home. The previous versions I've seen were cool but a little clunky. This one is sure to be a hit.
For some reason, I have a special place in my heart for 3D video. Now, thanks to eMagin, I have a special place on my head, too. The company's Z800 and X800 3DVisors are just the sort of thing you come to CES to see. Sure, you look like a real geek wearing one of these visors, but you quickly forget that once you start watching the full SVGA resolution (800 x 600), high-contrast OLED screens that rest just an inch or two in front of your eyes. The real amazement, though, begins once you put on the Z800 - that's the model that includes 360-degree head tracking. Of course, head tracking isn't an issue if all you want to do is watch a DVD; but if you happen to be a fan of first-person shooter computer games, the ability to turn your head and actually see in that direction is something you'll have to have once you try it. Consider yourself warned.