Immerz’s KOR-FX is an over-the-shoulders tactile transducer that converts the lowest bass frequencies into vibrations that you feel through your collar bones. The effect was definitely interesting, but it may have been turned up a little too much for my tastes in order to make sure different attendees actually felt the effect. Tentative price is $189.99 and should be available beginning in April.
Dish Network’s $99 Sling Adapter connects to a Dish ViP722 or ViP722k HD DVR receiver with a single USB connection. The adapter lets you access programming from your receiver using a PC, iPhone/touch/Pad, Android, or BlackBerry device anywhere you have a high-speed Internet or 3G mobile connection.
Vuzix’s new “augmented reality” glasses have tiny video cameras on the front and small high-resolution display screens (one for each eye) behind. The setup allows virtual images to be laid over 3D video of the real world captured by the front-facing cameras. Potential applications could include virtual instruction manuals or training videos.
I know that we in this country are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the form of some sort of iPod accessory; but I draw the line at karaoke – especially iKaraoke. Friends don’t let friends karaoke.
Since you’re reading this on a computer, you’re obviously on the cutting edge. You can get even more edgier by subscribing to the digital version of Home Theater Magazine using Zinio for your iPhone, iPad, or computer. 12 issues are only $9.75.
Custom install-exclusive Emotiva Pro recently acquired Sherbourn, the high-end manufacturer of amps and preamps. The new Sherbourn preamps will include Control4 HC-200B controllers that will allow for home theater and whole-home automation. Look for the first products to be available sometime around April.
The Xi3 Modular Computer is small, cube-like, completely modular, and less than 4 inches per side. It uses 64-bit x86 dual core processors running at 2.0 GHz and, since it uses less than 20 watts to operate, it is totally silent due to the lack of fans. The silent operation and solid state storage make it a great choice for a home theater PC or DVR. Pricing starts at $849 (with Linux operating system – add $149 for Windows 7). Additional storage memory and thin clients are available. The computer can be ordered in different colors and various configurations.
Accessory and cable maker Accell introduced the UltraCat HD, a transmitter/receiver package featuring HDBaseT technology. It can be used to send uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power, RS232 and infrared control signals over a single Cat5e cable for up to 100 meters (approximately 328 feet). Accell says the extenders are optimized for HD video and support all resolutions and video formats including 1080p, 4K, and 3D. HDBaseT technology is an exciting alternative to HDMI for many applications and can even be used to power devices (including TVs) when built-in to the device. We should start seeing more HDBaseT-enabled products later this year.
Fulton Innovation had what I think was the most exciting booth at CES this year. (Yes, more exciting than 3DTV or a iPod karaoke docks.) Fulton Innovation is the developer of eCoupled intelligent wireless power technology. On display was a Tesla Roadster that was being charged through the air as it was parked over a large eCoupled charging pad. Also on display were eCoupled-enabled cereal boxes that had the eCoupled circuitry printed on the boxes using conductive ink. When placed on a shelf near an eCoupled transmitter, the various graphics on the boxes actually lit up. Another aspect of the technology allows a home to have smart cabinets that will monitor the eCoupled-equipped boxes and let you know what cereals, for example, are in the cabinet – and how full the boxes are. In another section of the CES booth, a wireless blender was being demonstrated. If Fulton Innovation has anything to say about it, in the future when we say “wireless” speakers, we’ll really mean it.
Panasonic demonstrated 3DTV from a DirecTV feed, presumably using the using the side-by-side 3D technique. But while the images would likely satisfy the uncritical viewer, the pictures lacked that last spark of detail. The side-by-side technique discards 50% of the horizontal resolution, resulting in 960 x 1080 images.
Toshiba is introducing a whole new lineup of LCD TVs, primarily with LED backlighting. The top of the line UL610 models (46-, 55-, and 65-inchesthe 55-incher is shown on the left in the photo). The UL610s use active 3D glasses for full HD 3D, claimed deep blacks (thought all of the Toshiba LED sets use LED edge lighting, not full backlighting), 480Hz operation, and special 3D crosstalk cancellation technology. All of the 3D sets in the ranges below the UL610 employ passive glasses technology.
I finally was able to see Toshiba's autostereoscopic 3D demos. They had some of the same problems described in the Sony's glasses-free 3D demo. I also noted a pervasive graininess in the images. This was visible in the Sony as well but I did not attribute it to the glasses free technique. It apparently is. Nevertheless, Toshiba claims that they will have these sets on the market late this year. As it stands now, however, 3D with glasses is still superior, apart from its lower brightness.
LG demonstrated the 3D LCoS projector we've seen at a couple of previous shows. The CF3D was unfortunately no better than before. This time the issues were a very slight image softness and, more importantly, a badly skewed white balance. Skin tones looked painfully sunburned. Hopefully this can be calibrated out, the if any effort was made to produce a semblance of accurate color here it did not show.I left after about five minutes as the image was uncomfortable to watch.
Panasonic came up with a nifty solution to the problem of demonstrating 3D with glasses. The glasses are fixed in the vertical supports shown, which easily slide up and down to fit the height of the viewer.