Something is funny in Las Vegas today, and I don't mean the Penn & Teller show. Just as CES is ready to open for another delightful day, the light rain - rather unusual for this dry, desert town - begins turning into snow (really unusual for around here). Veteran CES-goers scratch their heads in amazement as they run from the taxi drop off area to the doors of the Convention Center. It's hard to remember the last time it snowed in Las Vegas during CES. It was a surprising, albeit wet, beginning to a day full of much nicer surprises.
The official opening day of CES brings more announcements - and more gawking attendees to fight your way through. Geoffrey Morrison, Home Theater Magazine's Video Editor, more than once voiced his desire for a cattle prod. Fortunately for everyone concerned, none of the exhibitors were displaying cattle prods although a quick trip through the Las Vegas Convention Center aisles will take you past vendors showing everything from telescopes to hand-held electronic Bible navigators to flying discs with LED lights inside. It's such a shame all we get to cover is home theater gear...
The day before the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) officially opens, members of the press are "treated" to an exhaustive lineup of press conferences. Some are good, some are awful, and very few are worth waking up before the sun rises. On the other hand, every now and then you find a nugget of golden information that makes all the coffee and pastries you can cram in your stomach worth wile.
As if having a flat-panel plasma or LCD TV hanging on your wall weren't enough to cause the neighbors and friends to drool with covetous envy, New York-based ready-to-assemble furniture maker Bush Industries is primed to introduce several new console and entertainment wall units designed specifically to complement - rather than emphasize - the newest, highest tech TVs. Bush says the new designs are the result of the fact that "the days of the silver video base that places the TV prominently in the center of attention are numbered." Bush's primary design criteria are now media and component storage.
Although the new DualDisc format - a two-sided hybrid disc with a CD on one side and a DVD-A on the other - has had a rough beginning, a recent announcement from Dolby and 5.1 Entertainment's Silverline Records label brings to light another benefit of the flipping disc.
Despite the results of recent statewide elections banning same-sex marriages, consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers may not want to dismiss the gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) community quite so readily. A recent nationwide Harris Interactive/Witeck-Combs on-line survey found that the tallied responses are indicative of "the enthusiasm and affinity that gay and lesbian consumers have for electronic technology and their propensity to seek out the latest trends in consumer electronics and television." The survey looked at preferences for service providers (both cellular and TV) as well as HDTV ownership and intent to buy and HDTV.
Punches continue to be thrown in the fight over which next-generation DVD format will be established as the industry standard. (And there will be an industry standard, right corporate bigwigs? Although full-fledged format wars are great for selling magazines - go ahead, subscribe to our humble publication now, just in case - tech-savvy consumers tend to sit on the sidelines when it comes to spending money on hardware that may never have software.) Here are some of the latest developments in the march toward a higher definition DVD.
Want an easy way to store, manage, access, and enjoy digital entertainment content in your home? Beginning to think Microsoft's Windows Media Center Edition 2005 doesn't quite live up to all the hype? Afraid you'll run out of storage room? Concerned about so many questions to answer?
I don't know whether it's the silliest or the slickest player design to come along since the invention of the DVD format, but the new YAHOO! MetroRetro DVD Player is certainly worth a second look from anyone tired of the typical black- or silver-box chassis design that makes even some of the most expensive machines look like cheap commodities. The "retro" styling involves rounded sides and front-panel circular VU meters that give the player a look that's reminiscent of a 1960s/1970s-era Chevy.