Everything at CES is BIG ?big marquees, big names, big hotels, big streets, and at CES, big showcases. When Ed Sullivan, the TV variety host for 23 years, said "it?s a really big shew," he could have been describing CES. Many of the big names in consumer electronics put up booths bigger than a house. Lighting and creative displays left you dazzled. Here is a sampling.
Intel, not surprisingly, was highly visible, with their slogan "Sponsors of Tomorrow." In addition to showcasing their president and CEO, Paul Otellini, as a keynote speaker, Intel introduced IPTV, and a home energy management system with a home dashboard complete with applications, such as a programmable thermostat, a utility usage tracker, a schematic of the energy draw of every utility in your home, including easy addition of a new refrigerator, for example. "WiDi," a wireless display technology, was announced that connects a PC to an HDTV for streaming photos and videos. Intel also opened a storefront named the App Up center where users can download applications specific to their own netbooks.
Casio was showing its Digital Art Frame which creates original photographic artwork from digital images. It uses a "snapshot-to-painting conversion" function that turns digital photos into a water color painting or a color pencil sketch; a pastel, oil, or air brush painting; or changes your photo into a pointillism, gothic or fauvist style piece. Regardless of your artistic choice, faces are still completely recognizable. It will be available in Spring 2010.
Casio?s gone green and created an original mercury-free hybrid light source capable of generating high brightness by combining a laser, a fluorescent element and an LED. Their projector functions with a high output of green light, which previously has been difficult to do with conventional semiconductor light sources. Casio converts blue laser light into green light, using the fluorescent element. It?s conveniently sized less than eight by eleven inches, thinner than 2 inches and only five pounds. One model can project without a PC and communicate wirelessly with PCs.
COBY showcased its home theater ? high definition LCD and 5.1 surround systems. They also have new MP3 and MP4 players in three price/feature increments: entry, step, and the premium level which comes with a 3 inch TFT LCD widescreen display and intuitive touchscreen controls.
Mark Farish, Senior Marketing Manager said of their new LCD TV?s. "By focusing on LCD screen sizes of 22 inches and smaller, we put our quality LCD TVs within the reach of virtually every consumer looking for space-saving designs without sacrificing product quality." Even the 15 inch model has AV input jacks for use with media players, DVR/VCRs, and video games.
Samsung?s floor-to-ceiling multi-display panel showcase was artistic and show stopping. The company walked away with an Innovations Award for video displays with their model UN55C9000 ? with the first on-board TV display touch-screen remote control. [LG also claimed they have the "world's slimmest LED TV", see below.] The Samsung 9000 series includes a 3-inch touch-screen remote with Wi-Fi integration that doubles as a secondary display for watching broadcast content in the palm of your hand or displaying music, photos, and video files from the remote onto the television.
What show would be complete without a showing from Microsoft? Their booth stretched across the hall. Each tableau focused on one or another of their products, from Office, to MSN, to Bing. Exciting products, maybe, but a utilitarian display without much pizzazz.
A large wall filled with Infinia TV monitors, greeted you as you entered the LG area of the Las Vegas Convention Center. An interview with George Mead of LG on You Tube.
highlights the Infinia line of LCD, Plasma, and LED televisions. They are broadband ready, and have Skype built in.
Using patented technology, LG?s full LED unit is ultra slim at 6.9mm in depth, full LED, wireless HD, with a thin, 8mm, bezel which comes close to giving the viewer a 100-percent-picture unit. Mead said that consumers want flush wall mounting, and best picture quality. However, he points out that sound in ultra thin units is sometimes compromised, even with LG?s improved invisible speakers. LG has several options to fill the gap. He also responded that the LED, LCD, and plasma TVs are THX certified.
LG Electronics USA walked away with an Innovations Award for their model 47LE9500, a 47-inch LCD HDTV with slim full LED backlight technology and NetCast Entertainment Access and their Model DP570MH ATSC mobile DTV portable video player with DVD.
LG certainly proved Life?s Good if you are an electronics fanatic. They displayed a small 15 inch OLED TV. It is water resistant, so a steamy bathroom won?t hurt it. OLED?s can be thin and light, are at home on countertop or wall, and consume less power than LCD?s. Small, they might be, but the price isn?t. Plan to lighten your wallet by two grand.
Case Logic, maker of cases in all shapes and sizes for cameras, laptops, MP3s and cell phones, as well as backpacks and traditional luggage, had their wares available to touch and feel. They announced a ?security friendly? laptop backpack. If you fly, you know having a laptop with you causes undue difficulties getting through security. This carrier is designed in compliance with TSA guidelines so you don?t need unzip your case and remove the computer to go through the scanners. Made of leather and nylon, it is sturdy enough to come with a 25 year warranty.
That?s not the sun and the stars, it?s the Motorola logo and flood lighting in one of the the cavernous showrooms at CES. Motorola was hyping its new BACKFLIP, a new Android with Motoblur. The reverse flip design is for videos, music and photos, and it has a QWERTY keyboard. Friends, photos, emails, messages, Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter are all synchronized by MOTOBLUR ? with backups. BACKFLIP?s multi-functional design is supposed to make it easy for the multi-tasking generation. A full HTML browser on a 3.1 inch, high resolution, touch display, with 3G speed, Wi Fi access, and a 5MP flash camera round out Motorola?s latest.
The dishNetwork is proud of their DISH remote access. With it you can manage your DVR and record your favorite shows anytime, anywhere with your iPhone or iPod touch, or through the web browser on your PC.
There was so much more in the "really big shew." We?ve tried to bring you a taste of it here.