CES 2012: Part II
It’s never enough to just talk about CES, we have to put eyes on all the goodies for ourselves. This year we did a whirlwind, one day, Vegas and back, Consumer Electronics Show supertrip. We hit the show on the final day and it was awesome. All the technology was the same, the TVs didn’t look any different than they did on Monday, but all the crowds had left and there were almost no lines for any of the demos.
Our first stop was Mitsubishi where we saw the LaserVue. There was a ton of hype about this TV when it first came out but we didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Good enough picture though. It just didn’t blow us away.
We also stopped at JVC and where was sat through a JVC 4K projector Demo. The DLA-X90RBU (MSRP $12,000) really impressed us. It has a ton of features but what blew us away was how good 1080p Blu-ray discs looked when upconverted to 4K! Although most of the 3D demo on the projector was pretty rough, there was one part that was simply amazing. We’ll tell you about it on the show.
Then it was on to LG where we saw really good passive 3D, the only example we saw at CES of really good passive 3D. The best thing about passive 3D technology is the prices of the glasses are dirt cheap! All active glasses demonstrations at other vendors were pretty much locked down. We also saw the LG OLED TV. Very nice but we felt the Samsung produced a better picture.
At the Dish Network booth we saw this cool Gizmo called the Tailgater. It has been out for a while but when you see it in person you really see how cool of a device it is. It goes for about $350 and only weighs 10 pounds. The big message at Dish, however, was their new whole-house DVR system called the Hopper and the Joey. They’re a bit late to the game, but add some cool features to the offering. We’re hoping to get a demo setup to review.
You can’t really call the Panasonic booth just a booth, it’s more on par with a small shopping mall. They were showing a bunch of stuff but we zeroed in on the VT50. The VT50 finally has blacks on par with the Kuro demo we saw three years ago. No pricing yet.
At Toshiba we checked out some glasses free 3D. There were spots marked on the carpet where you were supposed to stand to optimize the effect. We have seen this technology for the last five years now with little improvement. We are still a few years away. The “face tracking” technology isn’t exactly what you’d expect.
Onwards to Sharp where we saw an 8K LCD. It was quite impressive. Kind of like looking through a window on the world. The scaled down picture does not do it justice, but imagine that the scene is just on the other side of a pane of glass! Watching 3D gets old pretty fast, your eyes get tired and you just want to be done, but we could stare at this 8K screen for days.
But what really caught our eye at Sharp was their line of Elite LED LCDs. In the order of quality we would probably say it was Samsung and LG OLEDs then the Sharp Elite and Panasonic Plasma were nearly identical. Of course the plasma is something mere mortals can own. The Elites come with an Elite price tag. A 60 inch Elite goes for about $5K. We are estimating the 65 inch Plasma to come in at about half the cost.
There’s a great HD video of the Samsung OLED display at HTGuys.com
In our mind the Samsung OLED stole the show as far as picture went. Surprisingly, the video we shot shows off the TV quite nicely. The pictures don’t do it justice but the TV is incredibly thin. This was one area of the show that always drew a big crowd. The displays certainly lived up to the hype. Samsung also showed some other interesting ideas, like vaccuum tube amps in their Blu-ray home theater systems for the audiophile and the “dual” HD experience for those with attention span issues.
And no trip to CES would be complete without a stop by the Sony superbooth. We were mostly there for the Crystal LED display. And while the TV looked very good, it didn’t have the wow factor of OLED. For our eyes, we’d put it on par with the Panasonic Plasmas and Sharp Elite LCDs. Sony also had glasses-free 3D that was pretty rough. We really enjoyed the Personal 3D Viewer, though. while there aren’t a million applications for it, when you put it on, you really feel like you’re in a private movie theater. It’s pretty fun.
Of course we walked through a bunch of other booths while we were at the show, including Intel, Microsoft, Dolby, DTS, and many more. All of them were great, but not earth shattering. We also took a stroll through the North hall where all the automotive technology is. There were some cars in there you could easily drool over.
There are a lot more pics of the adventure, including the parking lot at CES, at HTGuys.com
Posted by The HT Guys, January 19, 2012 9:52 PM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.