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Today’s Show:

Best of CES 2015 Winners

We did our personal roundup of CES and told you about our favorites, but it is nearly impossible for the two of us to see everything, much less take the time to absorb it all even if we caught a glimpse of it. There are a couple items in the official winners list for Best of CES 2015 that we didn’t talk about it our prior roundup.

Presenting the Best of CES 2015 winners!

This year the Best of CES Awards were chosen and presented by Engadget, a {hopefully}  neutral third party, to eliminate at least some of the potential for talk about conspiracy and conflict of interest. For those who don’t remember, last year’s controversy was over Dish’s Hopper being snubbed by the awards because they were chosen and presented by CNET, whose parent company CBS was in a legal battle with Dish over the Hopper and it’s ability to auto-hop over commercials.

Sling TV

So this year Engadget took over, and the big winner, receiving the Best of the Best award was…Sling TV (a Dish Network Company). Sling TV took home two individual category awards for Best Home Theater Product and Best Software / App. We would tend to agree. Although there were a lot of great televisions at the show, and some cool whole house audio products, the thing we went away most excited to try was the new Sling TV service. Could really be the cord cutter’s dream.

Engadget says: “In a show where software and apps rarely take center stage, Sling TV was an obvious choice for both candidate and overall winner of this category. The $20-a-month service by Dish makes cord-cutting that much easier, offering premium content from the likes of ESPN and HGTV right off the bat. Not only that, but also the app itself — available on Android, iOS and select set-top boxes — is intuitive, user-friendly and surprisingly well-done.

Energous WattUp

One of the products we didn’t get a chance to check out, the Energous WattUp, won two awards: Best (Connected) Home Product and Best Innovation (Disruptive Tech). It sound part science fiction and part death trap, but they claim to be able to wirelessly charge your portable devices from up to 15 feet away.  It sounds very intriguing. Just drop your phone on the counter or your normal resting place and it’ll charge all by itself: Even keep it in your pocket.

…it works using a mix of RF, Bluetooth and a lot of patent-pending technology. The transmitter is where most of the magic happens. It communicates with and locates compatible devices using low-energy Bluetooth. Once they’ve established contact with a device, they send out focused RF signals on the same bands as WiFi that are then absorbed and converted into DC power by a tiny chip embedded in the device. These transmitters can be built into household appliances, TVs, speakers and standalone “energy routers.”

LG Art Slim 4K OLED

The official winner in the Best TV Product category was the LG Art Slim 4K OLED. We agree. We liked the LG OLEDs. There was something very striking about OLED color and 4k detail. Very impressive.  Like Engadget, we’re also concerned about the pricing. As good as they look, will they ever hit price points that will allow them to get mass adoption? Or will they be able to do it fast enough before something else, like quantum dot, comes along that makes them irrelevant?

Engadget says “So how could LG improve on last year’s OLEDs and their impressive picture quality? Show an impressive pace of price drops, crank up the resolution and give us a flatter option — and that’s just what it did. Despite a strong showing of quantum dot-loaded LCDs, this “Art Slim” OLED packing webOS 2.0 is the one we most want on our wall. The only question remaining is how much will it cost to get it there?

Razer Forge TV

Another product we didn’t get to see, one that took home both the Best Gaming Product award and was also the People’s Choice winner was a little gaming set top box called Razer Forge TV. Perhaps not being gamers we don’t quite get the appeal, but for hard-core PC gamers, it could be great. It is an Android TV based system, so you get the same games you can get on something like the Amazon Fire TV. But it doesn’t stop there. The box is well powered, they have a bunch of peripheral aimed at gamers, and it can stream games from your PC.

That must be the secret ingredient. For the dedicated PC gamer, you no longer have to have a big loud computer connected to your TV. Instead you can use the tiny Razer Forge TV box and use their “Cortex: Stream” technology to play the games on your big screen. It is supposed to be much better than the “laggy PC streaming of other systems” and it will give you up to 1080p resolution.  It can operate over WiFi or a wired Ethernet connection and supports any DirectX 9 or higher game.

Download Episode #671

Posted by The HT Guys, January 23, 2015 2:13 AM

About The HT Guys

The 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.