Saturday, January 09, 2010

CES 2010 South Hall

Some Mainstream and obscure products not having to do with 3D!

Elite Screens had some nice electric "pop up" screens with or without wood cabinets. With twin 2.35:1 and 16:9 format solutions, IR, RF and remote control. A very "installer friendly company, offers minimal non-finished versions of the cabineted version.

Mocomtech Co, LTD, had a 20 gain screen on display!
It was angled down a bit to avoid the lighting, but still pretty impressive.

This Wireless ipod dock and speaker combo, weird as it looks, sounded pretty good! I can't find my information on it's manufacturer, but if you see it in a store, don't run away, give it a listen.

Blue showed off their wonderful line of Microphones, including their USB Mic.

Audioengine showed off their fabulous line of speakers and wireless audio devices as well as a new mini amplifier available in March. Knowing them it will sound fantastic and will be a perfect match for their non-powered speakers. We'll have that available on the RAM website as soon as it is available.

Cables Unlimited unveiled a new series of iPhone, iPod Touch, Blackberry Bold and Storm Combo Battery Cases that should have a very nice sale price that will give you the battery life you need at a price point that can't be beat! They also have a new Wireless A/V adapter set for PC to TV (HDMI) or Monitor (VGA) connections all in one device. We'll have these available on the RAM site ASAP.

Gefen who has 3 Wireless HDMI solutions to fit your needs, debuted their new installer centric Toolbox lineup of distribution solutions with a new look and very installer friendly design. They had, as usual a multitude of new products including Speakers(!), a volume stabilizer, an HDMI audio decoder to both S/PDIF and Toslink with 6 discreet analog audio outputs as well. Plus much, much more. Of coarse we'll have these available on the RAM site as soon as they are available.

Asus booth was huge again this year. Being a big Asus fan I always browse around a bit. Everyone has touch screens all over the place this year and Asus, of course had a wide variety. I could not find a netbook with a larger than 1024 horizontal resolution, which is what I want. I know you need a certain screen size for higher resolutions, but the websites and apps I want to run require at least 1280 horizontal resolution so I don't have to scroll. They did have a nice, light "laptop" with 1366 horizontal resolution with long battery life. Works for me!

Asus also had a "Bravo" Media Center video card that seems perfectly designed for HTPC use with built in video transcoding for ipod or PSP as well as multiple modes for Theater, Gaming, Pictures and "auto" with Ambient light sensing! I'll certainly be looking into this one for my own HTPC.

CES 2010 Conclusion?
There was plenty more to see, but there are certainly many sites covering all the big names. There was significant "shrinkage" this year. No Sands convention center. The South hall was smaller. There were still pretty big crowds at times this year but not as big as usual. People are scaling back still on large purchases and with 3D on the horizon, they may use that as a pretty darn good excuse for putting them off a bit longer. Until the dust sttles and the 3D scenario is clearer for the average person to grasp, I don't see a lot of people rushing out and buying new "Primary" displays. Seems like everyone is looking for any quick cheap fix they can find for now, and pushing out major purchases into the future. More and more people may minimalise their cable/satellite subscriptions and find solutions for living off online content. That means even more PC/Mac to TV solution opportunities for resellers. While it may seem like TV vendors can keep pushing built-in solutions on TV's, with 3D looming, consumers may opt for add-on's for their current TV's rather than buying new displays except for secondary usage. At least that's my takeaway from this 2010 CES.

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