But that was precisely the atmosphere in Las Vegas tonight as he both opened this year's CES conference and closed a final chapter of his career.
Thousands of journalists and technologists queued for some four hours in snake-like lines that wound around several floors of the Venetian Hotel and Casino to hear him give his tenth and final CES keynote.
In just under six months, Gates … Read more
Developments in the Blu-ray/HD DVD format war kicked into high gear in the past couple of months. November and December saw the bulk of the long-delayed HD product lines finally hitting store shelves: Blu-ray players from Sony, Panasonic, and Philips; the PlayStation 3; the Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on; and the second-generation Toshiba HD DVD players. In the new year, both camps came out swinging at CES 2007. With so much news to process, we've taken the opportunity to collect all the major developments into one easily digestible chunk.
With the home becoming ever-more digital, we've seen a steady increase of instances where technologies converge with traditional furnishings. The early stages of this domestic evolution have often involved chairs and cabinets, but we may be on the cusp of a new phase with lamps. Yes, lamps.
At CES this week Soundolier showed off its "Duo," a combination speaker-lamp that can be purchased as a single fixture or as a pair for full stereo (and better lighting) for $280 each. Another $80 will get you the "Maestro," a wireless transmitter that pipes in music from … Read more
It's been a year since we were first introduced to Monsoon Multimedia's Hava device, a placeshifting product that delivered a handful of features--Wi-Fi connectivity, multicast functionality, and Windows Media Center integration--not found on the category-leading Slingbox. Hava went on to release its flagship product in late 2006, and the company has since licensed the technology to Pinnacle, which sells a Hava clone called PCTV To Go.
At CES 2006, Hava was showing off a new entry-level product called the Hava Gold HD. It's housed in a different enclosure than the Hava Wireless HD, and it loses that … Read more
Silex Technology America's new wiDock is a pretty hip iPod dock that lets you sync your iPod wirelessly (if you just can't wait for that feature to show up in the iPod itself) via a built-in 802.11b/g module. Its 3.5mm stereo audio and S-Video outputs let you use the wiDock with your home stereo and television set, as well. The dock also has an IR sensor on it that lets you control playback with a standard Apple Remote. Not a bad product at around $120, though maybe not as cool as one with wireless USB, … Read more
I'm a big fan of Polk Audio's bookshelf and floor-standing speakers, so when it released two iPod speakers, I just had to check them out. Both are available in black or white.
The miDock Portfolio ($119) is a portable model and is compatible with any iPod via the supplied plastic adapters. It also has an auxiliary input for non-Apple players, though it'll only charge dock connector-equipped iPods. The speaker is pretty small and folds up flat for traveling. It has four 1-inch drivers and runs on four AA batteries or the included AC adapter. I took a … Read more
The Sherwood Newcastle R-972 will deliver HDMI 1.3 connectivity, six HDMI inputs, lossless audio decoding (Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio), and a graphic onscreen user interface when it's released in August for $1,500. (Note that the back panel image shows four HDMI inputs, but Sherwood has pledged that the shipping model will include six.) The product becomes the first officially announced receiver we've seen that incorporates all of those bleeding-edge features. Its step-down model, the R-872, offers similar HDMI and lossless decoding capabilities with "only" four HDMI inputs and a text-only onscreen interface, … Read more
Conventional wisdom says that a stereo or surround sound system is only as good as its speakers. That's why speaker designers often become celebrities in the world of high-end audio. One such celeb is Jim Thiel, who's been designing speakers for the company he co-founded for 30 years now. He calls his latest high-end creation the CS3.7 and it stands 45-inches tall, 12.5-inches wide, and 21-inches deep, looking more like a sleek piece of modern sculpture when compared to the bland boxes taking up space in Best Buy.
Mr. Thiel's gone to great lengths to … Read more
SDI Technologies, the maker of the hot-selling iPod clock radio, is showing new affordably priced iPod speaker accessories at CES, including two small home-based units, the iH10 ($49)and iH4 ($49), and the portable iH19 ($69), which comes in multiple colors. The company also has a license to use the Timex name in upcoming iPod clock radios, so this is clearly an accessory company on the move. During my tour of the SDI meeting room (for dealers), I was shown a couple of more novel iPod accesories, including a speaker with a built-in iPod dock that looks like a water … Read more