What was arguably the biggest story of CES 2008 occurred three days before the show actually opened for business: Warner Home Video went Blu-ray exclusive, leaving just Paramount and Universal (and smaller DreamWorks) as exclusive HD DVD content partners. Indeed, in the days since, the issue of those studios following Warner's lead seems to be one of when, not if. Blu-ray seems on the verge of a complete victory in the HD disc format war to become the high-def successor to DVD. As a result, combo players--including a newly announced model from Samsung--were greeted more by yawns than … Read more
In reaction to "Gizmodogate," the gadget blog's prank of shutting down flat-screen displays on the show floor and during demos at CES (see Bloggers behaving badly), the conference's organizer, the Consumer Electronics Association, sent me this statement:
We have been informed of inappropriate behavior on the show floor by a credentialed media attendee from the Web site Gizmodo, owned by Gawker Media. Specifically, the Gizmodo staffer interfered with the exhibitor booth operations of numerous companies, including disrupting at least one press event. The Gizmodo staffer violated the terms of CES media credentials and caused harm to … Read more
The whirlwind of CES 2008 is finally over, and now that we've had a few seconds to gather our thoughts, let's reflect on some of the major HDTV trends we observed at the show.
Thin is in
Flat-panels are popular for a reason, and part of it is people love thin screens. While plenty of people are satisfied with standard 6-inch-deep screens, HDTV companies are betting there's a market for ultrathin sets measured in millimeters rather than inches. The most impressive thin TV tech we saw was Pioneer's "Project Kuro" prototype plasma, which measures … Read more
Our Best of CES winner, the Bug Labs platform, generated buzz among both CNET editors and readers with its mix of open-source hardware and software, plus an innovative pricing scheme that encourages early adoption. Though we have no doubt the product will at first appeal to tinkerers and hobbyists, we're intrigued by the prospect of a future filled with modular gadgetry.
Other technologies to catch our attention seemed to … Read more
"If the automobile were invented today, I'm pretty sure it would debut here at CES." So said Rick Wagoner, the boss of General Motors, in his keynote address at CES 2008 before unveiling GM's hydrogen fuel-cell-powered Cadillac Provoq. Wagoner's sentiments were echoed by the show's organizers who, for the first time, dedicated an entire hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center to in-vehicle technologies.
Among the booming bass bins and the pimped-out rides a number of innovative products took our fancy. Pioneer's AVIC-F500BT LINC combines portable and in-dash navigation in one device, complete … Read more
Every year, we CNET Editors approach CES with a mixture of excitement and some underlying, stress-induced dread. The show is always a lot of work--and spending five days in the dry Vegas climate when accustomed to San Francisco's damp (cigarette smoke-free) air almost guarantees coming back with a cold--but at least we have some shiny new gadgets to look forward to seeing. And yet CES 2008 just didn't quite deliver in the MP3 and PVP category...or several others, apparently.
Don't get me wrong: Senior Editor Donald Bell and I saw plenty of cool gear. However, most … Read more
Another CES is in the bag, and we've successfully fled Las Vegas for San Francisco. Though fewer new cell phones debuted at the show than in the past couple years, we can say that the 2008 show was all about quality over quantity. Also, when compared with the last couple of years, we had some serious competition for the Best of CES award in the cell phones and smartphones category. But after it was said and done, the Motorola Rokr E8 took that prize. Its innovative morphing keyboard gave it the needed mojo to lap the Sony Ericsson W760 … Read more
CES is all about what's cool right now, up to the latest nanosecond. One of the Sandbox Summit panelists summed up the pace of development when she said that her wired kids thought that the Amazon Kindle was old news.
I have to say that one of the CES displays that impressed me the most was from a classic American company that had to be one of the oldest manufacturers at the show: Kodak. Think about the transition they've had to pull off, from film to digital photography, upending their previous innovations and business. A few years ago the outlook for the company's future was incredibly pessimistic.
Kodak had a massive booth at CES and after all was said and done, I realized that they had presented some of the best home-office photo printers, digital photo frames, and scrapbooking software that I'd seen at the show. (Keep in mind that seeing everything at CES is like trying to eat at every restaurant in Manhattan in two days; no one person can possibly scour more than a fraction of the total offerings.) Hewlett-Packard demonstrated a wide variety of equipment that would definitely do a good job, but Kodak seemed to have developed the whole package deal, understanding their target audience as photographers and memory makers rather than just people who print photos.… Read more
It wasn't a whiteout, a brownout but a rather, a geek out that plagued those of us with AT&T service on iPhones or AT&T service in general. While our bars indicated full service, getting server access error messages in Safari was much more common than you would think, especially a convention full of guys on their cellphones. But with more than 100,000 folks concentrated in a relatively small area.... Service outside of the area, however, was more than fine and faster than I've experienced. SMS texting, as usual, was the reliable means of … Read more
Gaming peripheral maker Razer has decided to try its hand in the social music scene with its subsidiary Jook Inc. The company has developed a new technology--aptly called Jook--that allows users of any MP3 player to share music with others in the same vicinity. It consists of two parts: a transmitter that plugs into any MP3 player (via either a 3.5mm headphone jack connection or proprietary dock based on the player) and an indicator light that hangs from down the front of the user as part of the headphone cable. A button or switch on either the transmitter or … Read more