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CES 2017: Master Video and Technology Thread


Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Feb 13, 2016
Seattle Area
OK, instead of creating separate threads per company as I did for audio, I am going to post all the rest of CES show in this thread.

Some high level observations. We are in the golden age of video/still capture and display. At no time have I been satisfied with what was shown at CES until this year. It used to be trivial to see flaws in displays or in capture of video. The growth in fidelity in the last three (3) years or so is just remarkable. I am talking orders of magnitude in improving contrast, color and reduction of compression artifacts. For a videophile like myself who has been at this for decades, it is a dream come true!

Stuff is so good now that I don't pay much attention to what is not. Images on some of these displays is lusciously good. Colors literally want to bleed off the display and fall on the floor!

What is great is image capture to support it. As you see later, images captured with my handheld camera shows amazing fidelity just the same. I mean who could imagine 50 megapixel SLRs as I used to capture these?

Beyond video, the other trend was "far field" voice recognition as in Amazon Alexa. This is voice recognition with a keyword instead of using buttons to activate. Amazon is making huge headway here with Google the only other player and far behind.

Robots were everywhere. Most were stupid toys. But some serious exceptions.

Drones are everywhere too. One of them is on my birthday list.

There are remarkable advances in lowering power in devices to allow smart ones to instrument the world and transmit to the cloud. Alas, the cloud story is all screwed up. It requires you getting a cell phone plan for each device which is a non-starter. Devices need to communicate for free on the Internet before the "IoT" (Internet of Things) actually gets legs.

Another trend was democratization of technology. Used to be that major brands owned CES. That has changed a ton. The number of large companies dominating the floor was below ten. Gone are companies like Sharp, replaced with a bunch of Chinese companies like TCL.

PCs have all but disappeared from the picture. Intel showed next to nothing there and Microsoft gave up on CES a few years ago. Everyone wanted to show gadgets and future-looking stuff.

Virtual Reality (VR) was everywhere and I mean everywhere. Not wanting to wear something a hundred other people had worn, I did not try any of them.

More comments in line as I post the pictures.
We start the show with LG and what a show it was. They had once again the most breathtaking large display. It had 100+ OLED displays in a tunnel showing underwater and galactic images. Like their massive video wall last year, it was stunning. They could set this up and make money selling tickets all day long. Puts to shame anything at theme parks. And IMAX for that matter.

Hopefully you can imagine the feeling of being in that dark tunnel and having the entire imagery above you move. You thought you were moving in the opposite direction. Absolutely stunning.
Right at the front LG had its OLED displays for this year. And the big hit was paper thin displays that mounted to walls using magnetic hangers. You screwed them into the wall and the display just snapped on them magnetically.

Above you see them flexing the display showing that nothing bad happens to it as you try to peel it off the wall!

The down side was the stupid sound bar with speakers that rose up and down from it. All the connectivity is naturally in there with a single cable providing power and video to the main display.
As some of you may have read, LG also announced traditional LED backlit, Quantum Dot displays. But here, they have provided their own innovation with using more precise dot sizes and putting the Quantum Dot layer over the LCD display rather than behind it. This reduces haze and makes for better viewing angle on these IPS displays.

Back to Quantum Dot displays, here is another image and marketing material for it:


On that last few displays, all the companies -- Sony and Samsung -- had the exact "with and without" displays as if the same company had made it for all of them. All the "conventional" displays were boxed up (thicker panels) where you could not tell the model or brand. When asked them what it is, the booth personnel all gave the same answer: "we don't know --- it came this way." My translation is that all of these were fake displays. It is trivial to de-tune the displays to make them show fader colors, less contrast, etc.

Panasonic exhibit was sad, sad. They showed the same old OLED display from Europe that still does not sell in US. The only exciting thing was their new G5 video/still camera which is replacing the vaulted G4. In my hand though it seemed huge and heavy.

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