CES, Day One

I’m tired. I haven’t done a mega show in years and CES is at least twice as big as when I attended in the late 80s (and it was big then). My pictures don’t do justice, but everything between me and the Hilton in this shot (I’d guess more than a mile away) is CES buildings.

Whenever I found something I thought was interesting or that I wanted to remember, I snapped a picture of it.

XM was one of the first things I saw. They had a new portable player that I wanted to remember to go back to see tomorrow.

Samsung had a wall of “plasma porn.”

My first shot of Microsoft’s booth. Wall to wall people. Everytime I went in there. Who cares about Microsoft? Oh, no one.

HD-DVD booth was packed. Why? Their first players are a LOT lower price than Blue-Ray. I’ll check out both players more later this week. The quality is stunning. I see one of these in my future.

New Motion Tablet PC is small! I think I’m gonna get one of these to make Patrick jealous.

Maxthon was showing off a new plugin that lets you blog with WordPress. Oh, oh, that’s cool! Maxthon is a cool IE-based browser (it’s Chris Pirillo’s favorite browser, and i can see why). They gave me a beta, will have to try that. If you go by, ask them for a memory key. They have a bunch under the booth with Maxthon loaded on a 256mb key. That’s cool.

The car bling-bling was out in force. At least 100 really killer cars with entertainment systems inside. Here’s Buzz standing in front of a bling-bling machine.

102″ plasma is sweet. But, at $150,000 (or more, they wouldn’t give us an exact price) this is a toy for only the Gates’ or Jobs’ to play with.

So far the winner in my decision of an HDTV screen is the Samsung HP-S5073. Comes out in June. Has noticeably better blacks than any plasma I saw at the show (they were showing it next to one of their existing models and the difference was dramatic). 50-inch. About $4,500.

But I’m saving the coolest for last. The OQO Tablet PC. That drew a sizeable crowd everytime he OQO folks stopped. This thing is tiny. Here’s a picture next to aย cell phone so you can see it. I played around with it and I have serious drool factor. Vic Gundotra would kill me if I got one before him. $2,100. Available in four weeks, but orderable now.

56 thoughts on “CES, Day One

  1. Bah…plasma is so cliche and overrated.

    You want a thin panel display then wait for SEDS when it comes out in a year or so.

    I’d say get an LCOS system like Sony’s SXRCD, except I absolutely refuse to buy Sony after the whole DRM rootkit thing. Never really liked them anyhow as they are one of the main reasons why most TV sets are set at 10,000 Kelvin or higher, plus they fudge on their specs a lot worse than most.

    And yes, the 102″ HDTV is 1080.

    You are much better off getting a 3 element DLP projector from Runco. Costs a lot less and has better resolution.

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  2. Bah…plasma is so cliche and overrated.

    You want a thin panel display then wait for SEDS when it comes out in a year or so.

    I’d say get an LCOS system like Sony’s SXRCD, except I absolutely refuse to buy Sony after the whole DRM rootkit thing. Never really liked them anyhow as they are one of the main reasons why most TV sets are set at 10,000 Kelvin or higher, plus they fudge on their specs a lot worse than most.

    And yes, the 102″ HDTV is 1080.

    You are much better off getting a 3 element DLP projector from Runco. Costs a lot less and has better resolution.

    Like

  3. Kudos on posting so many pictures lately. They make me feel like I’m there at CES this week.

    And photos help eliminate a few pointless debates. If you used *any* adjectives at all to describe Microsoft’s booth, someone might feel compelled to quibble over your choice — it wasn’t “wall to wall” it was more like “not too deserted” — but a photo is what it is and there’s nothing to argue about.

    Or are you creating all of these from scratch in Photoshop? Did Microsoft really have a booth at CES?

    Like

  4. Kudos on posting so many pictures lately. They make me feel like I’m there at CES this week.

    And photos help eliminate a few pointless debates. If you used *any* adjectives at all to describe Microsoft’s booth, someone might feel compelled to quibble over your choice — it wasn’t “wall to wall” it was more like “not too deserted” — but a photo is what it is and there’s nothing to argue about.

    Or are you creating all of these from scratch in Photoshop? Did Microsoft really have a booth at CES?

    Like

  5. RObert, I will send you the Maxthon version with wordpress tonight. Let me know what you think of it and any improvements that can be made. Typepad support on the way too. Thanks for the nice words. Hang on for the major release of Maxthon 2.0 this month..

    Like

  6. RObert, I will send you the Maxthon version with wordpress tonight. Let me know what you think of it and any improvements that can be made. Typepad support on the way too. Thanks for the nice words. Hang on for the major release of Maxthon 2.0 this month..

    Like

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  8. Going HD-DVD, will be like going Betamax. And it’s ‘Blu-Ray’ not Blue. Lower priced? Sure, also lower capacity, and less content. In time, the HD-DVD promoing will end up being quite embarrassing, egg-on-face. Word to the wise.

    But all other things mentioned, be quite nifty. OQO been vapor for so long, but finally here, too niche edged market tho. Old news too, as be the Motion news. I am guessing no one is feeding you Tablet news anymore? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  9. Going HD-DVD, will be like going Betamax. And it’s ‘Blu-Ray’ not Blue. Lower priced? Sure, also lower capacity, and less content. In time, the HD-DVD promoing will end up being quite embarrassing, egg-on-face. Word to the wise.

    But all other things mentioned, be quite nifty. OQO been vapor for so long, but finally here, too niche edged market tho. Old news too, as be the Motion news. I am guessing no one is feeding you Tablet news anymore? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  10. Well, I hear Blu-Ray is going to start at $1,000. I sure can’t afford that. Not after putting out $4,000 for a screen, and $400 for an Xbox. HD-DVD is starting at $500.

    Like

  11. Well, I hear Blu-Ray is going to start at $1,000. I sure can’t afford that. Not after putting out $4,000 for a screen, and $400 for an Xbox. HD-DVD is starting at $500.

    Like

  12. Forget $1000 for Blu-ray. The Blu-ray platform will get massive distribution via the player built into Sony’s PS3. I don’t think anyone is predicting the PS3 sales will be slow – there’s going to be huge demand.

    However, I think both Blu-ray and HD DVD have a much bigger problem that that. And that is that there are almost no *genuine* and *substantive* benefits to consumers in the new formats. So why are people going to rush out and buy players?

    And no, I haven’t forgotten about picture quality… For anyone interested, see my blog entry – “Blu-ray & HD DVD Players – Will Anyone Buy Them?” @

    http://www.psynixis.com/blog/?p=79

    Like

  13. Forget $1000 for Blu-ray. The Blu-ray platform will get massive distribution via the player built into Sony’s PS3. I don’t think anyone is predicting the PS3 sales will be slow – there’s going to be huge demand.

    However, I think both Blu-ray and HD DVD have a much bigger problem that that. And that is that there are almost no *genuine* and *substantive* benefits to consumers in the new formats. So why are people going to rush out and buy players?

    And no, I haven’t forgotten about picture quality… For anyone interested, see my blog entry – “Blu-ray & HD DVD Players – Will Anyone Buy Them?” @

    http://www.psynixis.com/blog/?p=79

    Like

  14. “New Motion Tablet PC is small! I think Iโ€™m gonna get one of these to make Patrick jealous.”

    Wait, is that the same Motion that is suing Microsoft?

    Like

  15. “New Motion Tablet PC is small! I think Iโ€™m gonna get one of these to make Patrick jealous.”

    Wait, is that the same Motion that is suing Microsoft?

    Like

  16. OQO isn’t new, though, is it? My brother was looking at one of those (bought a FlyBook instead) about a year ago. They’re really cool and close to my idea portable (if it does RDP well, it’s a winner), but $2000 is still too high for a Tablet form fact (wasn’t Allchin saying the prices were dropping soon many moons ago?”

    Like

  17. OQO isn’t new, though, is it? My brother was looking at one of those (bought a FlyBook instead) about a year ago. They’re really cool and close to my idea portable (if it does RDP well, it’s a winner), but $2000 is still too high for a Tablet form fact (wasn’t Allchin saying the prices were dropping soon many moons ago?”

    Like

  18. I don’t understand how Microsoft employees don’t feel dirty hyping HD over Blu-ray just because Bill Gates told them to do so.

    The main difference between the disks is that Blu-ray has double the capacity of HD. That means double the content, double the resolution, etc.

    All of the features (DRM, etc) Microsoft adds on top of HD are software-driven; there is absolutely no reason Microsoft couldn’t add them to Blu-ray as well.

    Why is the Microsoft camp trying to confuse the marketplace shoving this betamax-like standard down customers’ throats when a superior format exists?

    Like

  19. I don’t understand how Microsoft employees don’t feel dirty hyping HD over Blu-ray just because Bill Gates told them to do so.

    The main difference between the disks is that Blu-ray has double the capacity of HD. That means double the content, double the resolution, etc.

    All of the features (DRM, etc) Microsoft adds on top of HD are software-driven; there is absolutely no reason Microsoft couldn’t add them to Blu-ray as well.

    Why is the Microsoft camp trying to confuse the marketplace shoving this betamax-like standard down customers’ throats when a superior format exists?

    Like

  20. For everyone talking about Betamax, it’s worth reminding people that Betamax was technically superior to VHS. In other words – technically superior formats do not always win out.

    I wonder if the winner in HD DVD vs Blu-ray war will end up being decided according to which platform is adopted by porn movie makers; as many people say was the case for the VHS vs Betamax war?

    Like

  21. For everyone talking about Betamax, it’s worth reminding people that Betamax was technically superior to VHS. In other words – technically superior formats do not always win out.

    I wonder if the winner in HD DVD vs Blu-ray war will end up being decided according to which platform is adopted by porn movie makers; as many people say was the case for the VHS vs Betamax war?

    Like

  22. Re: the HD DVD vs Blu-Ray debate

    The technical details are interesting for us geeks, but in the real world its going to come down to:

    0. Do enough people own HDTVs to CARE ?!
    1. When are the technologies going to be widely available?
    2. Which format has the most movies that people are interested in buying?
    3. Is there a difference in player cost? How much?
    4. Is there a difference in movie cost? How much?
    4. All other things being equal, is there some killer feature on one that the other doesn’t have? (either killer good or killer bad)

    For #4, I’m thinking of something like:
    “Oh, this one won’t play my existing DVDs? Ok, I’ll buy this other one that will.”
    or
    “Wait, this one has to hook to a phone line to verify I have a license to play my own disks??”
    or
    “This extended edition movie comes on one disk for this player, but come on two disks for this player?”
    or
    “This one isn’t compatible with my older HDTV. This one is.”

    Based on what we’re seeing at CES, I’m thinking that HD DVD is getting an early jump, at least in the eye of the (geeky) public. We’ll see if that pans out in the long run.

    Like

  23. Re: the HD DVD vs Blu-Ray debate

    The technical details are interesting for us geeks, but in the real world its going to come down to:

    0. Do enough people own HDTVs to CARE ?!
    1. When are the technologies going to be widely available?
    2. Which format has the most movies that people are interested in buying?
    3. Is there a difference in player cost? How much?
    4. Is there a difference in movie cost? How much?
    4. All other things being equal, is there some killer feature on one that the other doesn’t have? (either killer good or killer bad)

    For #4, I’m thinking of something like:
    “Oh, this one won’t play my existing DVDs? Ok, I’ll buy this other one that will.”
    or
    “Wait, this one has to hook to a phone line to verify I have a license to play my own disks??”
    or
    “This extended edition movie comes on one disk for this player, but come on two disks for this player?”
    or
    “This one isn’t compatible with my older HDTV. This one is.”

    Based on what we’re seeing at CES, I’m thinking that HD DVD is getting an early jump, at least in the eye of the (geeky) public. We’ll see if that pans out in the long run.

    Like

  24. re: OQO, nope they upped the USB to 2.0, but the built in wireless is still 802.11b. Nifty, so you have to take up the only USB port to get the gain in bandwidth. Or plug in a hub.

    I’m not convinced that thing will ever ship. They’ve been hyping it forever.

    Like

  25. re: OQO, nope they upped the USB to 2.0, but the built in wireless is still 802.11b. Nifty, so you have to take up the only USB port to get the gain in bandwidth. Or plug in a hub.

    I’m not convinced that thing will ever ship. They’ve been hyping it forever.

    Like

  26. regarding the host/sonspring- tried your link on my OQO 01+ and works great. I love my 01+, no more friggin laptop bags to schlepp around, I can do power point presentations right from my little ole’ device and much more. It makes traveling as much I do much less painful (physically and mentally).

    Like

  27. regarding the host/sonspring- tried your link on my OQO 01+ and works great. I love my 01+, no more friggin laptop bags to schlepp around, I can do power point presentations right from my little ole’ device and much more. It makes traveling as much I do much less painful (physically and mentally).

    Like

  28. Simon, sorry, this isn’t the early 1980s anymore, Chatsworth is not the deciding factor here, plus most porn (which is really an meth-like addiction) is now internet driven, as it feeds the constant wanton desire, porn DVDs are so yesterday. But the blockbuster tentpoles and TV Shows on DVD are the real market, with 6 major studios signed up for Blu-Ray, with 2 nominally also supporting HD-DVD, it’s already game over. Just Toshiba and Microsoft playing spoiled brat. Toshiba will see the handwriting on the wall soon enough and try and cut a deal (if they are smart).

    Oh the Microsoft armies are lining up behind Gates, but give it time, give it time. They will snap necks, change minds, and spin it as a net positive. Historically that’s what always happens, they dig holes, harp on it for 2-3 years, then determine that the market isn’t actually listening, and then backtrack, saying it more now opens up more opportunities (good recent example was the Passive Touch model for Tablets).

    You gotta wonder what’s in the Redmond water, when they can’t see which way the market is flowing, you can’t dam up the Sea, you know.

    And Brad, early jumps oft mean early deaths. The second offering, waits and sees, corrects and jumps in when the market is READY, not just to get a first-mover hit. Playing ‘me first games’ is horrrrrible economics. Horrible.

    o. HD TV’s aren’t the factor, greater capacity is. Eventually HD will factor in, but for things like an entire season of Desperate Housewives, CSI or Extreme Makeover on ONE disk instead of the 5 DVD9s. Well, see? ๐Ÿ™‚
    1. When avail? After PS3 gets about half of it’s current PS2 90 million market share.
    2. Most movies? Easy. Blu-Ray.
    3. Cost: HD-DVD way cheaper, soon to be even cheaper, with no demand. How much? One is around $1,000 otherearound $500, so a $500 difference. But PS3 will lower the market until it reaches the supply demand curve breakpoint.
    4. No difference in movie cost of yet, but if too much greater than DVD9 then they will kill the market, sort of a TBD factor.
    5. Killer feature? You mean like double the capacity? Blu-Ray is it.

    Bottom-line: With Microsoft’s backing of HD-DVD I am totally sold that Blu-Ray has won. Microsoft always seems to pick the wrong horses in these games. Just watch what they do, and bet on other side. It’s that simple.

    Do they feel dirty for slagging it? I doubt it, should they? Yes. But things are upside down in Redmond.

    Like

  29. Simon, sorry, this isn’t the early 1980s anymore, Chatsworth is not the deciding factor here, plus most porn (which is really an meth-like addiction) is now internet driven, as it feeds the constant wanton desire, porn DVDs are so yesterday. But the blockbuster tentpoles and TV Shows on DVD are the real market, with 6 major studios signed up for Blu-Ray, with 2 nominally also supporting HD-DVD, it’s already game over. Just Toshiba and Microsoft playing spoiled brat. Toshiba will see the handwriting on the wall soon enough and try and cut a deal (if they are smart).

    Oh the Microsoft armies are lining up behind Gates, but give it time, give it time. They will snap necks, change minds, and spin it as a net positive. Historically that’s what always happens, they dig holes, harp on it for 2-3 years, then determine that the market isn’t actually listening, and then backtrack, saying it more now opens up more opportunities (good recent example was the Passive Touch model for Tablets).

    You gotta wonder what’s in the Redmond water, when they can’t see which way the market is flowing, you can’t dam up the Sea, you know.

    And Brad, early jumps oft mean early deaths. The second offering, waits and sees, corrects and jumps in when the market is READY, not just to get a first-mover hit. Playing ‘me first games’ is horrrrrible economics. Horrible.

    o. HD TV’s aren’t the factor, greater capacity is. Eventually HD will factor in, but for things like an entire season of Desperate Housewives, CSI or Extreme Makeover on ONE disk instead of the 5 DVD9s. Well, see? ๐Ÿ™‚
    1. When avail? After PS3 gets about half of it’s current PS2 90 million market share.
    2. Most movies? Easy. Blu-Ray.
    3. Cost: HD-DVD way cheaper, soon to be even cheaper, with no demand. How much? One is around $1,000 otherearound $500, so a $500 difference. But PS3 will lower the market until it reaches the supply demand curve breakpoint.
    4. No difference in movie cost of yet, but if too much greater than DVD9 then they will kill the market, sort of a TBD factor.
    5. Killer feature? You mean like double the capacity? Blu-Ray is it.

    Bottom-line: With Microsoft’s backing of HD-DVD I am totally sold that Blu-Ray has won. Microsoft always seems to pick the wrong horses in these games. Just watch what they do, and bet on other side. It’s that simple.

    Do they feel dirty for slagging it? I doubt it, should they? Yes. But things are upside down in Redmond.

    Like

  30. PS – I forgot the real killer. HD-DVD on 360 is for film/tv content only, not games. And no word if that will change, which even if it does, will create serious customer confusion. And most of those (currently) buying 360’s aren’t of the media center sort, it’s all the Live hardcore market. And no word on prices, why buy an add-on, when can get a standalone if same price? Bottom line: Microsoft still isn’t that crazy, they are not serious about it, it’s just a weak attempt to forestall Sony. The marketing parroting beach balls, like Scoble, aren’t exactly aware of the big corporate ‘Art of War’ games going on here.

    With PS3 you have one storyline: Blu-Ray for games, and for movies. One format, to rule them all (well backwards compat. sure). But you won’t get a muddied storyline like Xbox 360.

    Like

  31. PS – I forgot the real killer. HD-DVD on 360 is for film/tv content only, not games. And no word if that will change, which even if it does, will create serious customer confusion. And most of those (currently) buying 360’s aren’t of the media center sort, it’s all the Live hardcore market. And no word on prices, why buy an add-on, when can get a standalone if same price? Bottom line: Microsoft still isn’t that crazy, they are not serious about it, it’s just a weak attempt to forestall Sony. The marketing parroting beach balls, like Scoble, aren’t exactly aware of the big corporate ‘Art of War’ games going on here.

    With PS3 you have one storyline: Blu-Ray for games, and for movies. One format, to rule them all (well backwards compat. sure). But you won’t get a muddied storyline like Xbox 360.

    Like

  32. Chris,

    I’ve not seen any recent stats for how the market breaks down for porn – so I could be completely wrong here. However, my understanding was the adult entertainment industry still releases many thousands of film titles on DVD each year – making something approaching $20B a year market. That’s pretty comparable to the market size for regular DVDs of movies and hit TV shows.

    The fact that the porn industry *also* makes billions a year from the Internet just shows that the film studios and TV companies are way behind in their thinking on use of the Net; not that porn silver discs are dead (yet).

    As I say, I could be wrong here. You may well have better figures for the relative markets sizes than I do. If so, I stand corrected.

    Like

  33. Chris,

    I’ve not seen any recent stats for how the market breaks down for porn – so I could be completely wrong here. However, my understanding was the adult entertainment industry still releases many thousands of film titles on DVD each year – making something approaching $20B a year market. That’s pretty comparable to the market size for regular DVDs of movies and hit TV shows.

    The fact that the porn industry *also* makes billions a year from the Internet just shows that the film studios and TV companies are way behind in their thinking on use of the Net; not that porn silver discs are dead (yet).

    As I say, I could be wrong here. You may well have better figures for the relative markets sizes than I do. If so, I stand corrected.

    Like

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