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CES 2014: There's a 'Pre-Show' Before the Consumer Electronics Show (Video)

Roblimo posted about 10 months ago | from the everything-you-never-needed-all-in-one-giant-trade-show dept.

Technology 43

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the largest electronics show in the U.S. these days. It's so big that small companies easily get lost among the industry giants and their huge, noisy show floor displays. But there is a press-only 'pre-show' called CES Unveiled that gives visibility to companies that don't have 20' tall displays full of celebrity shills and other razzmatazz. So, in hopes of finding some products more interesting than the inevitable CES "Oh, look! Our latest TVs are 2" wider than last year's models!" blather over incremental improvements to existing products, Tim Lord went to CES Unveiled -- and found a few products that were not repeats from previous years. Good products? Useful? Maybe, maybe not. You decide.

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CES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45890859)

Welcome to the Consumer Exploitation Show, where vaporware and bad ideas in production compete for your attention with booth babes and lots and lot of TVs.

Why don't they publish a categorized, searchable electronic catalog so those of us who don't want to fight the masses can still see everything that's available?

Re:CES? (1, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 10 months ago | (#45890917)

Would you pay for that? Then no.

Re:CES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45890997)

Would you pay for that?

Of course I would. I'd have to pay to attend the event, right? Then why would you assume I wouldn't pay for the information I want?

Right now those who don't attend are subjected to mediocre - and often biased - press coverage of the few items that get enough PR push from their respective marketing departments. If this was truly a show for consumers then we'd be able to see everything that's available.

Re:CES? (4, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | about 10 months ago | (#45891051)

It's not a show for consumers. It's a press show for things they hope to sell to consumers. The press is the audience not you.

Re:Working Stiffs Used to go to CES (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45892357)

That would explain why CES is going downhill.

Re:CES? (2)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 10 months ago | (#45891367)

Would you pay for that?

No, but I bet the exhibitors would.

Re:CES? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45893045)

This "CES Unveiled" pre-show exists because non-CES people would rent out their own halls nearby, and put on their own mini exhibitions, charging start-ups for a spot. Since they were making a mint doing this, CES decided to cash in with their own mini pre-show.

The press goes to them partially for all the free food.

Razzmatazz (3, Funny)

ichthus (72442) | about 10 months ago | (#45890935)

Razzmatazz -- now that's a word not used often enough anymore. I shall add it to my common vocabulary forthwith.

Re:Razzmatazz (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 10 months ago | (#45893417)

And a funny word choice as a substitute for boobs.

Re:Razzmatazz (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 10 months ago | (#45895705)

I thought it was Razz-a-ma-tazz. The extra syllable makes it extra fun. Try saying it out loud a few times.

If CES is so pointless why do people go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45890971)

Just to be seen? An excuse to go to Vegas on the company dime?

It seems anachronistic in this day and age of electronic tubes and such like

Re:If CES is so pointless why do people go? (3, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about 10 months ago | (#45890993)

Because marketers know how to lie to their bosses.

The normal reason (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 10 months ago | (#45892511)

If CES is so pointless why do people go?

Because everyone else does.

I totally agree with you that it seems anachronistic. One particularly sad aspect is that I am here but as far as I can make out, there's no way for me to see any of the things mentioned in the video as those people don't have real booths here.

It is impressive from an extravaganza standpoint to have all of these massive company booths...

Dr. Evil (1, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 10 months ago | (#45890975)

Sharknado with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads? No, but the swag bag is full.

levels (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45891029)

Why does the audio keep rocketing up to 11?

Re:levels (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 10 months ago | (#45891655)

Poor mic placement + poor normalization

VolUME WarNING! (1)

zamboni1138 (308944) | about 10 months ago | (#45891123)

Holy audio warning Batman!

I turned the volume up at first to hear person, then some guy asked a question and broke my ears.

The 4 hours light bulb is somewhat cool.

If'n ya wanna do video... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45891237)

You guys fixed the mono l/r sound which I applaud you on but there are some more changes you should really do if you want people to watch any videos you make.

This time I'm going to pick on volume leveling. I know your camera mic does automatic compression and leveling, but did you take the 5 minutes to listen to the sound quality? LOUD LOUD LOUD andthenallofasuddenverysoft WAIT IT'S LOUD AGAIN.

This shouldn't be difficult at all to fix unless you're using something like Windows Movie Maker (Which I hope to god you aren't).

Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

DavenH (1065780) | about 10 months ago | (#45891273)

There's no way upscaling to looks any better than HD, this isn't CSI.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

dollar99 (922389) | about 10 months ago | (#45891451)

I can't imagine a 4k TV doesn't come with upscaling. Does it display non 4k in a thumbnail or something ridiculous like nearest neighbor enlargement? Baloney!

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45891553)

yeah exactly. If they can cram an upscaling chip into an HDMI cable, then 4k TVs either have it or will very soon.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 10 months ago | (#45891667)

All of the 4k TVs show native 4k video. Last year Sharp's 8k TV was jaw dropping.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (3, Interesting)

jimshatt (1002452) | about 10 months ago | (#45891805)

Except when your own 4K TV has crappy upscaling. The content has to be upscaled one way or another, except if you watch it at original resolution, meaning 3/4th of the TV is black.
If you ask me, 720p is enough for most real life content, and maybe 1080p for animated movies. 3D can rot in hell for all I care.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

DavenH (1065780) | about 10 months ago | (#45892471)

Like someone else said, what 4K TV's won't be able to upscale, and at least as well as a microchip crammed into a tiny cable jack? It's not like a fixed-ratio bicubic filter is serious signal processing for the TV maker.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

c++0xFF (1758032) | about 10 months ago | (#45893603)

But ... isn't 4k just a simple upscale of 720 and 1080? Use four pixels for each pixel of 1080 and nine for each pixel of 720? Maybe I'm just ignorant, though.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 10 months ago | (#45894081)

If you just upscale like you said, then you win nothing. The image will actually even look blockier on a higher-resolution screen because of there being less distance between pixels.

The trick is in blending (interpolating) between pixels, but do so in a smart manner.
The simple method is to do linear interpolation, I.e. just let the new pixels have the average of the pixels around them. Lots of TVs do this, but the method is a bit too simple: it will sometimes make things too blurry instead. The problem is to make sharp edges in the image stay sharp and blend elsewhere.
The next step up is to interpolate using curves: plot a curve between pixel values. This will nudge the blended value towards one or the other neighbour depending on the values of other neighbouring pixels around them.

There are lots of even smarter algorithms for upscaling, but the smarter they are the more hardware they require at a smaller gain from the previous algorithm, so at some point it does not become cost-effective for the TV manufacturer to go one step further.
This product is apparently for those who want to pay more for a better algorithm.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

Misagon (1135) | about 10 months ago | (#45894129)

The resolution matters in relation to the size of the screen and the viewer's distance from it. If your screen is 32" then 720p is often more than enough, but if you have a 50" screen then you notice the difference more easily.

I agree that it depends on the kind of content you are watching. I know people who use a projector for watching movies at home but a 32" TV for watching TV programmers.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

jddeluxe (965655) | about 10 months ago | (#45892059)

Bollocks! The cable is HDMI 1.4, so refresh rate is limited to 24/30 Hz...

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

multimediavt (965608) | about 10 months ago | (#45892421)

Bollocks! The cable is HDMI 1.4, so refresh rate is limited to 24/30 Hz...

LMFAO...HDMI is a network interface that has NOTHING to do with the refresh rate of the content. The bandwidth and quality of components of the cable determines the quality of the picture that ends up on the display. If it meets the 1.4 standard then its bandwidth and component quality meet the spec. They can't claim HDMI 1.4 otherwise. The limited frame rate is on the content. Cinema is 24fps and TV ranges from 25 to 30 depending on what country/standard is being adhered to. "HDMI 1.4 increases the maximum resolution to 4K × 2K, i.e. 3840×2160 (4K Ultra HD) at 24 Hz/25 Hz/30 Hz or 4096×2160 at 24 Hz (which is a resolution used with digital theaters)," [] this means that the data connection can handle 3840pixels×2160pixels*24-bit*30fps (~712 MB/s raw) worth of data. The fps/Hz is NOT determined by the cable but the frame rate of the content. Sure, they tuned it for those frame rates, but that's because the content comes that way and the number has to be accounted for in the bandwidth calculations to make sure it can carry the information.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (1)

Dahan (130247) | about 10 months ago | (#45892719)

So in other words, the refresh rate for 4K content is 24 to 30Hz, just as jddeluxe said? Got it.

Re:Beautiful 4K upscaling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45894613)

They filmed The Hobbit at 48 fps but there is not a standard on a TV to display a 48 fps program

Video volume normalization (1)

astro (20275) | about 10 months ago | (#45891297)

As is clear from the subject, this is not a comment on the topic but the /. execution. Please, folks, you really should have the basic facilities and sense to properly normalize the volume on a video like this. I, and I assume others, watch in a carefully volume limited situation, and I had to turn this off early as I couldn't reach out quickly enough to adjust for parts I couldn't hear versus those that were very loud. Yeah, I could I suppose normalize on the client end with a bit of work, but... ...won't someone think of the users

Re:Video volume normalization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45892187)

You should know by now that real meat to any Slashdot post is in the comments.
Geeks in Space is about the best-produced stuff I can recall but that was from the olden days.

John Stamos IS NOT a shill!!! (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 10 months ago | (#45891633)

He is a respected actor of television and film!

Perhaps next year ... (1)

Grismar (840501) | about 10 months ago | (#45892353)

... the /. reporter can go find a stand that has a halfway decent camera with a microphone that actually works first and then use that to shoot the video.

show us more! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45892963)

I would love to see more of this! Did Tim make more videos?

No video for mobile users? (1)

Walking The Walk (1003312) | about 10 months ago | (#45893469)

I'm on with my iPad, and there's no video. Not even a placeholder for a video (if they were using Flash or Silverlight.) So I also checked the CES Unveiled link in the summary, but it just goes to the schedule, no details. Not impressed guys...

Re:No video for mobile users? (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 10 months ago | (#45893869)

You're not a mobile user -- you're an Apple user.

So scream at Apple for the fact that they don't support Flash video. Every other device on the planet should work.

Re: No video for mobile users? (1)

buchanmilne (258619) | about 10 months ago | (#45894767)

I am on Android, and I don't see any way to see the video from

Re:No video for mobile users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45893995)

Have you considered upgrading to a mobile device that supports Flash - eg pretty much everything except the iPhone?

Steve Jobs is dead. His hatred of Flash died with it. Embrace the platform.

Re:No video for mobile users? (1)

guruevi (827432) | about 10 months ago | (#45895497)

Flash died before Jobs did... just get along with the times and support HTML5

Re:No video for mobile users? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#45898443)

HTML5? Like Amazon, YouTube, Hulu... oh wait, like none of those because they all do Flash instead? (Oh yeah, whatever, YouTube lets you switch to an HTML5 mode but you have to manually select it.)

Everyone who used Flash five years ago still does. Fact. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the VIDEO tag is stillborn.

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