I hate it when companies have offsite events at conventions, it means leaving the convention center where all the real action is and takes up valuable floor walking time, but I like the folks at Sony so I made a special trip down to the brand new Las Vegas City Center where the PlayStation team held court to celebrate MAG going gold. They had a surprisingly decent turnout, but then the promise of several hours of fragging, free booze and food will get that for you. In attendance were the developers of Mag. 2009 really has been the year of the PS3, after only using it to play Blu-ray movies for 3 years I’m finally enjoying it as a Video Game platform and with MAG and other exclusives, 2010 promises to be another great year. I ran out of space yesterday and upgraded my HD with no issues.
Is there anything Beyonce can’t do? Now she’s going to be selling Vizio TVs. The 3 year agreement grants name and likeness rights to VIZIO for North American advertising, product packaging, web, promotions, public relations and point of sale materials. The partnership will also allow Knowles to participate in the design and performance characteristics of new products from VIZIO’s ever-expanding line of audio, visual and web-enabled products. I love Vizio TVs and bought a 37 incher a few years ago that I gave to my mother they are strong, reliable, cheap televisions. It’s nice to see a good company doing well.
This year’s CES is all about one thing – 3D television. Samsung, LG, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Sony all showcased 3D televisions in one form or another. The secondary big thing for televisions is once again convergence of Internet and phone capabilities. Here’s the problem with 3D – the glasses, yeah they are ok for a few minutes here and there and heck even for the occasional movie but would I really want to have to where these things every time I watch TV – heck no.
There are some hoops to jump through. Most of the systems on display required a special dongle to be connected to the Blu-ray or television set. Several sets coming this summer will have the 3D decoding built in and 3D Blu-ray players will also decode as well. Once everything is properly set up, the results are all over the map – based on what type of glasses you are using. When it works, like with Mitsubishi’s demo which used “Shutter” technology, the effect was stunning – no blur, comfortable, an amazing depth of field, and beautiful clarity all on a 75 inch display.
I’ve had an iPhone since last April, in my time with the phone I never experienced any problems with the phone or AT&T’s service. After 2 years on Cingular (which was horrible and yes I know it’s now AT&T), then two years of Verizon’s awful service I find AT&T to be pretty rock solid in my suburban DC area so when people complain about how bad AT&T I just didn’t see it. I was looking forward to using the Jesus Phone in Vegas this week. Now I understand why people are so upset with AT&T. My iPhone has been useless this week, it dropped every single call that I made, the internet connectivity was spotty to non-existant all week so I couldn’t check my calendar or email and don’t even get me started on the flaky accelerometer. I was so frustrated, I started to literally scream at the thing and people looked at me like I was crazy I wanted to throw it against the wall of the Convention Center. By comparison, I’m reviewing T-Mobile’s MyTouch and that phone has worked perfectly fine this week. AT&T usually gets the brunt of the complaints while no one is willing to admit that maybe the iPhone can’t handle data when there’s a large number of people. You never hear of other phones on AT&T’s network having these types of issues. If I traveled a often and covered a lot of large shows, there’s no way I would trust the iPhone to work.
This time last year it was darn hard to find one All In One PC, now there are several on display at CES. The folks at Shuttle Computer announced a new lineup of All in Ones.
Ah, Press Conference day at CES comes to a close with Sony’s annual 4pm Pressor at their booth. They had really bad food this year, ah well. Things kicked off with a performance by Taylor Swift (who is over exposed now, I just don’t get her appeal) and an announcement that she’s going Sony’s new Goodwill Ambassador whatever the heck that means, and will be blogging about her life, ooh, ahh. This is the start of a trend, NBC has Bon Jovi, Sony gets Taylor Swift who is next? I’ll post a bunch of photos from the event this weekend, in the meantime here’s what’s new.
One of my favorite CES Press Conference speakers is Netgear’s Vice President and General Manager of Home and Consumer Products, Vivek Pathela. Vivek always gives a fun and energetic presentation of Netgear’s latest and greatest. This year was no different and announced several new gadgets including a new media server called the Netgear Stora. Highlights after the break.
In their traditional role as being the first official Press Conference, LG Electronics kicked off CES 2010 with a slew of new televisions, cell phones, and other gadgets. One of the highlights being an HDTV that is scary thin at 6mm and includes Internet TV, Wi-Fi Connectivity, Netflix, and now Skype Calling capabilities. Is there such a thing as too thin? Obviously not. Highlights from the Press Conference are after the break.
It’s my first full day in Vegas, most of the day has been open, so I checked out the new Vegas City Center complex. Very disappointing, it’s all glass and steel building complex with a very high-end shopping complex. After that I spent some time at MGM’s Television City and went on this really cool CSI Interactive Experience and watched a Television Pilot. Last night I saw an amazing show called Legends In Concert which included Jerry Lee Lewis, Tina Turner, Bette Midler, Michael Jackson and Elvis. They were all amazing, but the JLL guy was incredible.
At 4pm was the annual CES Unveiled Pre-show Event it was wall to wall people, gadgets, and food. On display included a dual eReader, a really cool Remote Control Flying Saucer, Mistibushi’s 3D Television (The depth on this thing was stunning!), a new Android based smartphone, Lenovo’s new Smart Book Appliance thing, Massage Chairs, Powermat, some neat security key chains that sound an alarm when you leave your keys or portable gear behind and a host of other stuff. If I had one complaint it would be a lot of the exhibitors ran out of Press Kits so I didn’t get the name and specs on a lot of stuff. I wish the organizers created a single press kit with all the exhibitor information. After the break I have some photos, for details on some of these gadgets, check out our CES 2010 Big News Page.
Technocel is showing off a new combination Portable Universal Charger and Battery pack. The idea behind this is you can plug the device into the wall to power all your USB based gadgets and then when you are the go if you still need extra it’ll double as an external battery. The $59.99 price point makes it a pretty nice deal. Full press release is after the break.
So far my AT&T service is really sucking in The Vegas, it’s dropped every call I’ve made. Luckily, T-Mobile finally sent me a MyTouch to play with and that’s been ok so far, even though the 3G has been spotty – but no dropped calls. It’s weird but T-Mobile isn’t doing much at CES this year, as far as I’m aware (I could be wrong, but I did ask) they are not having any press events, but I will stop by their booth later this week. They did send along a quick release saying their network reached some milestones including increased 3G coverage and they are the first carrier to launch HSPA+ which is supposed to be faster than 3G.