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Guest Message by DevFuse

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CES ONSITE REPORT PART II - Confessions of a Gadget Junkie


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#1 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:49 PM

FIRST OVERALL BIG THING COMING: 3 – D, for both TV and video games.

While there continues to be ongoing industry debate on its future success, the CES clearly had an abundance of major players showing off 3-D television and gaming products, including from Panasonic, Toshiba, Sharp, and others. There was a great opportunity to put the 3-D glasses on in the Da-Lite screen Home Theater, as well as those in the Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba booths. A lot of money was spent by the vendors to showcase this new technology in these well-set-up presentations.

Somehow, I neglected to turn in my 3-D glasses at 2 of these locations (I have no idea of how that happened….hmmmm).

The Da-Lite booth featured a nice setup that held about 24 people at a time, complete with Panasonic 3-D projection and respectable 5.1 audio equipment. Graphical presentation of the video shown was stunning.

In the Panasonic booth, a similar setup (obviously featuring their equipment). They showed an impressive video presentation as well.

Finally, in the Sharp booth, more 3-D video was shown, but a lot of emphasis in the demo Theater centered around their vision of the new technology around this new “view of the world” – new projectors, new screens, new media, and even various forms of 3-D glasses.

The common denominator – very impressive viewing and related audio that makes watching almost anything “jump out at you and seem alive”.

The only conclusions from others I asked (including Stuart Sweet, who had seen this on his own at another time at the CES this week) all seemed to echo the same consistent message – “we’ll see how it flies – the whole 3-D glasses part might be a show-stopper”.

THE SECOND BIG THING COMING: More and enhanced Blu Ray.

There were plenty of new players, new features, and new plans for the future.

Panasonic seemed to capture the lion’s share of BD attention at the CES this year, partly due to the onsite release/announcement of their 3 new Blu Ray players, as well as the first portable BD player (DMP-BD15). While the public statements indicated a “mid-to-late 2009” release for these impressive new units, I spoke with “David” there at their booth at some length, who shared that in some parts of the country, the BD35 units had sold out this holiday season completely in inventories, as so the timeframe to refresh supplies (perhaps with the new units) was being reviewed – it could be earlier, or later, depending on other market conditions.

The BD60 was positioned to replace the current DMP-BD35, while the DMP-BD80 will be the next unit upgrading the BD55. Another unit (strange as it seems) was the DMP-BD70, which is a combination Blu Ray and VHS player. Even their rep indicated they weren’t sure how that one would fly in the marketplace.

Sharp, Pioneer, Sony, LG, and Toshiba all had new Blu Ray models being that were scheduled for later in 2009.

Overall, the common thread among these next generation units – new technology that merges in Blu Ray with HD (1080p) download video services (such as Netflix or others).

Interesting enough, these new units all ranged in the $299 - $399 MSRP range, which is lower than in past years. Some are available for pre-order online in places today.

Part II Photos (left to right):

Photo 1: Sharp BD - HP16U new Aquos Player Placard
Photo 2: Sharp BD - HP16U new Aquos Player Front
Photo 3: Sharp BD - HP16U new Aquos Player Supported Formats
Photo 4: Sharp BD - HP16U new Aquos Player Rear
Photo 5: Panasonic DMP - B15_First Portable BD Player
Photo 6: Panasonic DMP - BD60 Player
Photo 7: Panasonic DMP – BD80 Player
Photo 8: Panasonic new Single Chip Video Board and Placard

Attached Files


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#2 OFFLINE   dmurphy

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:38 AM

One of my concerns with 3D Video is that it relies on one having functional depth perception.

I know - for sure - that I don't. I've been amblyopic since birth and that's pretty much disrupted any chance I have at decent depth perception. I've been to 3D movies before, and they do nothing but give me a headache.

I also have a family member who lost an eye in an accident years ago. 3D movies would be beyond dull - they'd be unwatchable for them.

I'm probably more 'in tune' with that than most, but so long as there's an option to turn the 3D features off, then I'm all good with it. But when I hear that movies are going to be released in "3D Only" - that disturbs me a bit.

#3 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 06:44 AM

One of my concerns with 3D Video is that it relies on one having functional depth perception.

I know - for sure - that I don't. I've been amblyopic since birth and that's pretty much disrupted any chance I have at decent depth perception. I've been to 3D movies before, and they do nothing but give me a headache.

I also have a family member who lost an eye in an accident years ago. 3D movies would be beyond dull - they'd be unwatchable for them.

I'm probably more 'in tune' with that than most, but so long as there's an option to turn the 3D features off, then I'm all good with it. But when I hear that movies are going to be released in "3D Only" - that disturbs me a bit.

That's an interesting observation and feedback.

One of the other issues, is whether or not the mainstream market will accept technology that requires wearing those silly 3D glasses.

Along those lines, at least 2 of the compaines at the CES this year indicated to me that they were working on "plarizing" technology to elmininate the glasses for 3D viewing, and may have it ready for next year's show...so its a bit off before you and I might be able to buy it.

Yes, there will be an option to disable the 3D, or so I was told when asking about that too.
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#4 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:18 AM

Personally I was not "wowed" by the 3-D demonstrations. There was one display (possibly the same as last year) that used a Fresnel lens to get a different image to each eye, meaning no glasses, but that reduces resolution quite a bit.

As a glasses wearer, only about half of the 3D glasses were able to fit over my own specs well enough to work. Of those, none were comfortable enough for long-term viewing.
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#5 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 09:45 AM

Personally I was not "wowed" by the 3-D demonstrations. There was one display (possibly the same as last year) that used a Fresnel lens to get a different image to each eye, meaning no glasses, but that reduces resolution quite a bit.

As a glasses wearer, only about half of the 3D glasses were able to fit over my own specs well enough to work. Of those, none were comfortable enough for long-term viewing.

I'm in the same boat with the glasses thing as you Stuart (as you know now)...but had little problem on that front.

But of course in the mainstream market, how many people will wear a cardboard or simple plastic toy on their face (3D glasses)? :lol:

The Da-Lite Screen 3D Theater presentation was actually the best of the bunch, with the Panasonic one a close 2nd.

I agree that the "WOW" affect is directly proportional to the actual content they present - which is why the Da-Lite one seemed the best to my fellow attendee and me.
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#6 OFFLINE   BubblePuppy

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 11:36 AM

I wear one contact for reading and one for distance, for me, 3D only sort of works.
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#7 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 11:39 AM

I wear one contact for reading and one for distance, for me, 3D only sort of works.

Wow...that's the first time I've heard of that.

Hopefully, the next attempts with polarizing or other lens technology eliminates much of the user complexities on their end...:)
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#8 OFFLINE   rsblaski

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:41 PM

I wear one contact for reading and one for distance, for me, 3D only sort of works.


Wow...that's the first time I've heard of that.

Hopefully, the next attempts with polarizing or other lens technology eliminates much of the user complexities on their end...:)


Actually, I've been told that this is the way some laser surgery is done. Supposedly your brain adjusts to even things out.
Remember, when it comes to audio/video, more is always better. (This does NOT apply to remote controls!)

#9 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 12:44 PM

Actually, I've been told that this is the way some laser surgery is done. Supposedly your brain adjusts to even things out.

Well that "brain" thingy leaves me out as a candidate...:D
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#10 OFFLINE   karlhenri

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 04:46 PM

Thanks for reporting on CES guys. Was there anything in terms of Virtual Reality in the gaming world that sort of made more headways with the 3D than the video presentations you saw?

My opinion would be that that wearing a little flimsy glasses might be a proble with the public, but what about a helmet and gloves setup?

#11 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 05:01 PM

Thanks for reporting on CES guys. Was there anything in terms of Virtual Reality in the gaming world that sort of made more headways with the 3D than the video presentations you saw?

My opinion would be that that wearing a little flimsy glasses might be a proble with the public, but what about a helmet and gloves setup?

Yes...there were demos done by a number of gaming providers (I have a picture or two in one of my report sections...forgot which one....).

Included in at least 4-5 of those demos that I viewed, there was 3D gaming - I know that the Samsung booth also showed 3D gaming...so there was certainly some traction along those lines.

To your last point...the 3D glasses thing seems to be an impediment to widespread market adoption...but they are also working to remove the need to watch 3D with special glasses, which might make the whole 3D viewing/gaming technology gain better acceptance. That is probably about a year away, from what I was told at the show.
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#12 OFFLINE   dmurphy

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:03 PM

Actually, I've been told that this is the way some laser surgery is done. Supposedly your brain adjusts to even things out.


You are correct... I was told that about 2 years ago when I did a pre-screen for LASIK. I plan on having the LASIK surgery performed in the next month or two, so I'll let you all know what the doc says as far as over/under-correcting for future reading...

#13 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:46 AM

You are correct... I was told that about 2 years ago when I did a pre-screen for LASIK. I plan on having the LASIK surgery performed in the next month or two, so I'll let you all know what the doc says as far as over/under-correcting for future reading...

Amazing stuff!
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#14 OFFLINE   Kevin L

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 07:56 AM

Amazing stuff!


I did this for years with my contacts. It's called monovision, and about 70% of those that try it are successful with it. On those that can adjust to it, your brain uses on eye more dominantly than the other depending on near or far focus.

I planned on it for my Lasik six years ago, but the eye absorbed too much energy too rapidly and over-corrected. No problems for normal vision, but it ended the monovision possibilities.

For anyone wanting to do this with Lasik, I suggest trying it with contacts for a couple of months to see if you're comfortable and happy with it.

Good luck,

Kevin

#15 OFFLINE   rudeney

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 02:59 PM

I wear one contact for reading and one for distance, for me, 3D only sort of works.


I did this for years with my contacts. It's called monovision, and about 70% of those that try it are successful with it. On those that can adjust to it, your brain uses on eye more dominantly than the other depending on near or far focus.


I just wear bifocal contact lenses. I'm wearing something new (not on the market yet) that is basically the bifocal version of Accuvue's Oasis. They are really good. The way they work is instead of a horizontal division, it's coaxial, like a target. The center is my far or "normal" vision and as the lens moves off center of my pupil, I get far vision. The lens is weighted (i.e. toric) so all I have to do is tilt my head to get near correction. Due to my bad astigmatism, I am not a candidate for LASIK, but I am eagerly awaiting the implant lens solution that's nearly ready for "prime time".

Now, having said all that... :backtotop

So, are any of these new players promoting faster load times? I have the Panasonic BD35 and it's one of the faster ones, but it can still be annoying. If it's in standby and I press the eject button to wake it up an open the tray, I'm still two minutes or so away from watching a movie.

Also, I will say that I am not all that excited about the quality of BluRay. I "toggled" between WALL-E on DVD using my 1080P upconvert Philips DVD+R and on BluRay on the BD35. At ten feet from the screen (50" Panasonic 1080P plasma), I could tell no difference. of course when I switched the Philips to 480p, it was very noticeable. Also, I don't believe the BD35 does as good a job upconverting standard DVD's as the Philips player. Then again, you can;t peel me away from the screen when I put in Planet Earth on BluRay!

#16 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 03:13 PM

Now, having said all that... :backtotop

So, are any of these new players promoting faster load times? I have the Panasonic BD35 and it's one of the faster ones, but it can still be annoying. If it's in standby and I press the eject button to wake it up an open the tray, I'm still two minutes or so away from watching a movie.

Also, I will say that I am not all that excited about the quality of BluRay. I "toggled" between WALL-E on DVD using my 1080P upconvert Philips DVD+R and on BluRay on the BD35. At ten feet from the screen (50" Panasonic 1080P plasma), I could tell no difference. of course when I switched the Philips to 480p, it was very noticeable. Also, I don't believe the BD35 does as good a job upconverting standard DVD's as the Philips player. Then again, you can;t peel me away from the screen when I put in Planet Earth on BluRay!

Yes...faster load times was one of the stated improvements in "the next generation" Blu Ray players seen at the CES.

As for seeing a definitive difference between a DVD upconverted and Blu ray playing on the same unit - I only saw that demoed in one CES vendor's booth, and I could see the difference, albeit less than in earlier BD players...but that's just my eyes...
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