Our bloggers are on the floor at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, bringing you daily updates on new product releases, new technologies, and show analysis.
To ensure you don't miss a thing, we're collecting all of our coverage here, updated as it arrives. Click on each headline below to jump to the full article.
Finding Value in the Venetian
John Sciacca decided to save the Venetian Tower suites for his last day of CES. "Practically every suite is filled with some form of audiophile one-upsmanship that after a while just becomes mind numbing. When you hear about $50,000 mono-block amplifiers and $25,000 audio cables and $150,000/pair loudspeakers and precision milled and billeted construction room-after-room, hour-after-hour—with each playing hand selected music to showcase the very best their systems have to offer—you quickly begin to lose touch with reality."
On the busy Day Three of CES, John Sciacca managed to cover a lot of ground. "My Thursday at CES started at the Renaissance hotel and a visit to the THX suite. THX was giving a technology presentation of a DSP enhancement/system correction, called Sontia. The Sontia SPT (Stable Phase Technology) technology definitely added deeper bass extension and more focused vocals, and THX is looking to have the technology implemented in entire systems, such as theater-in-a-box and soundbar solutions to offer enhanced audio quality."
CES Day Two: AfterShokz, Yale Locks, DTS, 4K Blu-Ray, and More
John Sciacca began day two of CES with a breakfast meeting with high-end headphone and portable audio guru HiFiMAN, then hit up the Las Vegas Convention Center’s South Hal. "This used to be home to many of the audio exhibits but now houses lots of computer, phone, tablet and other accessories. One great thing they have started doing is trying to do a better job organizing the show floor into sections. For instance, the South Hall has areas for Connected Home, Digital Health, Electronic Gaming, Lifestyle, Wireless Devices, etc."
CES 2013 Made Me Forget About OLED
Dennis Burger entered CES 2013 more interested in OLED than any other video technology. "Today’s time spent on the show floor has pretty much disabused me of my impatient fascination with the troubled-but-stunning-looking technology, though. The thing is, my passion for that tech always has been driven by video quality—the better blacks, the awesome brightness, the eye-popping color, and the clarity of the image. The thing is, though, in the years that we’ve been waiting for OLED to become an actual thing, plasma snuck up and nipped its heels in all of those aspects.
CES Products Inspire Hope for the Custom Integrator
Heather L. Sidorowicz found a lesson to be learned from Sony's new phone with a 13mp camera built in. "The iPhone 5 and even the 4S have an 8mp camera. These cell phone cameras are exponentially better than many dedicated “point-and-shoot” cameras from only a few years back. This would make you think that cameras are going the way of film—extinct, right? Wrong. Sony is introducing almost 25 new cameras at the show, and they are not the only ones doing so. Many companies are launching cameras; they didn't throw in the towel. They are reinventing reasons to own a camera. Are you wondering why I'm talking about cameras? Because, I think custom integrators can be compared to the market for digital cameras."
Starting out his second day at CES 2013, John Sciacca sits through the Ultimate Home Theater Demo. "For the second CES now, a consortium of first-class manufacturers has teamed up to deliver a top-notch home theater demo to CES-goers. Unlike the CEDIA crowd, which is well familiar with how amazing home theater can be, the typical CES attendee is, shall we say, less savvy. Along with Kaleidescape, the demo included Stewart Filmscreen (a 12-foot wide Firehawk Cinecurve screen), D-BOX Technologies (motion seating), ADA (pre-amp and amplification), Triad (LCR Gold speakers and subs), Acoustic Innovations (seating) and Digital Projection providing the terrific video."
CES Offers Solutions for Cutting the Cord
Heather L. Sidorowicz discovers a number of new solutions for the 'cutting the cord' conundrum. "Not so long ago I wrote about living two and a half weeks without cable. Here I am at CES, and what's all the talk about? You guessed it, content. From Boxee we have the "first cloud based DVR ever." All of your shows are stored in the Cloud. They have created an interface to show them all to you in one place, on one page."
CES Day One: Audio Demos Impress Across Price Ranges
Despite enduring frustrations from the city of Las Vegas, Dennis Burger enjoyed a number of audio demos across a wide spectrum of price points. "Today was my one day at the Venetian—my chance to explore the high-end audio suites, dig deep into the stuff I really dig—so I left Bally’s a full hour before my first appointment, with TDG Audio’s Alex Chiou (whom you may remember from his days with SpeakerCraft. And despite that, I still arrived for our appointment a good fifteen minutes late, thanks to the inaccessibility of the monorail that time of morning, and the complete dearth of available cabs."
Multi-Room Distributed Video Gets Easier at CES '13
Dennis Burger shakes off the whirlwind of events since his last post—"having survived the madness of the line to get into the Samsung press conference, a great exhibition by Dish Network, a shuttle ride all the way from Mandalay Bay to check out Sony’s brouhaha, a cab to the Palms Place for a shindig celebrating the BOOM Movement—a new lifestyle audio brand from DEI Holdings—a quick run-through of Pepcom’s Digital Experience (at which I really only got to spend much time with Lutron) and dinner at Nobu."
Taking Connectivity Further at CES 2013
Heather Sidorowitz expounds upon another theme at CES 2013: connectivity. "Every day we connect to the world. We do this through our smart phones and computers. We do it at work, at home, and on the run. But what if it didn’t stop there? The television, of course, is no longer just a TV. It is no longer even a single screen. Tablets interface with televisions to provide interactive experiences. And each manufacture I've seen at the show is working to find new ways to make media more accessible."
CES Press Day: 4K, IGZO and Glasses Free
John Sciacca's first two press events of CES 2013 were with Sharp and Stream TV Networks. "Sharp’s event was pretty typical; they talked about bigger, brighter, better, um, Sharp-er sets with expected higher – UltraHD 4K – resolutions. I was intrigued by the Stream TV Networks press release which stated, 'The wait is finally over. Ultra-D 2160p makes its public debut at CES2013. Be the first to see the Ultra-D powered 60-inch 4K glasses-free 3D display at our Press Conference.'"
After his second day at the show, Dennis Burger checks in following the CES Unveiled event—and believes he's already getting a sense of this year's theme. "In previous years, glasses-free 3D, 4K, and flat panels all rose to the top of the show buzz. And those techs are still hot. But more than anything else, the thread that seems to be weaving through this year’s show chatter is an almost palpable hostility toward the custom market."
Unveiling CES 2013
Sunday at CES is about arriving and getting settled and meeting up with old acquaintances, says Resi blogger John Sciacca. "A large part of our industry is about camaraderie; we share a deep passion for the same things and it makes it easy to develop quick friendships. The big event on Sunday is CES Unveiled. My impressions of Unveiled were there weren’t nearly as many companies in attendance this year. Unveiled seems more about gadgets and trinkets and doo-dads. Things like iOS controlled balls that you can play games with or remote controlled helicopters or phone cases."