CES 2014

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Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
Vizio showed the Lyve photo sharing service app as part of its smart TV Vizio Internet Apps. When the Lyve app is set up, photos and videos are instantly sent to friends/family that have signed into a shared Lyve account (referred to as a "mesh") including the connected Vizio TV.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  0 comments
Samsung showed a 4K UHD TV with the M-Go Premium App. This app will stream 4K movie titles to the TV. It also will stream titles that have been “optimized for 4K.” These are movies that were not shot in 4k, but because M-Go is owned by Technicolor, the titles have been optimized in the lab and made available for streaming. While M-Go limited their announcement to Samsung TVs, it was clear (yet unspoken) that the Premium service will extend to other manufacturers’ UHD TVs.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Tarsier Inc. unveiled the MovEye, a new generation gesture control that the company demonstrated with smart TV applications, games, and 3D CAD
Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
While most press conferences here at CES are geared towards big, life-changing electronics, there is a growing segment of conferences and products devoted to kids and families. While most companies target products to women by making them smaller and well, cuter, other companies are recognizing that moms also purchase serious technology to make their lives easier. Another oft-overlooked segment is the educational and children’s technology market.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
For 2014 Vizio announced three new lines of HDTVs in a bewildering range of sizes. The big news is that all of the new sets, including the cheapest 23-incher in the budget E-Series, will have full array LED backlighting with local dimming. The only compromise is in the number of LED zones behind the screen. The E-Series will have 16—not a lot, but at least potentially better than the edge lighting used in most other sets at equivalent or higher prices). The more upscale M-Series (shown in the photo) will have 32 zones.

Lauren Dragan  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Just when you thought you had found every way possible to connect your audio devices to portable speakers, Korus introduces their premium wireless speaker system. But wait! They’re not Bluetooth! Bucking the Bluetooth trend, Korus connects your device via the proprietary SKAA protocol which actually sends a signal from a plug-and-play dongle at a claimed near-zero-latency (40ms). The dongles come in every (30 pin/USB/lightning) configuration you could need and can broadcast to up to 4 separate speakers. Inside, those speakers can be up to 35 feet apart, outside up to 65 feet apart. The distance itself is rather impressive as most Bluetooth gets a few yards at best before beginning to crackle and sputter.

Also potentially handy is the fact that the dongle is literally plug in and press play easy to use. So no pairing with devices or entering passwords. What comes out of the device to which the dongle is attached is what you hear in the speakers. And because of the low latency, the Korus can also be used in conjunction with a TV specific dongle (they call it a Baton) to create a temporary TV speaker setup for a meeting, or as a permanent/ modular solution for TVs that have small speakers.

Available in two sizes, the V400 is 4.4 lbs with a low range of 125Hz and retails for $299 each, and the V600 is 11 lbs with a low range of 80Hz for $399 each.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
You've seen lots of pocket speakers. They clip onto a phone case or otherwise connect wirelessly or not to your phone to improve playback fidelity. Given the abysmal state of built-in phone speakers, it's true that most pocket speakers provide quantitatively better sound. But, most of them are still awfully lacking in the fidelity department. Felt Audio's Nomad is a pocket speaker that actually takes its duties seriously.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Two Sony events two days in a row told two radically different stories about what you might want in an amplifier. In Monday's press-day event, news of the STR-DN1050 surround receiver arrived in a single run-on sentence that also referred to several other products. Wish we knew more; ship date and price were unavailable. But Sony has been on a roll with its receivers and we hope to get this one in for review ASAP. Afterward we jumped onto the stage and disrupted someone's video shot just long enough to grab a pic. In a special event Tuesday, reporters were treated to the extraordinary story of how amplifier genius Nelson Pass resurrected the VFET, a nearly forgotten 40-year-old Sony technology, and built a couple dozen pairs of them into a 250-watt mono-block design which he promptly turned over to Sony as an apparent gesture of audiophile love and respect, probably mixed with a healthy practicality. Again, marketing details were scanty, but that does not diminish the story's cool factor. As a kicker, we were also told that our long-awaited sample of the HAP-S1 high-resolution DAC-amp will soon arrive. It's been an eventful couple of days!
Leslie Shapiro  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Skullcandy has an image as a badass headphone manufacturer. They showed up at CES set on keeping that reputation. The Air Raid (MSRP $150) is a portable Bluetooth speaker that plays loud, and has drop-resistance and weather-resistance to take on all the abuses you can throw at it. I chatted with Sam Noertker, one of the engineers behind the Air Raid for some inside perspective.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
The audio industry, so given to soul searching and navel gazing, does have a reason to exist and here's how Audioengine's Dave Evans describes it: "Because you love music." Really, isn't it as simple as that? If it's not it should be. The maker of the giant-killer A2 compact powered speakers, great for the desktop and our TV speaker of choice, recently introduced the USB-driven A2+, which we've just reviewed. New for CES was the D2 USB thumb DAC, selling for $189 and shipping since late last year. We'll got our acquisitive eye on that too.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  1 comments
If you’ve never seen a 3D printer in action, well, then you are missing out my friend. Watching the printer head whizzing back and forth, slowly growing, building and creating a 3D creation, it is just totally cool and like magic. And in the world of 3D printing, MakerBot is at the forefront.

MakerBot’s Chief Executive, Ben Petti, says that his company and product is about unleashing your creativity and to date there are over 44,000 MakerBots in the world. And they see this number growing to over 1,000,000.

Al Griffin  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Drones are big news these days (a recent 60 Minutes piece on Amazon’s drone package-delivery plans drove the hype machine to full throttle), so it comes as no surprise that drones—or Unmanned Aerial Systems, as manufacturers of consumer-grade drones like to call them—are a category here at CES. One maker, DJI, even held a press conference to introduce its new Phantom 2 Vision, a quadcopter with a built-in 14 megapixel camera capable of recording 1080p video (4 GB micro SD card included).
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
For 2014, Sony is extending its Ultra HD offerings to include nine new models, ranging from 49- to 85-inches. They’re all LCD/LED designs—no sign of commercial OLEDs from Sony as yet. All of these new 4K sets employ Sony’s new X-tended Dynamic Range PRO technology, which sounds a lot like a new High Dynamic Range technology being promoted by Dolby, which we expect to see later at the show. In any case, this is said to increase the contrast ratio for greater image punch.
Al Griffin  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  0 comments
Despite the word “Consumer” in its title, the Consumer Electronic Show is basically a B2B event: It’s for companies to introduce products, technologies, and concepts to other companies with the goal of getting down to bizness and making money. That’s one reason why there are hundreds of conference sessions and press events related to stuff other than huge TVs, headphones, and other gadgets.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Jan 07, 2014  |  2 comments
Ain't it the truth!