Blu-ray, Babes, And A Bumbling Bot

Published Date
12 - Apr - 2007
| Last Updated
12 - Apr - 2007
 
Blu-ray, Babes, And A Bumbling Bot

You can't sum up the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2007) in one line, but still, Blu-ray was a winner, the booth babes were better than last year's (opinion based on ogling pictures on the Web), and featured was an amiable but ultimately silly bot whose major task is-don't hold your breath-projecting DVDs onto the wall.
CES 2007 might just have tipped the format scales on Blu-ray's side: it's been reported that apart from most major companies showing off players, those companies were also using Blu-ray rather than HD-DVD as the example when talking about HD content. TDK showed off their 200 GB Blu-ray disc. (Eat that, HD-DVD?) However, the unanimous winner of CES 2007 for many people was LG's "Super Multi Blue Player," which we've already spoken about. Absolutely nothing spectacular about the design: it's as regular as it gets (pic above).
Talking about design, pictured alongside is Philips' HTS8100 SoundBar, a $999 1.1 virtual surround system. It has an inbuilt DVD player, which happens to feature 1080p upconversion. Only 5 inches thick, the HTS1800 looks good, as you can see; it features five integrated amplifiers in the horizontal "sound bar."
A company called Nikko, known for its remote-controlled cars, let their R2-D2 DVD Projector loose on the floor. It dutifully walked around on its wheeled legs, projecting 80-inch wide DVD images onto the wall with a contrast ratio of 500:1. The thing is remote-controlled, and features amongst other things an iPod dock, a memory card slot, and an FM transmitter to beam audio all around the house. But naturally, what people loved most was that it moves like R2-D2 from Star Wars, emanating random robotic sounds as it does so. Why it needs to walk around is not crystal-clear, but the bugger became the darling of many visitors, so here we are.
You might just have heard about Ford and Microsoft collaborating on an in-car entertainment and communication system, and that system has been unveiled-it's called "Sync." It lets drivers call hands-free and control audio via voice as well as buttons on the wheel. There are many things a Sync-fitted Ford car will be able to do, but as indicators, incoming text messages will be read aloud as they arrive;  Bluetooth is supported, for streaming audio from mobiles, and it can also be used to stream Internet radio from Web-connected devices. Technologically, the most advanced feature is the automatic indexing of audio files on the player you connect, followed by music playback controlled via voice-as in "Play track Hotel California for the 1,118,902nd time." No, actually, you just say the name of the song.
All the big names showed off bigger display screens. Every camcorder on display was HD. Philips intro'd wireless HDMI; Samsung intro'd a wireless (802.11n) HDTV set (it does have the power cable). Will that power cord be done away with some day? A startup called Powercast showed off their wireless charging system for mobiles: place a transmitter near anything that is plugged into a power outlet, and it sends out a continuous RF signal. A device within range with either AA or AAA batteries and a Powercast receiver will get charged.
Amongst the could-do-withouts was the Sonic Shaker SBP100. "Shakes you awake with its powerful bed shaker and extra loud pulsating alarm." Visit cesweb.org for more. About the CES, that is-not the SBP100.



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