CES invaded Las Vegas this week with hundreds of thousands of exhibitors and media types covering the latest in technology. But frankly, Leo wonders why CES even exists anymore. The hottest story seemed to be a refrigerator with a monitor and camera so you can see what's inside. And most products that get announced at CES never see the market. Also, major brands have been gradually leaving CES in favor of having their own events. This was started by Apple, followed by Microsoft and even Samsung. There weren't even any huge announcements. So clearly, why does it even exist anymore?
Scott says that 2016 will be the year of Ultra HD Blu-ray which will not only have 4K, but high dynamic range as well. HDR gives your image more "pop." HDR will give the image 5-6 additional stops of dynamic range, and it provides far more detail in shadows and bright ambient light. So with HDR, you can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Scott continues his CES retrospective, but now he's got the 'CES Crud,' which you usually get when you travel to Las Vegas with 100,000 of your closest friends. Scott found it interesting that curved panels are all the rage, especially in Korea and China. Meanwhile, Japan still hangs on to flat screens.
Chip wants to know if anyone really needs to attend CES anymore since everything is available online. Leo says not really. He sends people to cover it. It's a great experience to go at least once. It's out of control, and there's so much to see. But Chip could pretty much see everything virtually now and doesn't need to feel the pressure to attend every single year.
The big story at CES 2015 was in drones, virtual reality headsets, and 4K TVs. The big news with the 4K TVs is that we may finally have a standard for the ultra high definition sets, as a UHD alliance has been formed and UHD Blu-ray players finally had a standard adopted. But they won't be available until the fall. The standard defines the dynamic range and color gamut, as well as the compression algorithm, which is HEVC/H.265.
Tom saw a new box from Bitdefender at CES that promises to be in between the internet and the computer and cleanses all traffic. The box connects to the router and it will prevent malware from getting through. They plan to ship it for $200. Leo says the premise of this is good, but may not necessarily be better than a software antivirus because if software doesn't know about a virus, neither will the physical box. We can't even be sure it will ship at all at this point either.
Scott has spent the last week at CES and he put 28 miles on his feet in 5 days! What was the big news? Scott says that the biggest announcement was the formation of the UHD Alliance, an organization formed to create standards for 4K transmission and content. The new specs need to have dynamic range and color gamut kept in mind. Right now, content is graded and mastered from HD standards of the last 10 years. But now, the UHD Alliance, which consists of studios, TV makers, and content distributors, will get together to create a 4K standard, and you'd be stunned how great it looks.
In addition to some interesting new products, like self driving cars and drones, CES was what Leo called "Groundhog Day." There was about 10% new stuff, another 20% crazy stuff that will never see the light of day, and the rest we've all seen before.
CES starts this week in Las Vegas, NV. The confab, which is meant to bring together electronics manufacturers and retailers, also attracts media and tech geeks. All too often, Leo says that a lot of what we'll see at CES never gets released. But we'll see some pretty cutting edge stuff including smart thermostats, self driving cars, and the "internet of things."
The IFA convention is happening in Europe, and Leo says it's becoming more and more like CES. Right now is the ideal time for it as it as the holiday shopping season is right around the corner. Of course, there's always a lead-in of about a year from product announcement to seeing it in stores. So what's previewed this year will be out next year. Except for Apple, which typically releases its phones 10 days after the announcement.