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#123596 - 01/09/06 02:53 PM CES and a bit of AVN (long...)
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
First trip to CES ever, always wanted to go but don't want to have to do booth duty w/ my company. I'd hate to have to stand in my booth all day and never get to see the goodies. It's like being forced to teach your friend's how to snowboard on a powder day. Went for a bachelor party so then I didn't have any work commitments.

I only had Sat to make the show because of other commitments. Man, talk about lines. Those were the most lines I've ever seen. From the time we left our hotel until we walked inside w/ our pre-reg tix, it was 1.5 hours.

I LOVE gadgets/toys. I live on engadget.com and I get most of the techy mags. But man, walking in there was overwhelming. I felt like I had ADD.

It's as if someone said, "What's your favorite food?"
"Ice Cream?"
"OK, eat ice cream for every meal, watch movies about ice cream, listen to music about ice cream". Sheesh...

Audio
Saw the booths for Krell, Marantz, Meridian. I didn't have time to audition, but wow, Krell and Meridian just look gorgeous. Someday I'll have the funds for that. Saw the behemoth Denon 5805, that is one massive receiver. I have to admit though, it has all the connections I'd want, though I'm surprised it didn't have an XM tuner.

Speaking of XM, the new portable receivers were VERY impressive. About the size of 4th Gen ipod w/ a color screen. When listening, the album covers show up and you can see the channel logos when looking for stations. I have an XM2GO and it's not even close.

The most impressive thing I saw was the one speaker Yamaha YSP-800/1000 (http://www.audioholics.com/cedia/cedia2004/YamahaYSP800YSP1000.php). I always see these sorts of things as gimmicky. My buddy's looking at adding to his new plasma and I suggested Axioms, of course. But doesn't see the value and was going to use his $6K plasma w/ the built in speakers. Might as well buy a Porsche and drive it only in a parking lot... I suggest the Yamaha and we took a look. In the demo room, they had a set up w/ a sub playing a DVD. Great soundstage, you could hear rear surround. They placed it in stereo mode and the rear sound disappeared. The new version has a calibration mike that helps you do the setup. It also has a new mode that directs the soundfield. Say 2 people are watching TV. Then one wants to read quietly. Change the setting and have the soundfield projected to the lone TV watcher. Cool.

Video
Everyone and their brother makes plasmas, LCDs, Blu Ray, and HD DVD. Saw a few HD DVD/Blu Ray demos, very impressive, but I sure ain't paying $1.8K for player.

DirecTV was showing the new HD DVR. Nice, but you couldn't touch it. They showed their SD DVR on a 4:3 plasma, weird. Tivo announced their HD DVR with dual cable card slot and external SATA drive support. That's cool, if it ever comes out...

Cars
They had a section for blinged out cars. Apparently you need plasmas on every open space, even wheel wells and inside the hood of your car. There was a Hummer H2 that was lowered so much that the top of the car reached my chest and I'm 5'6". The were some nice pony cars though, GT500 signed by Caroll Shelby, old Impalas, new Mustangs, etc.

Misc
Anybody and everybody is doing wifi and MP3 players. Heck, if you sell cables, you almost have to have a version that has MP3 and wifi capability. Crazy.

Played w/ Palm Treo 700w. I have a 600 and love it. Eh, Windows. Nice to have Windows, but the screen is down res'ed from the 650. The one I played w/ didn't even have Outlook.

AVN - Don't read if you don't want to...
Of course, we had to look since it's a bachelor party. Unfortunately, we missed the show because line was 1/4 mile long to get in. Our friends couldn't get it cause it took too long. However, we did have dinner/drinks at the Venetian where the show and awards were happening. Talk about GREAT people watching. We saw Penthouse Pets, Ron Jeremy, Goth chicks, midgets, midgets in wheelchairs, full on pimps w/ fur coats, hats and gold bling, and enough silicone to create a whole new planet. You definitely don't see that every day.

Sorry for the ramblings, but it was a fun, interesting, sleepless weekend.

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#123597 - 01/09/06 03:43 PM Re: CES and a bit of AVN (long...)
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16437
Loc: Ben Lomond, California
In reply to:

It's like being forced to teach your friends how to snowboard on a powder day.


That's the best analogy I've heard all month. I know exactly how you woud have felt being stuck in a booth.
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I can explain it to you but I can't understand it for you.

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#123598 - 01/09/06 04:09 PM Re: CES and a bit of AVN (long...)
AshBoomstick Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 540
Loc: Richmond, VA
You saw the Hedgehog?!?! Forget all the electronic stuff, that guy my hero! Seriously though, that must have been cool too see all of the toys there (at CES not AVN, well maybe there too), but it must be agony though to see the prices of all of it and know you can't walk out of there with any of it.
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Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?

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#123599 - 01/09/06 05:23 PM Re: CES and a bit of AVN (long...)
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
HAHA! Hedgehog, I forgot about that. Yeah, cool toys. Too bad more than half of it never makes it to the US or production.

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