Now with the dust settling on CES 2012, the home video landscape looks surprisingly like it did before CES, albeit with a few bright spots. But any streaming-video lover (i.e. me) who was hoping for some major progress (and maybe even a few surprises) at this year's show was likely more disappointed than otherwise.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--The company that developed the technology behind the Kinect for Xbox 360 says it sees on-board cameras and gesture control replacing touch on all consumer devices.
Israel's PrimeSense developed the sensor for the Kinect and says the potential for gesture control technology is huge--extending beyond the loungeroom into digital signage, medicine and other mobile devices.
"Everybody knows touch. What we want to do is bring [our technology] into all consumer devices," said Tal Dagan, PrimeSense's vice president of marketing. "Think of going back before touch. It's crazy. So we think this is the … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Sound bars have gotten cheaper, and they sound better and have more connectivity than ever before. Now, apparently you can snap them in half, even if you never wanted to.
Panasonic and Samsung both had "splittable" sound bars here at CES 2012 and I felt like I saw more of them on the show floor. The idea is you can split the bar into two speakers, place them on a stand, and create a more traditional 2.1 speaker system.
It's a nifty-looking feature, but it doesn't solve a problem anybody has ever had with a sound bar. I get plenty of reader mail about sound bars, but nobody has ever asked about a sound bar that can transform into separate speakers, probably because when they bought a sound bar, they wanted a sound bar.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--Although Toshiba's glasses-free 3D TV is coming to the U.S. in the next couple of months, and at a price we expect to be north of $10,000, it still has some issues.
Fellow CNET TV reviewer Ty Pendlebury and I both got the chance to check out the set here at CES 2012, and while the head-tracking technology is impressive, and the fact that you can actually see 3D effects without glasses is kind of mind-blowing, the TV we saw definitely felt more like a prototype than a product ready for prime time--especially for that price.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--At the start of 2012, CNET television editors David Katzmaier and Ty Pendlebury put forward their predictions for what we will see in the coming year.
Sadly jetpacks and metallic jumpsuits will have to wait till next year, but we will see the debut of big OLEDs and voice/gesture-based TV control.
So what did we learn from this year's show? Read our head-to-head CES 2012 wrap.… Read more
LAS VEGAS--CNET's team of crack technology editors argued long into the Vegas afternoon yesterday, painstakingly honing hundreds of cumulative man- and woman-hours of CES 2012 coverage into 10 category winners and, finally, one product sharp enough to earn Best in Show: the LG 55EM9600.
It's a TV. And its organic light-emitting diode display technology is the future of flat-panel tech. OLED promises better picture quality than either plasma or LCD/LED--thanks to effectively infinite contrast (for realzies this time!), wide viewing angles and lightning-fast response times--combined with an unbelievable form factor. The winning LG measures just 4mm in … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Boston Acoustics' SoundWare XS 5.1 system is about as small as you can make a 5.1 speaker system. Unless of course you ditched three of the speakers and the need for a separate AV receiver.
That's the thinking behind the new SoundWare XS Digital Cinema Surround Sound Speaker system, which features just two tiny SoundWare XS speakers, a compact subwoofer, and built-in amplification. It comes with a credit card-style remote and brackets for wall-mounting the front speakers.
The 100-watt system features both optical and analog inputs, as well as Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to stream … Read more
LAS VEGAS--When CNET reviewed Polk's I-Sonic ES2 almost four years (!) ago, we knocked it for lacking then-cutting-edge features like a CD/DVD player, satellite radio, USB port, and network audio functionality.
Fast-forward to 2012 and the story is the same, but the details have changed, with Polk's recently announced I-Sonic ES3 lacking many of the cutting-edge features we've seen on competing iPhone speakers, such as AirPlay and Bluetooth. Even the USB-looking port on the back, but close inspection reveals it's for service-use only.
Still, the I-Sonic's real claim-to-fame was always performance, not features, which is … Read more
Most manufacturers have made a marked effort to pare down the number of different Blu-ray player models they make, but not Panasonic.
Panasonic announced six new Blu-ray models at CES 2012, with separate 3D and 2D lines, plus the ultraslim DMP-BBT01. Half of the models also feature Panasonic's new touch pad remote, which might make it easier to navigate online content.
Panasonic's line of 3D Blu-ray players breaks down as follows:… Read more
When CNET first covered Samsung's DA-E750 based on the pre-CES press release, it was easy to be skeptical.
The built-in tube preamp can seem a bit gimmicky and it's hard to not grin at the coincidence that the dock can support both iOS and Samsung Galaxy S devices.
But the DA-E750 fares much better in a real hands-on scenario. I had a chance to listen to the DA-E750 in a private listening room in the Samsung booth, where they had it matched it up to the Bose SoundDock. Listening conditions were less than ideal with the anarchy of CES just outside the room's wafer thin walls, but to my ears the Samsung DA-E750 sounded a notch or two better than the Bose. It's never a good idea to judge sound quality based on canned manufacturer demos, but I'll be interested in spending some time listening to the DA-E750 when it's released.… Read more