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My CES 2006 Summary


January 10, 2006

I just got back from the Las Vegas 2006 Consumer Electronics Show, and have decided to post what I saw for others that have not gone to the show before. The below are my opinions only. Other’s opinions may vary. I’ll do this in the order that I took pictures, not in item order. I am more likely to remember more that way, and hey, isn’t it more fun to waste time at home or work looking at lots of high tech pictures anyways? 

For those of you that are not familiar with CES, it is the world’s largest electronics exposition. The Las Vegas convention center has over 2.2 million square feet of space. In recent years the Hilton hotel adjacent to the convention center, the Sands Hotel and the Alexis Park hotels are also filled with overflow exhibitors. There are also a number of exhibits in the various concourses. It takes at least 2 or 3 of the 4 days to take in everything. Each of the three years that I’ve attended, I’ve ended up missing several things that I wanted to see that I either forgot about or didn’t get a chance to see. 

Comfortable running shoes are mandatory for a successful convention viewing, I feel sorry for the sales reps stuck in formal shoes.. 

I’ve really limited the information below, feel free to Google any of the items below to get the manufacturers’ websites for more info. 

First up we have one of the most complicated A/V receivers ever built, the $6000 Denon 5805. More connections than you can ever imagine connecting to the set. Neat wiring is mandatory for sets like this. Can you imagine if the rear of the receiver was not accessible in the installation? One wrong movement of the receiver, and about 12 wires would become disconnected!

The front view of the 5805 is very clean, it’s the back that’s interesting...

Other receivers in the Denon line are shown below.

The one thing I played with, having been an amateur DJ in the wonderful 80’s is the new Denon pro CD player. With it’s 45 RPM record ‘scratch disc’ or whatever they call it, it’s the first CD player that can truly emulate a record player. Slow down the 45 with your hand, the CD slows down. Scratch with it, the CD playing in the unit scratches identically to how you move the record. Looping and other effects are built in. Very cool!

Off to the rest of the South Hall as it’s called at CES. One interesting racing simulator came from this outfit, called Virtual Racer. You step into the seat, and the 5 speakers, the steering wheel with feedback, bass shaker under the seat,  and a plasma screen in front of you puts you right into the action. A visor has feedback to an IR(?) sensor in front of you, if you move your head, the  screen display moves in the direction your head is going. I was great on the straight-aways, not so good on the curves... :)

Realizing that there were probably celebrities in the XM radio booth, I charged over to the North hall at the other end of the convention center. Sure enough, here were Opie and Anthony, shock jocks that got kicked off of FM radio in 2001 but were picked up by XM radio in 2004. Here is yours truly (on the right) with O and A.

OK, back to the goods at the show! 

Vegas is the city of over the top displays, and here’s a typical example of one of the high brightness LED large screen units.

There are of course a lot of systems that integrate all sorts of home theater, alarm, lighting control, etc functions into one system. A new one to me is this one, the Control 4 setup. It appears to be well built and easy to use. Of course, there are lots of other systems out there. If you’re looking to put in one of these, DO YOUR RESEARCH and shop carefully, as all of these require substantial planning and cash outlay.

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