Here again is my view on the 2009 CES show
that I attended from January 8-11. My review
isn’t like all of the glossy hyped reviews you
might see online, I call it like I see it.
So let’s not kid anyone, with the economy
being what it is, attendance by my estimation
was down about 25%. Apparently the official
number of CES was that attendance was down 9%,
but with the hotels on the Strip showing
occupancy being down 27%, let’s be realistic
here. Hardest hit from what I saw was the car
stereo section and the home theater areas.
Exhibitor attendance was down, there were large
vacant spots in the main halls that weren’t
there before, and there were a number of
manufacturers missing (i.e. Runco and Vidikron
for example). IN previous years, one South hall
at the convention center was solely dedicated to
home theater displays. This year, the signs were
changed to ‘Home Theater/Home’, and amongst the
HT displays I saw floating massage chairs,
complete with hand drawn signs. Ummm, ok!
While the car stereo hall was the same size,
again, exhibitors were missing, but more
importantly, the buyers were gone. Look at the
empty space here, filled by attendees 2 years
ago when I last went to CES:
But of course, it wasn’t all bad. The 52 oz
$7.00 margarita refills were excellent on
Fremont St! :)
So… to the various displays, in no particular
As usual, there was many displays of varying
technologies including some new micro mini
‘video projectors’ I put these ‘projectors’ in
quotations, as they really are simply toys more
than anything else. The sales pitch was that
these units (one under four ounces) could be
connected to your MP3 video player or your
cellphone, and video can be watched with friends
wherever you go.
The units are driven by LEDs, so there’s no bulb
to wear out, and the power consumption is low,
but you get a whopping 10 lumens, so even in a
pitch black room, the brightness is
exceptionally low. An Optoma rep at their booth
claimed that they would have a full LED
projector by the end of this year. We’ll see.
Here’s some of the pico projector offerings:
I asked Optoma about laser driven projectors,
I was told the technology is dead in the water
at this point.
Optoma was showing a number of new DLP
projectors. I still can’t watch a single chip
DLP without seeing rainbows. I didn’t see a lot
of difference between this year’s models and the
ones shown 2 years ago.
I also viewed the new Epson line, and frankly
the demo room projector showing the latest
Indiana Jones movie was way off on the red color
reproduction. The image was detailed, but I
didn’t like the reds at all.
The LED wall outside of the Mitsubishi booth
There were some improvements with the various
flat screen devices. First off, the small super
flat LG units were impressive:
All the major manufacturers were there. Some
were touting ‘high contrast’ displays, and
indeed, some of these flat screens are now
significantly blacker than previous generations.
LED TVs were shown by a number of companies as
well, from afar they looked nice. Fast refresh
flat screens were also shown, and yes, rapid
motion looked great on these displays.