LG, 3D-ready TVs and Other CE Goodies
We couldnt resist stopping by LGs booth which felt very welcoming with a huge array of flat panels aligned for your viewing pleasure, perhaps only second in magnificence to Samsungs gallery of screens. Big screen technology at its very best, thats what you got by visiting this booth. Check some of the pictures below:
On the computing side, LG was showing a small group of netbooks, all of which we were told will only be sold in Asian markets except for the readily available LG X120 which sells through Sprint when coupled with a 3G data plan.
There was also a very interesting showcase of LGs Network Monitor running 31 users out of a single PC. We later found this is not an entirely homegrown solution but it works in combination with NComputings virtual desktop technology. Nonetheless the idea works out great by coupling the virtualization softwares capabilities with monitors built to be friendly solutions for this specific purpose.
If you think tablets or multi-touch displays were booming and overrated, you should have seen 3D TVs flooding the CES showfloor. This years show set the stage for 3D TVs to explode with all major manufacturers touting the technology as the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Im not as skeptical of their commercial success as I am about the technology itself. All implementations require glasses which is far from ideal, the effects created are usually underwhelming except for the odd object thrown directly at you (think dirt or water particles in a high speed car chase), not to mention can cause headaches.
I would say its not the same playing a first person shooter or driving simulation game than watching a Blu-ray movie with the glasses, with the first scenario scoring more favorably in my book. Also believe it or not, this 3d technology implementation is a mere improvement from the one we reviewed as far back as 2002.
Samsung was the only major manufacturer showing a 3D display that didnt require glasses, however this was only a technology showcase eventually intended for commercial use in advertising. This TV showed lower resolution images and thus was not in the same league as other TVs which will be selling to the public immediately.
Also at the Samsung booth we saw thin-bezel monitor sets that were promoted for PC gaming in conjunction with AMDs Eyefinity. Sold in sets of three or six monitors for $1899 and $3099, respectively, you may hate me for saying this but the price doesnt sound too outrageous considering what we used to pay for a single big screen monitor a few years ago. I just wished those bezels were even thinner, but I guess we are getting there.
For quite some time I had seen these Vuzix glasses being advertised but depending on who you asked it wasnt uncommon to hear they were all but vaporware. To my surprise, I stumbled upon their booth early on the week. I checked out their latest eyewear, the Wrap 920, which claims to give you the viewing experience of a virtual 67-inch screen.
The good news, they were hooked up to an iPod Nano for video output, making for the ultimate portable experience (glasses + ipod). The bad news, the glasses were uncomfortable to watch into and the little screens within the glasses didnt live up to the 67-inch claim, not even close.