CES postmortem: So long, and thanks for all the press kits

To cap off the CES coverage, we’d like to give a shout-out to our partners and also discuss our coverage. We do this for you guys, after all, so feel free to chime in with your opinion on both the show and us. The biggest electronics show in the world is a difficult thing to report as it is with only a handful of timid bloggers, ripped from their natural habitat as it were, and placed in an unfamiliar environment. But to put them in front of a live camera and ask them to provide meaningful commentary for hours on end is to invite calamity.

Fortunately, thanks to our great Livestream team and partners like Alienware, who provided our rendering computers, I think we did passably well. Impressions and notes on the show and our coverage follow.

The Show

We’ve already got our best of put up, and John weighed in on the tone of the show as well. I generally agree with him. The most common announcements and gadgets were either of the 3D TV variety or some sort of e-book reader. The former was tiring to us, since it was hyped ad nauseam and few were offering anything the others weren’t. But despite that, this show convinced me (and a portion of the industry) that these 3D displays were functional, unobtrusive, and will eventually be affordable. That’s important, even if there’s hardly any content available for them yet.

The big tech guys have a sort of manifest destiny thing going on, and if they say 3D is the next big thing, it is — because they’re going to make it so whether you like it or not. And the truth is, they’re actually kind of awesome — but the hype was completely out of control. I’d prefer we get AMOLEDs first.


The e-book reader thing is more like the proliferation of netbooks after the Eee PC. Many will enter, few will win. Standouts like the Skiff and Que will remain, but the majority will be left behind by the rapid advances in e-ink and miniaturization which have already made Kindles obsolete.

Other than that, John was right: things are smaller and more functional, but rarely touted enormous numbers in order to attract eyeballs. Everything is still 1080p, but the focus is on getting the consumer into the 1080p world, not on moving to the next standard (3D excepted, because it coexists with 1080p). That said, there were some pretty awesome UHD and 4K displays and projectors.


Kisses go out to MiFi, without which we could not have covered the press day due to shoddy internet in the press room, and EyeFi for the loan of one of their cards. Alienware we mentioned earlier, thanks guys. Livestream, Otto, Deborah, Thomas, and Tommy: very, very well done. And thanks to all the PR and booth staff for being friendly and helpful. We’ll be following up with all of you before long. And lastly, thanks to CEA for accommodating us, and providing lots of coffee and enough donuts to sink a battleship.

Our Coverage

As you probably know, we attempted a completely different style of coverage this year, with live streaming video going for hours at a time as we demoed the newest products, interviewed famous people, and traversed the show floor. As I noted above, there was a risk of all of us being terribly unvideogenic, freezing up, and that sort of thing. I can’t speak for myself, but I thought the other guys did a pretty great job on camera and everyone brought something different to the videocast. You guys will have to sound off on that, since we probably remember ourselves as being rather funnier than we actually were.

So let us know: how’d you like it?


Of course, being in front of the camera precluded posting about whatever was there, so traditional post-based coverage was reduced. We got HD video and stills when we could, but we could have done better getting you the most interesting stuff from the stream put up where you could see it, if you missed it during broadcast. We’ll be peppering our normal content over the next couple weeks with the interviews, weird gems, and other stuff that you might not have tuned in for; it takes some time to re-render and snip the video.


We also could have scheduled the items in the stream a little better, but there are two considerations: first, wandering the show floor is half the fun, and second, nothing goes as planned either in CES or in Las Vegas generally. If you’ve been there, you know this to be true. Still, we’ll work on that. There’s only so much blogger banter our readers/viewers can handle.

We know you guys also had requests, and we neglected to get an official channel for those in place promptly. Fortunately, enough got through that you could pose questions to the creator of Gran Turismo, suggest booths to go to, and make fun of the products we’d seen.

That’s pretty much it. We’ll have reviews soon of lots of the stuff we saw, too, so keep your eyes open. This was really fun and as usual, CES was a hectic, insane pleasure to cover. ‘Til next year, CES.