…and nobody won!
It literally rained on their parade as generally sunny Nevada endured torrential downpours on Day 1. Then, on Day 2, the lights went out. A sign?
Part of the problem is that sponsors have forgotten that CES stands for Consumer Electronics Show. That doesn’t mean jewelry made out of recycled computer parts (Engadget’s runaway People’s Choice winner) or full motion bill boards on moving vehicles or WiFi street lamps.
It’s hard to get excited about even bigger TVs, somewhat connected cars, and robot dogs. Consumers are not enthusiastic about regulatory bodies or standards committees. Here is some other stuff did not excite me…
- The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) was at CES to remind us that ATSC 3.0 is still coming and they are still optimistic about the future.
- The FCC was on hand to explain their reversal of Net Neutrality (sort of — FCC chair Ajit Pai stayed home due to death threats).
- Cisco demonstrated cloud DVR analytics to detect if a subscriber is likely to run out of storage and send out an alert offering consumers additional space.
- 8K displays are on the way!
- 10K displays are on the way!
- Comcast reassured an audience that, “people are watching more video than ever before,” Jenckes said. “They are consuming the same content in different ways,” so Comcast must evolve its products to support that. (Tell that to the NFL!)
- Comcast is also excited about its home security and automation opportunities. (The company that uses ‘admin’ and ‘password’ for their router credentials, sets the SSID password to the customer’s phone number, and has guest access to consumer routers should NOT be securing and automating anyone’s home.)
- YouTube promised more, better ads: “This year we’ll innovate on that [TrueView] even more,” Kyncl said. “We’re trying to innovate in ways so that advertisers can get their messages across to all of these large audiences…but doing it in a way that is not viewed as friction.”
- Discover thinks focusing on ‘enthusiasts and superfans’ is the answer: “We think we can take advantage of that ecosystem by following the superfans and the enthusiasts for cars or science, or food or cooking all around the world and sort of super-feed them,” he added. (I can’t wait to see how this impacts their Tiny Homes coverage!)
- Roku bought an audio streaming company and is licensing their OS to speaker and soundbar manufacturers. I guess the idea is that you can use voice to change a channel or something, but I suspect we will finally have speakers that spontaneously reboot.
- Sales of headsets and eyewear outfitted for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are poised for a record year, according to a new forecast from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). Sony has sold >2M VR units.
Channel Master demonstrated their Stream+ ($99) and a new SMARTenna ($59). Stream+ is a media player that integrates streaming services and games with live broadcast TV and includes an on-screen channel guide with DVR capability to pause, rewind and record live TV. The powerful Android TV™ platform includes Google Play™ store, Live Channels™ DVR and built-in Chromecast™. SMARTenna is a high-performance UHF/VHF television antenna. Ideal for most metro/suburban dwellers, designed for indoor reception up to 35 miles and outdoor reception from up to 50 miles. Omni-directional design receives signals from 360-degrees and eliminates the need for amplification for the majority of installations. For $148 you get UHF/VHF reception, an Electronic Program Guide, and apps — still no Amazon or Netflix video. You have to add an SD card if you want to record broadcast programming. I guess the Chromecast gets you the apps you wish were included. Still ought to be of interest to some. No PSIP sourced guide which is a major drawback for me.
Project Linda is kind of cool — drop your cell phone into a laptop shell and your one device does it all. Have to be a heck of a phone. Need to keep an eye on these guys.
If you read about ANYTHING interesting at CES 2018, please let me know by commenting below.