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CES 2011 Preview Print E-mail
Monday, 03 January 2011
Article Index
CES 2011 Preview
Page 2

ImageThe Consumer Electronics Show is just a couple days away, and there's plenty of excitement going into it.  It's a time for big announcements, exciting technologies and perhaps the part we all look forward to - new product launches. Every CES is different and every CES brings something new.  It's like Christmas day for the industry.  Each booth is like a present under the tree just waiting to be opened.  Sometimes you get exactly what you wanted, sometimes there's a surprise and sometimes you get reindeer socks from your weird aunt.

The last few Consumer Electronics Shows have showcased 3D televisions, Blu-ray players and height channel audio, declaring each year to be the big one for 3D.  This CES is going to be even more 3D focused than the last few - it's time for that big push to see if 3D can really make it into the mainstream or not.  No matter what else happens, 3D is bound to be the biggest thing at CES this year. Of course, with so much emphasis on 3D from the big boys, the smaller companies are jumping into the 3D game too.  Just about anyone who makes a display or a source is finding a way to make it 3D.  Expect to see a lot of strange 3D products this year.

One surprisingly cool 3D product is coming from Westinghouse, who we rarely get excited about.  Their TVs aren't exactly at the high end, but the company's new 3D personal media viewer is well worth seeing.  Like other personal media viewers, it takes the form of a pair of glasses or goggles that show you a very small close-up image.  Unlike others, it does 3D, making it an interesting and even practical device for fans of 3D. 3D fans have plenty to look forward to in new sets being rolled out by the likes of LG and Vizio too.  What sets them apart from other sets on the market is their use of passive, electronics free glasses like you'd find in a movie theater. The new sets are both 65 inches, and it seems like the technology will be limited to very large TVs for now.  As you'd expect, the TVs boasting passive tech are more expensive, but the glasses are far cheaper.  Both companies say that their sets are superior to those using active technology, so the competition between the two types of 3D glasses could end up being one of the big stories of the show.

3d vegas
Designer 3D glasses are going to make a strong presence at this year's CES and we'll have plenty to say about whether they actually help to improve the picture as companies like Oakley and Gunnar claim.  The launch of passive 3D glasses seemed trivial at first, but with the new "Theater 3D" televisions on the way they're starting to look far more appealing. Don't like wearing glasses to get your content?  Don't worry, glasses-free displays are on the way.  We won't be seeing Nintendo's 3DS despite early rumors, but you can expect to see glasses-free displays from a few companies, including one handheld set from LG.  Don't expect a large scale glasses-free set anytime soon though, they seem to be relegated to the 10 inch and down category for now.

Of course, none of that matters without content.  Not that exclusive stuff either - 3D isn't going to take off unless everyone can get their hands on the latest and greatest.  We're hoping for some big content announcements at this year's show. We've had 3D as a "Miss" two years in a row in our CES wrap-up, but with so many companies pushing it so hard and so much new technology behind it this might be the year 3D finally becomes a "Hit." 


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