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Our Preliminary CES Report

The Consumer Electronics show just recently concluded in Las Vegas. Now, after finally recovering from the flu we picked up while we were there, we'd like to share with you some of the other items we managed to pick up.

Perhaps some TV at lunch?Overall the show was good. Nothing earth shattering, basically the 'real' show products were the new hard drive style VCR's, the AutoPC by Microsoft, and just about everything you can image with Windows CE. Now don't get me wrong, there were some excellent displays showing all the latest High Definition TV gizmos but they weren't great innovations, just improvements of existing technology.

Cool monitors for your home!As is the case at most trade shows, the stranger products are displayed by newer, smaller companies in some far corner of the convention center. Our favorites this year include a 360 degree television and a laser fan style clock. We are also currently doing a hands-on evaluation of the Microsoft Cordless Phone and the X-10 Big Picture. We'll review those products along with some cool home theater stuff as we get more information from the respective companies.

A VCR on Steroids?

Watch out for a new device from Replay Networks call ReplayTV. Rather than using the typical VHS tape, this box uses a large capacity hard drive to compress whatever you're watching on the fly. You can actually pause a standard television program, go put the pizza in the oven and return right where you left off. Imagine seeing your own replays during a football game. The possibilities are very exciting and we'll let you know when we get to see one up close. In the meantime, stop by their web site for all the specifications. Click here for the Real Network web site.


The Mighty Palm Pilot

Whatever version you have, it is the best way to keep track of people, places and things to do. No it doesn't support Windows CE, but hey, if you wanted to program buy a PC for crying out loud. For "official news" check out the 3com site, for a better third party approach, the Palm Tree is a must see.

We'll take a look at some of the expansion units on the market pretty soon, but between you and me, if you really need to keep track of 5000 to-do items, you would be better served by a stress reduction class or a long vacation!


Camcorders that see in the dark

It doesn't matter if you blame the coming of digital video or the economic woes in Asia, camcorders are getting less expensive and the new features are pretty incredible. The TRV-65 by Sony includes their newest goodies, Nightshot, which allows you to record in virtual darkness. Eventhough the resulting video has that green tint it is truly amazing! It's bigger brothers include the TRV-99 with extended Nightshot (it includes an invisible illuminator), digital still pictures and digital effects.

For those of you who already own a decent camcorder you might try the M-101 Nightscope available from The Sharper Image. They claim it has the most powerful eye-safe illuminator available, with a high-quality glass collimating lens. The illuminator extends your viewing range to up to 200 yards in complete darkness and greatly enhances the scoop's overall performance. While we haven't seen it personally, they say it can adapt to both cameras and camcorders.

See the actual difference in night vision "generations"


Catalogs and their wares

We have witnessed many a strange thing in our lives, and those things we have yet to witness seem to be available in the Edgeco catalog. Sure they have optics, fancy clocks and tool we've seen elsewhere but they also have a few items we would really like someone to buy and report on... perhaps you might be interested in their $299 Hover Shoes or our favorite the Laserflex Home Body Surgeon. If you see either of those in action you've got to let us know!

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