CES 2018: Getting Out Of The Suite

CES 2018

I’m told it’s healthy to get out of the suite every once in a while. There are trade shows appropriate to my world, like NAB or the Hollywood Professional Association’s Tech Retreat, but I also get some satisfaction from attending CES. That’s where I am right now.

Sure, it’ is interesting to see all the new—and sometimes ridiculous—technology. I’ll never forget seeing the smart belt that senses how much you’ve eaten and automatically loosens. But I go to CES for other reasons.

First and foremost, I want to see what the storage folks are up to. That will impact me. For example, before the opening of the show there’s an “Unveiled” event. I saw OWC’s ThunderBlade V4 SSD external drive, showing impressive read and write speeds.

CES 2018
At CES 2018, OWC shows the ThunderBlade V4—screaming fast.

Besides SSD, Seagate is introducing a new drive bay enclosure system that includes a newly developed data protection system. Seeing this at the show allows me to get up to speed on where drive technology is going.

Secondly, workstations and workstation displays will be on the floor. While this is not a “computer” show, seeing these systems allows me to follow how connection technology is progressing. While Thunderbolt has been around for a few years, I’ve been watching to see how that technology would work (or not) its way into laptops and desktops versus other methods.

Thirdly, CES is where I can see how display technology is changing, and whether the consumer electronics industry manufacturers are making our jobs easier or harder. Is it 4K or 8K? LED, OLED or Quantum Dot? And how many different flavors of HDR will there be?

I also just look at displays all around the floor to see how different manufacturers are showing off their image enhancement technology, and how that new and improved technology might affect the work I deliver. If I’m delivering cinema frame rates, what’s it really going to look like?

And, finally, I walk the floor to see how manufacturers are using video to drive people to their booths and show off products. I take the time to step back and watch people react to or ignore displays, to see which content draws people in and try to figure out why.

CES may not be geared toward editing, but I get a lot of ideas from walking the floor with 180,000 other people.

Michael Guncheon is an accomplished editor who has cut a wide range of projects, including music videos for Prince, a documentary on Genesis, and numerous commercials and corporate pieces. A partner at HDMG, a Minneapolis video production and post-production company, Guncheon has written several books on DSLRs and is the author of the Kodak Digital Photo Guide. He has presented his talk on shooting with HDSLRs at Twin Cities Public Television, WGBH in Boston, PBS in New York, the Hollywood Post Alliance and at the annual SMPTE conference in Hollywood.