CES 2019, Part 1

Every year, I head out to the desert to look at technology. Why the desert? That’s where Las Vegas is, and that’s where the Consumer Technology Association holds its annual CES show.

CES used to stand for Consumer Electronics Show, but the CTA wants us all to call it simply CES. I guess that’s because some of the innovations over the years haven’t been strictly electronic.

In any event, I trek there to get some idea of where things are going with technology. It’s a bit daunting as the show attracts over 180,000 people and is spread across several venues. It’s also difficult to find relevant technology amongst some of the silliness: smart toilets, smart fishing rods, chocolate 3D printers and hand-clapping robots are just a few of the exhibits you have to wade through. You can see a few more that I passed by here.

Don’t want to buy a drone just for selfies? Just clip this to your phone.
Don’t want to buy a drone just for selfies? Just clip this to your phone.

I really don’t think I can use CES to predict the future. (After all, we’re not still creating stereoscopic content.) But I do use it to evaluate how technology is progressing.

Displays are always a big splash at CES. What did I learn without getting wet? While 8K is the next shiny object, display size and content are still the two issues for me. In order to make 8K worth the investment—versus simply purchasing a good quality 4K set—the display size must be large and/or you have to sit close. I wonder how many people have the wall space. Of course, LG’s flexible roll-up screens might help.

LG’s roll-up OLED displays were one of the big draws at CES.
LG’s roll-up OLED displays were one of the big draws at CES.

Regarding content, I pay attention to the footage being shown. I’m interested both in how it looks on the displays and, from an editor’s perspective, what manufacturers are using to show off their technology.

With 8k, I still see a lot of time-lapse footage. It would be one thing if the time-lapse on display were amazing locations that I haven’t seen before, but they weren’t. This leads me to believe that time-lapse was used because it’s a cheap way to create 8K content. Both a Nikon D850 and a Canon 5DS have the pixel count to create 8K, but in time-lapse form.

Besides seeing LCD, QLCD and OLED displays, there were also laser projectors on display.
Besides seeing LCD, QLCD and OLED displays, there were also laser projectors on display.

That’s not to say all of the 8K footage I saw was time-lapse. Of cours,e there was footage shot with 8K motion cameras. I even saw the obligatory Rio de Janeiro Carnival, which I have seen now in SD, HD, 4K UHD and 8K UHD.

Still, all that time-lapse makes me think that I don’t need to worry about upgrading hardware to handle 8K footage.

Next time, a little more from CES.

MENU