CES 2009 CoverageBosco -
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So how would I sum my trip up this year? I would have to say this was the best time I have had at CES in 3 years. The staff that came this year were just awesome. The amount of work and drive they showed was refreshing. Nothing but pure class, professionalism, and 100% dedication was shown. We had zero problems or issues and there was zero stress. It was so nice to feel relaxed for the first time ever at this event. Finally meeting some staff members who have been with me for years now was great. Behind the scenes, these are the guys that help keep OCC running and growing.
The experience of meeting with companies that have supported OCC for the last year was very enjoyable. I had a lot of late nights and very little sleep, but in the end it was all worth it. I think that 2009 will be an interesting year due to the economy, but also for the growth of OCC. Manufacturers appear to be surging ahead despite the economic climate, which is a great sign, and we here at OCC are excited to see what comes out of it.
As this was my third time at CES nothing really suprises me here in Vegas, so I don't really have anything to mention that shocked me this time around. The one thing I did learn this year is to never ever leave my laptop running in my room when I am not in there. The guys decided to have some fun with it, but that's alright as payback is coming, lol.
At this time I would like to thank the following companies that went above and beyond for us at CES. This included dinners and drinks after the day was over, as well as extra testing times and just spending more time with us than normal. A huge thanks to Sapphire, Mushkin, Nvidia and CyberpowerPC.
I hope the coverage we provided was great for everyone and gave you a good insight into what we saw this year. I am sorry that the boothbabe selection was so weak; there were not as many this year. Thank you for all your support for OCC in 2008 and I look forward to your support in 2009. See you in the forums.
So what did I think of the trip to CES this year? I was looking to see what was coming next from the manufacturers. NVIDIA took the time to show off the capabilities of the up-coming ION platform, as well as CUDA based applications from Motion DSP and Elemental Technologies. How many of you have watched CSI and seen the guy down in the lab take a grainy image and magically bring forth a clear image of a license plate? Well motion DSP does that and more in a simple to use interface that can clean up some really bad home video. Badaboom from Elemental Technologies is a media encoder that uses CUDA Technology to encode video in real time. Having looked at the pre-release I was glad to see that this has come to fruition with version 1.1. AMD showed off a couple of applications that included the Fusion gaming tool that interfaces with AMD Overdrive to maximize the performance of an AMD system. From the ATI side of the fence there really is not a whole lot that we were shown, other than some talk of models with improved cooling. One thing that was brought out was mention of a card designed for HTPCs. Cooler Master has new power supplies and what I was especially interested in was the CM Storm lineup that included the Sniper, a case designed for their gaming team.
What I saw was a lot of the same stuff I had already seen before. The traffic was just as bad and we really had some interesting cab rides. Experiences ranged from one guy that kept propositioning the whole cab trying to get us into a strip club with the offer of free drinks as well as a cab ride, to Mario Andretti doing 80 MPH down the strip, to the guy that simply blared hard-core Rap as loud as his system could go. Meeting and greeting our contacts in the industry is always an enjoyable experience. Big thanks go out to Mushkin, Sapphire and CyberPower PC , who we spent hours with away from the event itself. Further big thanks go to NVIDIA for all of the extra time they gave us, for extra testing and showing us their new products. Thank you also to the rest of the manufacturers that took time out of their schedules to meet with us. The biggest thing I noticed this year was the more relaxed atmosphere in the group. Meeting and greeting, and getting to know the staff members that attended were by far the best parts of the trip. Putting a face to the names I see on a daily basis really makes that relationship a little stronger. Getting to compete in the 12th annual Tiger Direct sponsored Build a PC Race was another of the highlights. Even though I did not finish in the top 3 I did pull out a respectable 6th place with a time of 7 minutes and 18 seconds. Even though I did not pull out a win the PC I built goes to The Firefighters Foundation. That alone was a big enough win for the team. All things considered this trip was far superior to the time I had last year and I look forward to next year. This year was a big win for the Whole OCC team.
This years CES was one of fun and work. I was impressed with the amount of new technology that is coming our way and some of the impressive changes the manufacturers are taking. Products are getting faster, smaller, and more effienent. With the amount of staff this year from OCC we had a lot more coverage than in previous years and our team worked great together and we had lots of laughs. This will definitely be a year to beat for OCC and CES. I think my favorite part of CES this year, even though they were scarce, were the boothbabes. I mean who doesn't like a little sweetie next to your 1 Terabyte hard drive.
Not only was this my first CES, but it was also the first time meeting everyone in person, so my expectations were mixed. I heard a lot about personality clashes last year, so I wasn't sure how it would be this year. I'm happy to say that this year was nothing like that. You never know what to expect based on online personas, but not only did everyone get along, but I think I can safely say that I can now call all of them my friends instead of merely colleagues. From the convention standpoint, I personally thought there was a lot of awesome stuff. There wasn't as much free shwag as I thought there would be (I was really looking forward to some shot glasses the guys got last year, as I collect them), but we still got some pretty cool stuff. It was also very cool to have personal interviews with a lot of companies, and it was really cool to see just how well respected OCC is in the industry. Though Kevin (propane) and I had our asses handed to us, playing against FATAL1TY in front of everyone was pretty damn cool, and certainly not something I ever thought I'd get to do. Nevertheless, the best part of CES were of course the booth babes, which is why you probably noticed well over fifty images of them alone. There weren't as many booth babes as we expected, but the quality of the ones that we did see were certainly top notch.
There were a lot of firsts for my time spent at CES. This was my first time at the show, my first time in Vegas (and in America) and the first time meeting the people who I work with day in day out on OCC. All of those turned out to be great experiences. Arriving at the convention center on the first day of the show, it really hits you how important CES is for the industry, with the number of people and the sheer size of the venues really driving it home for me. If you are used to reading press releases and coverage on the latest hardware, then having the opportunity to talk to the people behind the products is exciting, with a number of interesting characters showing how much hard work and dedication it takes to keep releasing cutting edge hardware. Meeting others who are covering the event is also enlightening, and bumping into people who are usually just a name attached to an article can be a little surreal. Being able to put a face to a name is certainly helpful.
By the third day, the crowds, mixed with the lack of sleep does start to take its toll, but just being there keeps you going even when your legs feel like jelly. The prospect of hitting the bar or a party once the day's work is done certainly helps as well, especially if someone else is paying for the beer.
Picking a highlight of the show itself is a tough task, as it's pretty hard to get around and see everything for yourself. Others may mention booth babes (with good reason), but I think the best part for me was getting to hang out with the rest of the OCC staff. It also seems to be generally true what they say about having an English accent while in America. It certainly helps in certain regards.
So while CES may be primarily about technology, it really is the people who make the show what it is. I'll definitely be coming back in the future should I get the opportunity.
The last time I attended CES was in 2007. This year was quite different from my previous experience in several positive ways. First, we had a larger crew that allowed us to cover the entire show more efficiently. Second, there where far fewer personality conflicts this year. The worst thing I witnessed was some middle of the night punching and kicking due to excessive snoring. But that turned out alright because we got to laugh about the sounds the snoring person made later. Third, we came in to CES this year with the expectation to beat the competition. OCC has done that.
I got to look around alot and take in my surroundings more. Basically relax, look around and enjoy the show.
There was an emphasis on gadgets and gadget accessories. I think I saw at least a half dozen booths showcasing holders and pouches for every tech toy imaginable. A notable example of the odd products we witnessed is an iPod case from the company that makes Crocs shoes. The thing is shaped like a sandle. There were also booths containing cables and adapters for everything you could possibly think of.
There was still some pretty cool gear though.
Two things in the automotive world caught my eye as well. First and most impressive was a Hyundai concept car that replaces the side mirrors with cameras whose screens are mounted in the dash. The representative claimed that the vehicle has no blind spots. Sounds very cool. Second was a small (no larger than a compass) dashboard-mounted GPS that gave your current position and direction of travel. I didn't have much time to examine the package, but it looks cool and I want one.
Also worthy of note is a hydrogen fuel cell generator. The 500 watt model could fit under a desk. I remember wishing I had someting like this the last time I lost power at home.
Overall this has been an adventure and a good trip.
This year was my first trip to CES, and it was a very exciting one. Not only due to the fact that it was out in Las Vegas, but because I was able to view a whole bunch of new upcoming products and have a nice talk with the manufactures and the PR people that we deal with on just about a daily basis. I was somewhat disappointed as to how many booths there were for computer products. I would have thought that there would have been more here, especially more of the big card names such as BFG and EVGA, as well as some of the smaller names. I was also finally able to meet the people that I work with every day and have a face to put to a name/username. The other great thing about CES was the booth babes, even though there were not quite as many as I thought there were going to be. However, the quality of them was outstanding. While there were a whole bunch of tasks that needed to be done to make sure that all you guys back at home were able to get to see everything we were able to, it was very rewarding and I enjoyed having the opportunity to cover it.
This was my first time coming to CES and to Las Vegas. While the convention itself was a lot of fun and very informative, it was also fun to get to meet several of the people I have worked with many times online in person. I was very impressed with the hardware that we saw while we were here and the people we met from the various companies and websites that we are all familiar with. I can honestly say that I am glad that I have been part of the 2009 OCC CES experience, and hope that you have enjoyed the amazing coverage we have worked hard to bring you over the past few days.
This is the second time that I've been to CES, so in a lot of ways I had a good idea of what to expect to see. When OCC staff were initially talking about who was interested in going to CES, I was pretty excited when so many of us wanted to go. Being a UK member, it's nice to have the opportunity to meet more of the guys from over the other side of the water. This year was a lot more organised than last year, people knew where they were going and when all the meetings were, so there was pretty much zero confusion and stress. So we had fun working together and a lot of laughs the whole time. It's been ace.
There didn't seem to be as much new stuff this year, but this may well be because I saw a lot of identical or similar products last year. So, when I did see any new technology, it stood out. The 3D TVs and monitors are the first thing that comes to mind and they have come a long way since the NVidia 3D LCD-shutter glasses that came with my Asus V7700 Deluxe (Geforce 2 GTS). If the manufacturers could make the glasses more comfortable, or continue improving the 3D displays that don't require glasses at all, I think this technology would be fantastic for enhancing the visual element of PC and console gaming. Having an Eee PC 1000H, not being able to play HD h.264 video perfectly, and being limited by the 1024x600 display size, the other area that got my attention was the developments for netbooks. These included NVidia's ION platform, addressing the shortcomings of Intel's GMA onboard graphics for games and HD video, and Sony's higher resolution netbook displays.
Well folks that's it for this year's coverage. Hope you enjoyed it! We sure did!