Hunting For Technology At CES 2018

Another annual electronic circus in the desert is over. 179,999 people and I wandered the aisles of wireless phone chargers, 3D printers, drones, TVs and other “innovations”. There were robots: One that played table tennis, a couple which folded laundry, and one that is trying to replace your dog. We experienced a power outage, and did I mention there were wireless phone chargers?

As I mentioned in my previous post, for me, CES is about storage, screens and how new technology might affect what I do in the suite.

On the storage front, SSDs are getting cheaper and larger. Also, different methods of controlling internal SSDs are available. A relatively new system — Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) — removes some of the slowdowns that came from having to control spinning drives. NVMe was previously just seen in top-tier systems but is now moving down into more popular use. The “drive” connects to the PCIe bus on a computer rather than using a typical drive connection.

Self-contained drives for offloading from drones was another introduction. With the popularity of drones that fold up and are easy to carry, people want to download the footage without having to haul around a “bulky” laptop. Prior to CES, DJI & Seagate announced their Fly Drive, which is a drive that can download footage from the drone memory card without a computer.

LaCie took that concept a step farther with their Copilot. This self-contained rugged drive has more connection options, a status screen for showing transfer status and a phone app that allows you to view your footage. It also doubles as a power source for recharging devices.

On the display front, it seemed like the “thin” competition is over. Most presentations I saw weren’t focusing on how thin the display was. The size competition is still active and some push to 8K but mostly it was all about 4k and the focus was on picture quality.

Sometimes picture quality was about a particular manufacturer’s method of producing an image. LED, OLED, QLED (Quantum Dot LED) and MicroLED were battling it out in the display booths. More important to me was the frequent mention of High Dynamic Range (HDR).

 

Previously HDR was relegated to only a few premium models in a manufacturer’s TV line up. Now it is trickling down into more and more models. While accessing actual HDR content is still not ubiquitous, as an editor I need to make sure my workflow can handle it today, not sometime in the future. HDR is also moving into the computer display arena. There are now DisplayHDR standards (https://displayhdr.org) to bring HDR image display to the desktop.

Having survived CES it’s back into the edit suite for me.

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