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What I Would Like to See at CES

January 6, 2009

One of the reasons I have not posted much recently is that I have been concentrating on actually enjoying my digital media rather than focusing on incremental improvements.

I have been watching many Netflix DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, television shows recorded using Vista Media Center and the Fall game releases for the Xbox, listening to podcasts using a combination of Orb, my PPC6800 Windows Mobile phone and Plantronics Voyage Bluetooth stereo headphones. Our Windows Server 2003 box handles its tasks as an Exchange Server, file server, music server and HomeSeer platform pretty well. Our home lighting systems are sufficiently automated to my taste.

I had convinced myself that everything was pretty good. That is true, but when I asked myself (without reference to what might be there) this evening what I would like to see at the Consumer Electronics Show this weekend, there were a surprising number of responses for such a contented guy:

  • A way to rip HD movies from Blu-Ray discs and display them on Windows Media Center Extenders.
  • A way to have our digital audio collection easily available for playback in each of our cars (and easily and regularly sync’d if necessary).
  • An affordable digital photo frame that can wirelessly display photos from a playlist on a UPnP server.
  • A way to play many types of Web video on Media Center extenders.
  • A reliable, inexpensive VOIP system for our dual phone home phone lines.
  • Affordable 1080P plasma TVs to replace the 3LCD rear projection 720P TVs that we have in our media room and family room.
  • A digital music player with color graphical user interface (one like the Sonos or Squeezebox Duet) that works well with UPnP servers.
  • The ability to play high bandwidth video on Media Center Extenders from a Drobo connected to a separate server rather than to the Media Center PC itself.
  • A small HD video camera that takes acceptable still photos, uses SD cards and MPEG4 files but that is not as susceptible to lighting issues and shaky hands as my current Sanyo Xacti HD1000.
  • An affordable wireless color LCD remote that could run HomeSeer macros.

I note that the vast majority of these relate to the ability for multiple devices to easily use common media. The consumer electronics industry has certainly made enough progress in this area to make me generally contented, but not enough to make me stop looking for more.


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