- 6 Jan 07, 02:49 PM
2100 LAS VEGAS
Just arrived and settled in. Funny, every time I come to the States, it reminds me that Americans simply "get" technology on a cultural level - far more than the Europeans, at any rate.
And I'm not just talking those in the industry, either. Ordinary people here just buy into the tech lifestyle. Sitting at dinner with the Click team at the motel, I was interrupted mid-flow by our waiter, who'd been eavesdropping our conversation about hi-def compression and the emerging rival optical disc formats. (yes folks, we’re "that" interesting).
Funny, he said, he didn't buy into the idea of Blu-ray or HD-DVD players being intertwined with games consoles (the PS3 and Xbox360, respectively). After all, he argued, without a digital HDMI port on his Xbox 360 (and consequently being forced to use a simple component output) how was he to enjoy the full benefits of HD-DVD content on his full-HD DLP projector (component outputs, will only handle 1080i, not full 1080p. You knew that, right?)
Happily (for him, at any rate) we pointed out that the latest Xbox 360s will have HDMI as standard, to support the HD-DVD add-on.)
Las Vegas may culturally be a millions miles from the sophisticated Bay Area coffee shops - but even out here, observations like this about technology are not unusual. I simply can't imagine the same thing happening in deepest rural England.
0600 LAS VEGAS
Suffering from the invariable jet lag that afflicts me as my annual bedfellow on CES trips, I've woken up thinking about the day ahead. CES hasn't even begun, but my team and I are gearing up nicely. I've already tested our motel's wifi connection (802.11g - running to a fairly hefty broadband connection) and am using it to good effect. In years gone by this might have been to download e-mails and check pre-show rumours, but now it's a far richer landscape available to me.
My “Slingbox” hardware in my living room at home in London is streaming (sorry, “slinging”) the contents of my Sky PVR directly to my notebook via the net, in remarkably watchable quality. In a few hours I’m looking forward to having breakfast perched over a stream of the Arsenal/Liverpool FA Cup 3rd round clash (I can even watch it on my 3g phone and it doesn't look half-bad). My only is concern is that I may also be battling my two-year-old daughter (who is in the living room) over control of the channels.
This is one I'm determined to win, though ultimately if she nudges the Slingbox’s “magic eye” a fraction off the IR sensor of the Skybox I'll have no way of talking back to my machine and she'd have stuffed me. I’m looking to this year's CES to see what solutions might be on offer to solve this particular conundrum.