There are two things I crave at the end of a long, hard day at working the Consumer Electronics Show: a comfortable seat and a good laugh. A typical day at CES includes waiting in endless lines for a taxi (to get to your next appointment), to ride the elevator, get food and see demonstrations of products. There’s a lot of pushing your way through crowds; winding our way around enormous exhibits; and battling for a chair in the press lounge. It’s all a part of the great, grand, CES experience as a reporter for a technology publication.
To finally be able to sit down and relax after clocking in five or so miles of lugging a 10-pound computer bag on my shoulder is a treat. I can thank DPI, D-Box, and Kaleidescape for ending my second day at the show on such a great note. This trio of companies collaborated on home theater demonstration that knocked my socks off, but without any of the pushing, shoving, walking, standing and waiting that pretty much characterized my overall CES experience this year.
The DPI demo was thankfully scheduled as my last exhibitor visit of the day. Because once I sunk down into at CinemaTech chair, I wasn’t getting up. In addition to adding motion simulation to a movie (thanks to D-Box), these roomy, reclining leather chairs were super comfy. The room was nice and quiet, too … until Eric Larsen from Kaleidescape took the mic. He welcomed the half-dozen or so of us to the show, and told us what we could expect to see, hear and experience in a way that the best comedians on the Las Vegas strip would have a hard time delivering with as much humor. This guy’s schtick was hilarious (but informative), and just as entertaining as the product demo itself.
Products showcased in the demo were DPI’s 3-chip Titan Reference 1080p 3D projector, D-Box’s motion-encoded seating and Kaleidescape’s newest media server, the 1U and M700 Disc Vault. Products from ADA (audio processors), CinemaTech (the seats), Crestron (control), Stewart Filmscreen (14-foot display) and Totem Acoustic (speakers) also played a part.
To give the audience a good sense of what this particular setup could do, we viewed 1-2 minute clips from four very different movies. All four, as well as a slew of other choices, were stored on the hard drive of the Kaleidescape server, the menu of which could be (and was) displayed on the screen and navigated by the Crestron touchpanel. The first clip, a scene from Monster House, to demonstrate the system’s ability to handle animation: A+. Next up, a live video of Jeff Beck: Performing This Week: I Felt as if I was at the concert. Third, Star Wars—The Empire Strikes Back: Cool. It wasn’t until the fourth and last clip, from Fast Five, that the D-Box motion simulators planted underneath the seats kicked in. The effect was subtle—not as jarring as I had expected—but enough to give you a sense of moving along with the action of the movie. Disappointed doesn’t begin to explain how I felt when the show stopped at the lights switched back on. I really, truly, didn’t want to leave. I’d battle the CES crowds again in a heartbeat to get a seat in that demo room.