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Seen in HD #19 – CES Post Mortem, Adventureland Blu-ray


CES is over. The nearly week-long orgy of electronic goodness has come and gone, and we’re here to talk about what piqued our interest, and there’s a lot of it.

What better place to start CES 2010 talk than with 3D. It was hands down the news of the show. HDTVs, Blu-ray, gaming. Everyone got in on the action. Lots to talk about, and too many articles to link to. We remain skeptical. New equipment for everyone is a big ask in an era where HDTV penetration has jumped due to things like the DTV transition. However, Ars Technica has it right when they say you soon won’t have a choice but to buy 3D capable sets.

The other sticking point is the active shutter glasses that will be used in most cases. They require a connection between the set and the glasses, which means the glasses are powered and require a battery, for the 3D effect to work, introducing more potential issues into the chain. Personally, I’m going to wait and see how glasses-less technology comes around, as some of it was shown at CES, before I think about getting into the 3D game. Not to mention that content will hard to come by in the early days.

LG had a lot of great things to show, including a Blu-ray with a 250GB hard drive in it, the BD590. Don’t get excited, there’s no ripping to the drive, and no mention of managed copy (like at all, over all of CES??), but things like VUDU and CD-ripping are part of the picture. LG also went ahead and shoved a Blu-ray drive into a NAS device. No ripping here either, but a picture of things to come… maybe.

Oppo showed up and joined forces with Dreamer Corp. and it’s BluTV service, bringing widgets to the high-quality BDP-83 deck. Disney made some waves by saying its KeyChest service would work on top of existing DRM, including the one the DECE is working on, but we still don’t see the business model behind it. We also get off the HD topic a bit to talk about the other cool stuff we saw at CES like the Skiff e-reader and mobile TV.

Finally, we take a look at the CableCard news, and why despite our excitement Adam and I will likely wait before jumping into the pool. We also look at Microsoft’s MediaRoom 2.0 announcement, and what that could mean for the future.

Our Blu-ray review looks at Adventureland, a good movie with an uneven presentation on Blu-ray. Color issues throughout the film, especially in skin-tones, along with a generally inconsistent video presentation put this disc smack in the middle of the road. On the audio side, things are a bit better, with a great 80’s-inspired soundtrack but nothing that jumps off the page. A bit more ambiance from the theme park scenes could have gone a long way to helping this soundtrack. Watch it for the movie, it’s sweeter and more introspective than it was positioned to be (it’s not Superbad 2), but I’d give it a rental recommendation only.

Geek Tonic’s guide to the 2010 Winter TV schedule tells us even more shows come back this week, highlighted by American Idol Tuesday night, and 24 Sunday and Monday. The HD Sportsman features the last of the bowl games.

Finally, the Blu-ray releases for Jan. 19, featuring the Bourne movies going on sale individually and Gamer. WWII in HD, which was originally slated for the 19th, may be pushed back to the 26th.

Click here to download Episode 19!

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