CES 2013

CES 2013

The consumer electronic show (CES) in Las Vegas recently ended, and Outreach was there assisting Scaena in  their demonstration suite as well as scouting and reporting on new products of interest. As always, distinctive performance and value guide our decision-making. We only sell products we think offer something special. As such, we’ve picked up the AMR/iFi line* of digital and streaming products, the DSPeaker anti-mode 2.0* digital preamp with room correction, and we’ll have more product line pickups to announce soon.

The Scaena* speakers on display were the limited edition ‘Silver Ghost’ version of the 2.4 system. Check out the custom chrome finish on the towers and isopods -- insane! Scaenas can be ordered in any color or finish you can find. Haven’t seen (or heard) a cooler speaker anywhere.

The unsurprising theme of the show on the audio side was streaming. Physical media is dying a slow death, and with it unnecessary landfill and inconvenience. Why swap CDs when your entire library can be instantly accessible and sequenced in fresh and interesting ways. Dunno. The real wrench in the works is the quality of downloads vs. CDs. Most downloads are compromised codecs* and the catalog for high resolution files or even those of CD quality is small. That leaves us with buying and ripping CDs for most music, so we’re buying a piece of plastic that for the growing ranks of quality driven streamers is one (rip) and done. This must change.

Onto video, 4K is the buzzword; it refers to an image standard with four times the resolution of our present HD. Many movie theaters project at 4K resolution, and 4K products are now trickling into the consumer market. The detail level is shocking, but it’s very expensive at the moment and there’s no content easily accessible yet that takes advantage of the huge resolution bump. 4K is right where HD was several years ago. Meaning, distribution hurdles and economies of scale will eventually meet the market where it’s at with price and content. Over time 4K will gain some traction in the consumer market, though we expect its adoption rate to be much slower than that of  HD.

Outreach is evaluating the present 4K options and will likely have it on display by the end of the summer.