As the International Consumer Electronics Show is underway in Vegas January 6-9, we’ll be using this space to bring you news of new and innovative announcements as they come to light. The best brands in home technology are showing off what they’ll have to offer in the coming year, and here you can get your first glance at products that will be available from these companies in 2015.
Here are some trends we’re seeing from multiple companies at this year’s CES:
- Streaming content is BIG. All major TV manufacturers have announced partnerships with streaming content services (Netflix is the biggest player). This makes sense, since this is their main source of 4K content at this time. Netflix will also be “recommending” certain TVs made by LG, Sony and Sharp for optimal viewing of streaming content.
- “HDR” or High Dynamic Range seems to be the buzzword so far. HDR is a process through which film and TV makers can capture picture with more range, color and luminosity. Why the buzz? The manufacturers want to be able to reproduce HDR content on their sets.
- Major players including Sony and LG are introducing whole-home streaming music speaker systems.
Sharp’s focus in their press conference was entirely on displays. First up they showcased their flexible “free form” display. This display is a revolutionary type of LCD screen that isn’t confined to the traditional rectangle. In a standard LCD screen, the display is controlled from the edges of the screen – in the bezels. The new free form screen takes control out of the bezel and puts it into the individual pixels, meaning straight edges are no longer necessary. While this certainly has applications in mobile, automotive and other industries in the future, it doesn’t appear to be something that will be commercially available in the near future. Moving on to commercial displays, Sharp announced three lines of new 4K LCD televisions for 2015. The different lines are geared to different consumers. They’re offering an affordable line with TVs as small as 43″ – quite small for what’s typically available in 4K televisions. They’re also offering a middle-of-the-road line, and finally a premium line geared toward videophiles.
As for “showstoppers,” Sharp had not one, but two on display. The first is a 70″ super slim 4K TV that’s only half an inch wide. The second is one we’re seeing a lot of buzz about so far – their “Beyond 4K” TV. They’ve taken a typical 4K TV and squeezed out even higher resolution. How? They’ve added their Quattron “pixel-splitting” technology that adds a yellow subpixel to the traditional red, green and blue sub pixels. They claim this adds a billion additional colors, and creates resolution 167% higher than 4K. It’s being touted as the highest resolution TV commercially available – that is, when it comes available later this year.
Sony began their press conference on Tuesday evening by addressing their recent hack and the tireless efforts of their employees to recover. Their big reveal was their new X900C series of televisions that is ultra-thin and has virtually no bezel. The TV model they displayed is just .2″ at the thinnest point; thinner than some smartphones!
These smart televisions will run on the new Android TV platform, which will allow seamless content viewing between your TV, phone and tablet. Finally, they touched on a continued focus on Hi-Res audio, and briefly displayed their new 2015 line of Hi-Res home audio products (although they didn’t get into much detail). They have their new products on the CES floor, so we expect to see more information as people are able to get hands-on during the show.
At their press conference on Tuesday, Samsung took time to recap their standing in the 4K TV world, noting their 60% market share. They also shared an interesting statistic that a full half of their television sales are curved models – confirming that there is significant demand for these sets. When it came to new announcements, Samsung introduced what they’re calling SUHD (Super Ultra High Definition). SUHD is an improvement on regular UHD LCD picture, using a combination of nanocrystals and Quantum Dot technology. The use of nanocrystals helps with light color filtering, allowing better brightness, while the Quantum Dot technology allows a wider color range – more similar to that in OLED. Essentially, Samsung’s goal was to create an LCD picture that mimicked the brightness and color found with OLED screens. Because they’re still LCD, the price should be lower than their OLED counterparts. So while LG touted color, contrast and deep blacks in their OLED, Samsung pushed color and brightness with their new SUHD. Samsung also announced a new 88″ SUHD model coming this year.
LG came out of the gates early, with the first major press conference the day before the show began. First up among their plethora of announcements was a focus on OLED TV technology. In 2014 we saw LG bring OLED into the consumer marketplace in a very real way. 2015 will continue their OLED push as they announced that they will be releasing 7 new OLED 4K televisions in curved and flat screen models. The big kahuna? A 77″ flexible flat screen that can be viewed either flat or curved. They also announced an expansion of their LCD 4k lineup and a technology advancement that makes them even more colorful.
Another introduction, but one they only touched on briefly, was their Music Flow speaker system – a collection of speakers that you can use to stream music throughout your home, or for use in home entertainment surround sound. We expect to hear more on this system as CES progresses.
So when will these products be available, and will you see them at Suess Electronics? We’re not sure when they’ll be available – remember, they’re just being announced. When they become available and we can get some in the store for you to purchase, you’ll likely see an announcement on our Facebook page.