Now that CES is completed and the Technology trends have been set for the year, many of our Technospeak customer are wondering what’s in store for their Home Theater in Los Angeles in 2012. As such, we thought we would give out take on what we saw and didn’t see at CES 2012.
(1) TVs continue to go on a diet. This years TV models continue to get thinner and thinner. In fact, Samsung and LG released to 55″ TV’s that are only 4mm thick (about the thickness of a pencil). But the big news here isn’t just that they are thinner. These 4mm TVs are OLED TVs, which is a brand new TV Technology. We know they sound very similar to the LED TVs that are all over the Best Buy circular, but they are not. LED TVs are just LCD TVs that use LEDs for back-lighting instead of flourescent tubes. The principal is the same– the LCD panel contains a bunch of windows that open and close and the LED light shines through them to emit the various colors on the screen. With OLED TVs, the light source and color gamut are one in the same. OLED TVs can be thought of at the best of Plasma TV Technology and LCD TV Technology combined into one TV set.
(2) More and More “Smart” Apps will be available on your TV. There are a few of the major TV manufacturers that will offer not only more Smart Apps, but full Internet Surfing via Internet Explorer. Along with these new TVs will come a bluetooth TV remote with a scrolling pad in the middle, similar to what exists on a laptop. The only catch? Bluetooth technology is not compatible with all of today’s Universal Remote solutions. Thus, the days of 1 remote to control everything in your house may expand to 1-2 remotes.
(3) TV’s continue to get Bigger and Bigger. Even though TVs are going on a diet, they are getting bigger and bigger. Sharp released their 80″ LED TV right before CES, but it was already old news as Samsung released a 75″ LED TV, LG an 84″ LED TV and Mitsubishi a 92″ DLP TV. Interestingly enough, the prices have not followed suit. Two years ago at CES, Panasonic released a 103″ Plasma TV that retailed for $88,000. Now these TVs which are less than 20″ smaller are selling for $4,000-$5,000.
(4) Automation Solutions are becoming more main stream. It used to be that whole-house automation systems were left to companies like Crestron and AMX servicing the 90210 zip code mansions. Shortly after that, Control4 popped up as a solution that provided 80% of what those other companies provided at 40% of the price. Now more entry-level companies like Universal Remote Control are offering whole house automation features such as Lighting Control, Temperature Control, Distributed Audio, In-wall touch-screens, etc.
(5) 3D is still around, but 4k is the hot new topic. 3D is still a focus of the A/V Industry, but you still have to wear glasses to view 3D material and it is still painful to watch 3D programming without glasses. On a positive note, LG and a few other smaller TV manufacturers believe that passive 3D technology is the way to go. Passive 3D technology requires different glasses that are considerably cheaper than active-shutter glasses ($20 vs. $150) and is the same technology used in all commercial cinemas. And if 3D 1080p isn’t enough for you, companies like Sony are releasing Video products that are capable of 4k resolution, 4 times the resolution of 1080p. Of course, much like 3D, content is still pretty thin.
We attend CES as part of our commitment to our customers to be Technology experts in a wide variety of electronics used in the home. In so doing, we can make sure your Home Theater in Los Angeles is all that you want it to be.
If you have any further questions on these trends or any others we saw at CES, please feel free to give us a call at 855-832-4775 or 310-410-8771.