Once a year the electronics industry has one of the biggest conventions in the world. It is known as CES (short for Consumer Electronics Show) and is the best place to see the upcoming Electronics’ trends that will be available for sale to the consumers in the weeks to come. At Technospeak, we attend this conference and pay very close attention to trends we think you will want to know about and potentially install in your Home Theater in Los Angeles.
As a benefit to our client base, we like to send out a summary of all these trends so that our clients can continue to make educated and informed decisions about their electronics purchases. In no particular order or importance, here is what we think you should know about:
(1) Dish, DirecTV and now Verizon are all offering Whole House DVR service. Basically the way these systems work is that there is a Main server at your primary TV location where all your TV content is stored and then there are multiple “clients” or slaves that stream this content to your other TVs. Dish’s system is called the “Hopper” system, and their clients are called Joey’s. DirecTV calls their system the “Genie” system. Verizon is just coming out with their version of this service, which is as of yet unnamed. All of these services can support 5-6 feeds at the same time, allowing you to DVR away to your hearts content. Time Warner does not really have a competing service with support for only 2 independent feeds. DirecTV and Samsung has also entered a partnership supporting the Genie system where you won’t even need a box with select Samsung TVs and can still enjoy all your DirecTV programming on that TV including all your premium channels. One thing to keep in mind about all these services as they max out between 6-8 TVs. Anything beyond this in your home would have to be a completely separate system. The reason for this is that they all use the MOCA network protocol, which is data transmission over Coax. Thus, unless there is new or improved data over coax solution found, this is unlikely to change.
(2) In the TV world, Ultra HD is the new thing among the major manufacturers. These TVs boast the resolution 4 times better that current 1080p TVs. Another marketing name you will hear for this is “4k” Televisions. Although there is no native content of any kind to show on these TVs, they will convert current 1080p signals to 4k resolutions. As with any up-conversion there will be some artifacts introduced, but most of the displays I saw looked great with up-converted content. This is actually a good trend as the primary TV in people’s homes are getting larger and larger every year.
(3) A 4k TV Broadcast was showcased. It is called 4k UHTDTV Broadcasting. It was more an exercise to show that broadcasting in 4k is possible, but it is nice to know that in the not too distant future we might be able to look at 4k broadcast televisions in our homes.
(4) Panasonic is releasing a new line of Plasma TVs called their ZT line (Their VT line won many awards for top TV of the year in 2012). They removed an air-gap between their LED’s in the TV and the diffusion panel in front of it, increasing sharpness. They also upped their sub-field drive Hz level making their picture even smoother than before. We got to demo this TV live and believe me if you have been holding off upgrading your main TV in your Home Theater in Los Angeles, this is the TV to get. Consumer launch is expected in June 2013 according to Panasonic.
(5) A new Streaming Video CODEC was showcased called HEVC. It has double the amount of sample data of H.264, which is the current standard. The result is much smoother and more detailed streamed video than ever before. It looked equivalent to broadcast HD on a 60″ HDTV from Samsung, which we thought was impressive considering the size of the TV is was being displayed on.
If you would like to discuss any of these trends with us in more detail. We would be happy to do so. Just give is a call at (855) 832-4775 or find us on the Web at www.technospeakco.com.
At Technospeak, we take the “Tech-y” out of Technology.