Displayed on over 2 million square feet of exhibition floor space, CES is the biggest technology show in the world. It is also Las Vegas’s biggest event of the year with an additional 155,000 people flooding into the party town. Many companies hold products back in order to release them at this show. There is plenty of media coverage highlighting the headline products and while these reports will touch on the more interesting releases, the benefit of attending this show is really to stand back a little and look at the overall trends rather than the details.
Giant TVs now make the once bigger sizes look small. All the principle players were showing multiple sizes; 85”, 90” and 95” were the most common and 105” and 110” the new biggest size. Another interesting trend was 21:9 aspect ratio screens in the bigger sizes (as opposed to the current widescreen format of 16:9). Why 21:9 when there is so little content made in the format? In addition to this extra screen width, this increases the pixel number to 5K. The next question is – where will this content come from?
A number of companies were showing “multi-tasking” screens where the user had the option to view live TV, live streams, social networking sites and YouTube videos all at once. Samsung, LG and Panasonic all showed these multi-screens linking what you were watching on the live screen with a related Google search, program recommendations and YouTube clips. The aim was to get our eyes off our personal devices and back onto the TV. Another excuse for using a 21:9 aspect ratio is that it really emphasised the curve in the screen. Sharp and Toshiba were showing an interesting concept of a giant screen with a normal viewing experience in part of it, a roaring log fire below and a range of social feeds ranged down the side.
One of the more interesting screens was in fact not an OLED screen but a laser TV. Using a new three chip DLP laser projector with an incredibly short throw lens, the projector sat immediately in front of the screen. An interesting option which defied the impossible angles.
3D. Plenty of this still about and a couple of quite good demos. Both the giant 3D video wall from LG and the Toshiba 3D without glasses were both exceptional and irrelevant in equal measure.