TV makers vow to revamp goggle box
TV makers outlined the future of the humble home television, promising higher definition sets and smarter TVs as they battle to stay as the centre of home entertainment.
Unveiling new products to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday, companies such as LG, Toshiba and Sharp showed off a new generation of Ultra High Definition TVs that have up to four times as many pixels as their predecessors.
The new generation of TVs will be available in more consumer friendly sizes, ranging from 55 inches to the larger 84 inch sizes.
Toshiba got the ball rolling with its L93000 Series Ultra HD 4K LED TVs. The new TVs will come in three sizes: 58 inches, 65 inches and 84 inches.
LG, meanwhile, showed off a new 3D enabled 84-inch Ultra HD TV, and a 3D OLED TV.
The company also continued to back its Magic Remote, the new version of which brings touch and voice integration to its product lineup.
Sharp showed a new line of its Aquos LED TVs that is hoping to capture the market for Ultra HD, with sizes up to 85 inches. The company also unveiled plans for 8K TVs, and announced enhancements to its smart tV platform that include split screen that allows you to go online while watching TV.
Sony is also expected to unveil some more consumer friendly 4K displays at its press conference later this evening. Although it’s not yet clear what price the new TVs will carry, it is expected to be more expensive than the current crop of HD TVs.
Samsung, meanwhile, has already announced its new Bluray player, which upscales content to 4K resolution, and was planning further product announcements at its press conference.
But consumers may be wary of the new TV sets for some time, as a lack of native content and the high cost of the new technology dampens enthusiasm.
Panasonic also showed off its plans for smart TV platforms, with facial recognition, voice integration and customised home screens for different family members.
Computers and tablets running Microsoft’s latest touchscreen interface Windows 8 are also expected in abundance at the electronics show, with Lenovo showing off a new line of touch-optimised machines aimed at both consumers and businesses. The new devices included touch enabled thin and light machines, known as ultra books, all in one devices, and the ThinkPad Mobile Monitor, which can be used as a second display or to add touch screen functionality to machines.
“People love touch. It’s everywhere in today’s PC Plus world and is driving new interactions with devices and digital content,” said Peter Hortensius, Lenovo’s senior vice president. “We’ve aggressively integrated touch across our consumer PCs so that we have one of the largest portfolios of Windows 8 touch products available.”
Also featuring heavily at the show are connected smart devices that turn a consumer's data into useful ways to help improve health and lifestyle, through devices that monitor activity, blood pressure, sleep patterns and even a fork to help you slow down food intake.
The Consumer Electronics Show officially opens tomorrow in Las Vegas, with about 156,000 attendees expected to walk through its doors before it closes at the end of the week.
Major technology firms such as Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and Lenovo are among the 3,000 firms exhibiting at the event. This year’s exhibition has grown in floor size, to 170,000 sq m this year.
However, with some of the major technology firms scaling down their presence at the show – Microsoft is no longer delivering the keynote speech and some firms are abandoning the show floor in favour of holding meetings at the many nearby hotels – questions have once again arisen about its future and whether it will continue to play as big a part in the tech industry’s calendar in years to come.