CES 2018: Television Frenzy

Where the prestigious CES event ends, a new year in television begins. For many manufacturers, CES is the perfect opportunity to release their new TV lineup for the coming year; and for some also to show their new and sometimes magical innovations. In this article we take a look at some of the televisions that were shown at CES. A look at what 2018 (and the years after) have to offer in the world of television.

Innovation is key

For Samsung, bigger is better. That is what they have shown with their new product ‘The Wall’. A television screen that is a whopping 146-inches. And with this screen, Samsung introduced something called MicroLED. A new technology that Samsung intends to use to outplay OLED, which is frequently used by it’s competitor: LG. As with all new technologies, we likely won’t see it become available to all consumers at a reasonable price any time soon. Samsung did say ‘The Wall’ would be available for purchase some time this year.

On the other hand, there is LG. They went a completely different way, going for the complete opposite: smaller is better. To some extent, that is, because the television they demonstrated is actually 65-inches big. What LG introduced is however unlike anything we’ve seen so far. The screen they introduced can be rolled up into a box. Yes, rolled. As you can see, the screen rolls upwards out of a box, ready to be watched. And when you are done watching? Simply let the screen roll back down into the box. No more big, black screens taking up space in your room. Like ‘The Wall’ from Samsung, we won’t see this innovative TV on the market any time soon. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy looking towards the future, where this rolling screen might just be available.

The war on assistants

LG announced that some their lineup for 2018 will support both Google Assistant and Alexa. Opting to go for already existing assistants, as opposed to their newly (at CES) introduced Cloi. Which might actually be a good thing, given that the assistant failed to respond to voice commands during the onstage demonstration.

As with many of their products, Samsung opted to go for their own creation, Bixby. While Google Assistant and the likes are available in many languages and in many countries, Bixby will at launch only be available in the United States of America.

Like LG, Hisense will also be supporting two assistants in some of their top models, both Alexa and Google Assistant will be available. The same goes for Sony, which also supports the same two assistants. It seems like most manufacturers try to cater to a big a crowd as possible, possibly expecting the support of a particular assistant being a deal maker or breaker when looking for a new television.

With the addition of many assistants on televisions, it is going to be interesting to see how they will make their way into the applications itself. While launching an application usually works, actually seeing assistants be used in applications might just be the biggest change we see coming to Smart TV applications. Just talk to your tv and start watching.

What 2018 will bring

LG

With regards to HDR, LG continues to support most formats. Dolby Vision, HDR10, HLG and Advanced HDR by Technicolor are all supported. HDR10+ is still missing from that list, and it is unclear if LG will ever be supporting the format.

Samsung

Sony

It is also quite cool to see that Sony does take care of their older models, with the 2017 higher tier devices getting Dolby Vision support via a firmware update. Still running Android TV, Sony also announced a few new LED series, trying to cater to the lower end of the market.

Philips

Next to the introduction of the small 24-incher, Philips also introduced a variety of other televisions. With both entry-level and high end televisions, Philips tries to cater to, well, almost everyone. The only change being the dropped support for HDR10, and opting to go for Dolby Vision instead.

Hisense

TCL

Others

Panasonic finally joins in on the OLED screens, announcing a 4K OLED range with HDR10+ support. Haier announced that their new televisions will run Android Oreo out of the box, and Westinghouse also announced televisions running Android TV.

Honorable mention

‘Big Format Gaming Displays’, as Nvidia calls them, are big 65-inch 4K HDR screens, supporting a lot of different technologies. Too many to mention really. Therefore it is not really a television in the standard sense. It does however come with full Shield TV support, meaning it can easily be used for video streaming and OTT applications. It might just take up an interesting place in the television market.

Round up

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