CES2022: TV news from the lockdown

Battle of the giants

As done in my previous CES blogs, we generally look at giants first. But who are the giants as of late? Typically this would be a battle between the likes of Samsung and LG. They have been at the forefront of TV for many years, and most innovations come from them, too. If we’re however looking at data from the United States, it appears that Roku is the biggest in this area. So how are these three giants fairing against each other with their CES2022 announcements?

Samsung combines OLED with Quantum Dots

Funny enough, Samsung wasn’t the one officially announcing the first ever QD-OLED TV. That honour went to Sony, when they announced their A95K series. No, Samsung didn’t do a big press release about one of their biggest means of competing with LG. But they did bring it to CES: Samsung received an Innovation Award for the ‘Video Display’ category, for their 65-inch QuantumDot-OLED display. Even though Samsung didn’t announce it in a press release (yet, as of writing), it is still a big stab at LG to try and take the OLED crown.

Image credit: Samsung

LGs next level OLED

Having been the undisputed king of OLED in the past years, LG is this year again betting big on OLED. With their yet again improved OLED evo technology, LG offers premium televisions from their newly announced G2 series, as well as from select C2 series. Both series are powered by LGs new Alpha 9 Gen 5 intelligent processor, which uses the companies ‘Brightness Booster’ technology to deliver an even brighter picture.

Image credit: LG

Roku silently gaining more traction

While many TV-manufacturers use CES each year to announce their newest products, Roku takes a slightly different approach. They don’t sit still for most of the year, and add as much as they can, whenever they can. That can partially be contributed to the fact that their operating system is exposed and available for different manufacturers, but it’s an interesting fact none the less.

Best of the rest

Just because brands are not Samsung or LG, doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Part of the success of Roku is the fact that other brands are rocking their OS, so let’s take a look at some of the other announcements made at CES.

Sony ‘beats’ Samsung with first QD-OLED TV

As mentioned already, Samsung didn’t actually officially announce their QD-OLED TV models yet. They brought them to CES, but never actively announced them. The honour of the first QD-OLED TVs officially announced goes to Sony. Next to that, Sony also added both 8K and 4K models with MiniLED technology. Sony makes use of Google TV/Android TV, making them one of the most important and well-known brands out there for the Google camp.

Image credit: Sony

Hollywood-tuned TVs from Panasonic

If there’s one company that has always shown amazing TVs (and other tech) at CES, it’s Panasonic. While last year they showed primarily gaming-focused televisions, this year it was the turn for everything Hollywood. Panasonics newly announced flagship LZ2000 OLED TVs are specifically tuned to deliver the best movie and series experience. And that’s not all. With new ‘Game Control Board’ settings, automatic NVIDIA GPU detection and improved latency, this toprange is especially good for gamers as well. It goes to show that, like many companies lately, gaming is seen as a really important field.

TCL makes thinnest 8K TV

You may have just gotten used to the fact that 4K television has taken its rightful place into our lives. It was only a few years ago that we were still complaining that ‘4K televisions don’t make sense, there is no content’. Fast forward to the beginning of 2022 and TCL just showcased their 85-inch 8K television that’s just a whopping 3.9mm thin. How many years will it take before I get to write a sentence that ‘8K has only recently taken its rightful place into our lives’?

Skyworth aims to increase presence in USA and Canada

Maybe not known as a household name in most countries yet, Skyworth has been one of the top OLED-TV sellers in China for several years already. Announced at CES, Skyworth aims to bring many different TVs to the USA and Canada in the summer of 2022. Skyworth has announced both OLED and Mini-LED models, making them aim for both the premium and lower-end segment of the market. Importantly, all TVs use the Google TV operating system, making Skyworth another important partner for Google.

Android TV powered projector from XGIMI

Did you think TVs were the only devices running TV-like operating systems? Well, then you’ll enjoy seeing the announcement from XGIMI. The ‘AURA UST’ from XGIMI is an ultra-short throw projector that allows you to project your content to as big as 150 inches, all in 4K. And since it runs Android TV, users get to enjoy the same functionality as many regular TV users would. Furthermore, it has three HDMI ports, making it an even further potential replacement for a fully-fledged TV.

Hisense for gamers

Another manufacturer that really attempts to bet big on gaming is Hisense. Their full 2022 line-up will include HDMI 2.1 features, Dolby Vision Atmos, Game Mode with Variable Refresh Rate, Auto Low Latency Mode and more, all geared towards making gameplay run smoothly on TV. Oh, and let’s not forget their 8K Mini-LED series which uses AI Upscaling technology to ensure the best picture quality is always there, regardless of the content that’s watched.

Image credit: XGIMI

Key takeaways

Every year CES brings us many of the wonders of technology that we’ll grow to use in our everyday lives. We’ve seen the likes of OLED, 4K, HDR and much more make its way into our living room. So what are the key takeaways of the announcements made this year?

Fragmented TV operating systems

One thing that I don’t think will change for many years to come, is the fragmentation we see in the operating systems used on televisions. Unlike mobile where the consolidation has been made between iOS from Apple and Android from Google, that’s not at all true for televisions. We’ve seen new TV announcements for: Roku’s OS, Android TV (and Google TV), Samsung’s Tizen, LG’s WebOS, Panasonics My Home Screen (previously Firefox OS or Smart Viera). And what to think of HbbTV or ATSC3.0? If there’s one thing CES2022 didn’t change, it’s the fragmentation of TV operating systems.

8K is the future

Users might not be able to count the pixels on 4K televisions already, but if the announcements this year show us anything: 8K is here to stay. With most manufacturers offering an 8K television in some way, shape or form, it’s definitely going to slowly start replacing 4K as the standard in the near future. It might take some time for new encoding standards or bandwidth solutions to show up, as 8K takes up a lot of bandwidth currently, but it’s definitely coming.

OLED for everyone

Samsung has been hesitant to bring out any OLED televisions in the recent years. And for good reason, their biggest screen competitor, LG, manufactures majority of the panels for OLED televisions. But that might all change with Samsung’s QD-OLED technology, that we’ve already seen on televisions from Sony, too. In the upcoming year or two we’ll definitely start to see more of OLED, this time also coming from the likes of Samsung.

TV takes the center of Gaming and Smart Home

This is a change that has been happening for a year already, but has only been bolstered with the announcements at CES this year. LG, Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic all have made announcements in some way that target gamers. And for good reason, it’s a massive market that’s only growing. Next to gaming, Smart Home connections are another feat that has shifted from personal handhelds to the big screen. With most manufacturers pledging support for the Matter standard, we’ll be seeing more integrations between the TV and other devices in the household. So in both cases of gaming and Smart Home, the TV looks to take a bigger place in consumer’s lives, taking away from the personal handheld phones and tablets.

Concluding

From a people perspective, it’s been a quieter CES than usual. But definitely not from a technology perspective. The majority of TV-manufacturers have made announcements and showed some of their devices that will reach the markets come end of Spring or beginning of Summer. It’ll be interesting to see what consumers will go for. Will it be affordable OLED from LG, will they try the first generation of QD-OLED TVs from Samsung and Sony, will Roku dominate the US even more? Only time will tell.

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