CES 2013: Ultra HD sets cut through the noise
Out at the big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, as is typically the case, new types of TVs are taking center stage. YNN's Adam Balkin takes a look at whether or not it's time to start saving for yet another upgrade.
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CES stands for the Consumer Electronics Show, but what it could stand for is Countdown towards the End of your Set. Every year, without fail, new, bigger, brighter TV sets occupy the bulk of the show floor making it feel like what you're watching on now will be ready for the antique store by the end of the year. Ultra high definition is the culprit this year, or TVs with four times the resolution or sharpness of current HDTVs.
"When you get a really big screen and you sit close to it you can start to see some of the picture artifacts, some of the noise that’s not supposed to be there. And it starts to detract a bit from the picture. So if you make the pixels that much smaller then you can sit that much closer to the TV and still get that really sharp picture," explained Ryan Chicoine of Samsung.
The initial issue with Ultra HD sets, the same problem HD sets had at the beginning, is the same problem 3D sets had at the beginning: Content. Will there be enough stuff for you to watch on your TV to enjoy it in all its glory?
Sony is among those working on it for you. Its solution, thanks to help from Sony Pictures Studios, is an Ultra HD or 4K digital download service.
"We’re going to offer a 4K content distribution content service second half of this year. Currently, we’re talking about movies like the 'Amazing Spiderman', we’re talking about 'Salt', blockbuster content that folks know," said Daryl Eshun of Sony Electronics.
As if the TV landscape isn't confusing enough you'll also start seeing extra vibrant, extra thin OLEDs, or organic light emitting diodes. Samsung and LG showed off curved OLEDs to help reduce glare. Manufacturers are also busy building new functionality with apps and ultra content customization. Plus, new ways to interact with that content using your voice, your finger, or a pen.
"With the electronic touch pen you can do games, you can do anything. But there are some practical applications can be like a whiteboard, a teacher could use it in school," said Gregg Lee of Panasonic.
If that's not futuristic enough, Haier and Tobii are also teaming up on a TV where users control everything from the menus, volume, and more using just their eyes.