HDTV’s at CES moved in several directions at once; LG introduced 55-Inch OLED and 84-Inch 3D TVs, Glasses-Free 3D HDTV from Toshiba, inexpensive passive 3D glasses from LG, speech recognition from Panasonic, “Smart TVs” such as Google TV 2.0, and “Boxless” Viewing of DIRECTV and EchoStar. Home networking is still trying to untangle the mess of wireless media standards.
Here’s a quick summary:
- LG’s 2012 HDTVs included a 55-inch OLED, said to be the world’s largest, and 3D-capable. All of the new LG models, including the LM9600, LM8500, LM7600 and LM6700 squeeze the bezel down to 5mm and a chassis just over 4mm thick. LG is forgoing the active shutter route for lighter (battery-free) passive 3D glasses, with 25 new models of LED HDTVs. The LM9600 and LM8600 have dual-core processors to assist with load speeds and voice recognition. MHL connectivity and a new dashboard.
- LG’s 84-inch 4K TV maintains its QuadHD resolution when displaying 2D content, but switching into 3D mode drops the resolution to 720p. It removes the need for viewers to wear glasses and uses face tracking to fine tune the experience for up to nine people. It went on sale in Japan and Germany for more than $10,000. LG’s 4K autostereoscopic 3DTV will make its US debut in the first quarter of 2012.
- Sony announced three new series of HDTVs for 2012 with ten new models for 2012, all due in Q1 2012. The top of the line HX models available in 46 or 55-inches, are Skype ready and include Track ID, with built-in WiFi and access to the Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) as well as apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus. The EX models also has Motionflow, but the 240 type, and instead of having built-in WiFi like the HX, there’s a dongle in the box. The BX330, only available in 32-inches.
- Sony’s Crystal LED technology, their new self-emitting crystal LED technology, is similar to OLED in that it doesn’t require a backlight. Sony says their prototype on the show floor uses 6 million LEDs mounted on the front of the display, providing a wider color gamut and faster response times.
- Sony introduced 24- and 46-inch glasses-free 3DTVs. The autostereoscopic panels, shown off at the company’s booth in 24- and 46-inch models can be experienced from the side with the incorporation of multi-point viewing angles. Only the larger set can deliver full HD, owing to its 4K resolution, whereas the 1080p panel on its lil’ bro suffers when halved. Distance also plays a major role in the intensity of the 3D visuals, with effects holding up at a range of up to 2ft for the smaller screen and 10ft for the 46-incher.
- Samsung’s TV products included a new range of super-thin, super-powerful Smart TVs. The company’s teamed up with DirecTV to offer its service without the use of a set top box. It can record five shows at once. Samsung LED TV Series 6 and LED TV Series 7 were LED backlit HDTVs, with better refresh rates, better colors, more contrast, faster processing and much more. Samsung 70″ 4K2K Quad-HD TV was also demoed. Samsung’s new line of smart TVs feature voice and gesture control, as well as facial recognition.
- Sharp will deliver an 80-inch Quattron 3DTV, and 20 more new HDTVs. The entire 2012 Sharp lineup features built-in WiFi and Sharp’s SmartCentral that delivers streaming options like Netflix, Hulu, many others and an AirPlay like feature called Beamzit. The 80 inch LC-80LE844U goes for $6,499.
- Google TV 2.0 has a new ARM chip reference design. Vizio introduced two TV sets as well as a Roku-like set-top box and a Blu-ray player, all of which will feature Google TV with the company’s own UI design. Sony added another Blu-ray player to its existing Google TV lineup, and LG introduced two 3-D TV sets that combine Google TV their own smart TV UI. Google and Samsung will introduce additional devices later this year.
- Google TV, the home-theater variant of Android had a slow start last year. This year at least four companies will offer Google TV products. Sony is going to be joined by Vizio, LG, and Samsung in offering Google inside their HDTVs and set-top boxes. Marvell and MediaTek are going to produce chipsets for future Google TV devices. Google TV is based on Android 3.1 (Honeycomb).
- Lenovo K91 Smart TV, by contrast, doesn’t use Google TV. Instead it’s using Android 4.0. Lenovo’s 55-inch IdeaTV K91 is the world’s first Android Ice Cream Sandwich TV. The 55-inch IPS 3D HDTV runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich (not Google TV), and features a 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon APQ8060, 1GB of RAM, 8GB storage, SD card expansion, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 10M/100M Ethernet, HDMI and USB 2.0 connectivity. The K91 will come in 42 and 55-inch, 3D LED varieties. The remote control will include a touchpad and a gamepad, along with some Lenovo cloud services, including an app store.
- Vizio ultrawidescreen, Google TV and Cinema 3D the new ARM brain powering Google TV has enabled the development of the VAP430 Stream Player, which while taller and heftier, nearly matches the tiny footprint of Roku’s hockey puck.