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CES focuses on 4K and “much better pixels”

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens this week in Las Vegas, and the received wisdom is that the show will be dominated by larger Ultra-HD TV screen sizes from the major display manufacturers, but different to CES 2015 in that they will all be capable of handling 10-bit depth pixels and thus – at last – helping guarantee the demand for “better pixels” needed by broadcasters.

There will also be ‘live’ 4K ‘over the air’ Ultra HD transmissions to the Las Vegas area in ATSC 3.0, and courtesy of a special frequency utilised by Sinclair Broadcasting.

But there’s more. Manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung and LG are each offering consumers support for high dynamic range (HDR) content and a suite of expanded colours that gets close to the Rec. 2020 standard now emerging (and which sets the standard for a Wider Color Gamut).

And there are a handful of display manufacturers who are showcasing their 8K sets which is a tad cheeky given that 4K is hardly mass market just yet.  LG, for example, is to show a massive 98” set, although its price – not yet revealed – will likely only be affordable by Russian oligarchs and top-rated sports and movie stars.

The likes of LG, and speciality display suppler Vizio, say that more 4K programming is now coming out of the studios, with Visio’s CTO Matt McRae, quoted by 4K News, says that the supply of 4K programming will increase “ten-fold” by mid-2016.

Also emerging now is a fast-growing portfolio of 4K Blu-ray programming. Warner Bros were first out of the gate with a promised thirty-five 4K/HDR releases this year.  4K Blu-ray players from all of the major manufacturers are also likely to appear in stores during the first 3 months of this year. Some of this programming will also handle the latest Dolby Atmos technology, and DTS:X “super” surround sound enhancements.

There’s one other element that will excite some buyers, and perhaps frighten others: Samsung says that its complete 2016 range of sets will be able to handle connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), via the SmartThings platform. Via its sets consumers will be able to connect, manage and control smart devices and IoT.

“The 2016 line-up of Smart TVs will offer consumers new possibilities and cement Samsung’s market leading position, as the first company to launch IoT ready TVs.” said Hyun Suk Kim, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.

“With Samsung Smart TVs working with the SmartThings technology, we have an opportunity to reach millions of households,” said Alex Hawkinson, CEO and Co-founder of SmartThings. “Applying this technology into current household devices is a major step forwards that will make it much easier for everyone to experience the benefits of a smart home.”

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