HD Guru’s Five Key Takeaways From CES 2018

January 15th, 2018 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, 8K OLED, 8K ultra-high resolution, AI Voice Powered Digital Assistants, Amazon, Connected TVs, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDMI, HDR, HDR10+, intelligent assistant, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, LG Display, LG Electronics, News, OLED, OLED, Streaming Services, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV, Ultra HD Blu-ray Players, Video Processors

ATSC Contributing Members Celebrate Finalization of the ATSC 3.0 Core Specifications at CES.

CES 2018 will likely be remembered as the year that the stakes changed for television contrast performance, picture processing and color accuracy. Virtually across the board, every leading manufacturer advanced and expanded 4K OLED and/or LED-LCD TV lines with more powerful picture processing and brought back full-array LED backlighting to LCD TVs in a bigger, brighter and blacker way.

At the same time, we got a clearer vision of the future direction of television technology with the debut of the first MicroLED screen intended for home use, and a handful of 8K sets that appear to be heading to the home faster than many might have expected.

It was also the year that Artifical Intelligence (AI) took a central role in smart TV platforms of virtually every major TV brand, allowing the power of spoken commands to take on new levels of capability from controlling to home theater to ordering a pizza through the display (or its mic-equipped remote).

See our five key takeaways for the show and what to expect in the months (and years) ahead after the jump:

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Comcast Unveils Expanded Xfinity Home Automation Platform

January 10th, 2018 · AI Voice Powered Digital Assistants, cable MSOs, Cable TV, Home Automation, intelligent assistant, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OLED, routers, Second Screen, UHDTV, voice command, voice control

 

Giant cable TV multi system operator (MSO) Comcast is using CES 2018 to unveil an expansion on its Xfinity Home security and automation capabilities across the entire Xfinity services portfolio.

Parts of that expansion will involve the company’s X1 set-top interface and Xfi mobile device app and is an extension of the the successful Xfinity Home security platform.

“We are going to help customers unlock some of these new capabilities as we think about the connected home moving into more of an intelligent home, giving our customers the ability to have that at their finger tips with one click or by saying something into the voice remote,” said Patti Loyack, Comcast Cable IP services VP.

The system will enable new levels of personalized service and convenience, so that, for example, a customer can wake up in the morning and say “Xfinity, good morning,” and automatically the X1 box tunes the television to a favorite morning program, the thermostat is adjusted to a preferred temperature, the lights are turned on or off, and the latest news, weather and traffic reports appear on the X1 screen offering a glance of the morning’s activity.

Read more about the Xfinity Home Automation initiative after the jump:

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Polk Unveils `The Command Bar’ With Alexa Mic Array

January 9th, 2018 · 2160p, AI Voice Powered Digital Assistants, Amazon, Audio, Auro3D, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, HDMI, HDR, height channels, Home Automation, intelligent assistant, News, object-based audio, OTT services, Sound Bars, Sound Systems, Streaming Services, sub woofer, Surround Sound, Surround Sound Systems, UHDTV, voice command, voice control, Wireless Audio

 

Sound United is using CES 2018 to unveil the Polk Audio Command Bar, which was developed in association with Amazon to produce a soundbar that is kind of like an Amazon Alexa speaker on steroids.

In other news, Sound United said today that it is further expanding its brand portfolio by finalizing a new deal to acquire Classé Audio.

Classé Audio offers a suite of high fidelity amplifiers, pre-amplifier processors and integrated amplifiers. Classé Audio was previously owned and distributed by Bowers & Wilkins.

Classé Audio’s president, Dave Nauber, will continue to lead the Classé Audio brand at Sound United,

The Polk Command Bar, which will be available in March and priced at $299.95 suggested retail, will integrate Amazon Alexa far-field microphones into the home theater setup.

Meanwhile, Sounds United’s Marantz brand also unveiled a new model 8805 pre-amp (replacing the 7704) and the Denon brand unveiled the new flaship AVR-X8500H, 13.2-channel high-performance receiver with eight HDMI inputs/3 out supporting 4K Ultra/HDR10/Dolby Vision, XLR ports, compatibility with Dolby Amos, DTS:X, DTS Virtual:X, Auro 3D, HEOS multi-room audio, Crestron and Control4 certification, Alexa-voice control and comes with the Audyssey MultiEQ full setup for auto speaker tuning to the room environment and speaker layout.

The Denon AVR-X8500 AVR is slated to hit retail in May at a $3,799 suggested retail.

The company said the Command Bar was engineered to work the same way that any Amazon Echo, Echo Dot (and others) AI speaker does to control various home automation and home entertainment devices that operate within the same network.

Read more on The Command Bar for Polk Audio after the jump:

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Sony Unveils Wired Connectivity Option For RX0 4K Cameras

January 8th, 2018 · 2160p, 360-Degree Video, Digital Camera/Camcorder, Digital Cameras, HDR, News, UHDTV

Sony’s diminutive RX0 camera (above) is getting new wired connectivity capabilities to enhance multi-camera synchronized shooting.

Sony announced at CES 2018 that it is adding wired-control extensions to its RX-family 4K cameras including the latest cube-style RX0 ultra-compact model designed to link with other cameras for unusual synchroized shooting experiences including 360-degree images and Virtual Reality (VR).

Among the new features being offered are: raw field capture, S-log-2, and 4K capture and output in up to 960 fps slow motion. Using wired connections users will be able to link and synchronize cameras over longer distances and with greater synchronization accuracy.

In addition, a new version of Sony’s PlayMemories software will enable up to 50 RX0 cameras to connect together for wildly different shooting perspectives and VR footage, among many other things.

Sony said the new capabilities are expected to really expand the creative options open to content creators dabbling in new creative worlds like VR.

Read more on the extensions to Sony’s RX0 camera after the jump:

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Sony Raises Picture Bar With X900F LED-LCD, 8F OLED TV Series

January 8th, 2018 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, AI Voice Powered Digital Assistants, Amazon, Connected TVs, Dolby Atmos, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDMI, HDR, Home Automation, intelligent assistant, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OLED, OLED, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV, Video Processors, voice command, voice control

Sony’s Bravia 4K UHD OLED 8F series ups picture quality ante in 2018.

Sony Electronics unveiled at CES 2018 Monday two new and expanded series of 4K Ultra HDTVs including the X900F Bravia 4K LED-LCD TV series and the 8F Bravia 4K OLED series.

Both series were said to have been designed to make the best use of 4K High Dynamic Range (HDR) content and improves SD and HD content to near 4K HDR quality using a combination of a new picture processor and panel control technologies.

“Building on the great successes of the X900 and OLED TV series, we are further expanding the choices for consumers by introducing the new X900F LED and A8F OLED TV models,” said Mike Fasulo, Sony Electronics North America president and COO.

Read more about the Sony 2018 4K TV lines from CES 2018 after the jump:

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TCL Unveils New 5, 6 Series 4K Roku TVs With Dolby Vision

January 8th, 2018 · 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, AI Voice Powered Digital Assistants, Connected TVs

One TCL’s 2018 Series 6 4K Ultra HD Roku TVs with a thin-screen design.

TCL, which was last year’s fast-growing television brand in North America behind its lines of value-priced Roku TVs, used CES 2018 to both celebrate its achievements over the past 12 months, and to set the course for further advancements in the year ahead with high value, strong performing displays.

The company said it is emphasizing “premium picture performance” in larger-sized smart TVs with HDR10, Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR), a wide color gamut and precise color accuracy to make its name and build is share of the U.S. television business.

As an example of that effort, TCL revealed at press conference in Las Vegas that it will globally launch in the second half of 2018 premium 4K Ultra HD LED-LCD TVs incorporating new “quantum dot on glass” technology. This approach was described as “a method of bringing the wide color gamut performance of quantum dot technology to a more mainstream range of products.”

Nearer term, the company will launch in a few weeks new aggressively priced lines of 4K Ultra HD LED-LCD TVs that will further the momentum started with the release of the popular P6 Series of 4K/Dolby Vision HDR Roku TVs it released in the second half of 2017.

Read more TCL’s 2018 television product plans after the jump:

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Hisense Unveils 4K Android TV Lines With Voice AI

January 8th, 2018 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, 4K LED LCD, AI Voice Powered Digital Assistants, Amazon, Connected TVs, electronic program guides, Full Array LED Backlit with Local Dimming, HDMI, HDR, intelligent assistant, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, Streaming Services, UHDTV, voice command, voice control

Hisense H10E series 4K Ultra HD LED-LCD TVs will include quantum dot technology for a wider color gamut and brighter HDR

Hisense USA unveiled at CES 2018 a range new 4K Ultra HDTVs under both its Hisense and Sharp brands, with the goal of significantly building its market share in the year ahead.

The company continues to use the Sharp label it acquired two years ago to build placement for both Sharp and Hisense in leading regional and national retail chains and e-commerce portals.

Hisense USA marketing VP Mark Viken said Hisense still has three years left on its licensing agreement for the Sharp name on televisions in North America and Brazil, and it intends to continue using it throughout the term of that agreement.

Sharp Corp., under the new direction of majority owner Foxconn/Hon Hai Corp, has been trying to get the licensing rights for televisions sold under the Sharp brand back from Hisense in order to begin using the trademark itself for a global television business.

Meanwhile, Hisense will soon complete the acquisition of 95 percent of the assets of the Toshiba Visual Systems Group, along with the manufacturing and marketing rights to the Toshiba brand for TVs and related electronics. Viken said Hisense continues to determine how it will use that brand and assets in the future.

Elsewhere, Hisense continues its brand building both in the United States and internationally, with key sponsorships around the FIFA World Cup, USA Soccer, USA Women’s Soccer, NASCAR and Evil Genius video gaming. Hisense also will have exclusive access to a World Cup app on its TVs, with direct access to many of the matches, including camera angle selection.

Kevin Cahill, Hisense product marketing director, said Hisense will have in North America three smart TV platforms determined by model series in 2018. These include the Android TV platform, in the company’s top-range LED-LCD TV series, Hisense’s own smart TV platform in step-down Hisense and Sharp series and the Roku smart TV platform in select Hisense and Sharp TV series.

Read more about the 2018 Hisense and Sharp TV lines after the jump:

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Panasonic Shows 4K OLED TVs Supporting HDR10+

January 8th, 2018 · 2160p, 4K Flat Panel, Connected TVs, HDMI, HDR, HDR10+, LCD Flat Panel, LED LCD Flat Panels, News, OLED, OLED, Surround Sound, UHD 4K OLED, UHDTV

Panasonic is using CES 2018 to showcase four 4K OLED TVs, all of which will support HDR10+ high dynamic range (HDR) with dynamic metadata among other advanced picture quality platforms.

Unfortunately, initial plans for the U.S. market are to sell the new OLED TVs “only as reference monitors”  here, although they are expected to be available in other regions that maintain consumer television businesses, a company spokesman told HD Guru.

Stay tuned to HD Guru for updates from the show.

The new 4K OLED TVs are said to incorporate “profound under-the-hood improvements” to Panasonic’s proprietary Hollywood Cinema Experience (HCX) image processor, along with the latest generation of HDR OLED panels “with exceptional contrast and colors.”

Using HCX processing and other techniques, Panasonic said the televisions are capable of covering 100 percent of the Digital Cinema Intiative (DCI) P3 wide color gamut recommendation.

Read more about Panasonic’s 2018 4K OLED TV range after the jump:

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