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Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show: TV

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Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show: TV

This year, Las Vegas isn’t seeing as much joy as it has in previous years. Following the great Pox Pandemic Panic, nothing remains as it was. Virtually everything, with precious few exceptions, has undergone massive transformation. The ground we thought solid and stable shifts constantly under our feet.

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This is no less true of the Consumer Electronics Show. This, the biggest industry trade show of all, suffers from lockdown fever. The CES has adopted a more somber tone this year than ever before. Last year, the show attracted more than 170,000 visitors, but the large noisy crowds are no more. The vividly colored booths and the neon-lit product displays are no more.

This year’s show is strictly virtual. Exhibitors display new products online in virtual showrooms or in livestreamed press conferences. Some participants do no more than issue press releases. A few even unveiled their new wares before the show.

Still, whether physical or virtual, the show must go on. Corporations want to sell their wares, and they seek to dazzle press and public with their innovations.

What have we found in Las Vegas?

With this in mind, here are a few of the more interesting trends in video displays we’ve found at the show:

  • Mini LED: The most obvious current trend in TV sets and monitors is the Mini-LED. In this, Samsung and LG have led the way. Samsung unveiled 4K and 8K Neo-LED screens; LG unveiled QNED displays. Mini-LED provides more precise backlighting than LCD, for deeper blacks, better contrast, and overall picture quality comparable to OLED, but at much lower price. QNED combines nanocells with quantum dots for highly precise color, contrast, and brightness levels.
  • Cognitive Processing: Sony offers a unique feature with its new displays: “cognitive processing”. Sony says this is an algorithm that constantly analyzes the picture, figures out what the viewer wants to see, and adjusts brightness levels to highlight that portion of the image. We haven’t seen how it works in practice.
  • NextGen TV: Several manufacturers released models with built-in access to NextGen TV. For those unfamiliar with the term, it is free 4K over-the-air broadcast of local stations. Hitherto, getting NextGen TV has required an external tuner.
  • Wireless TV: As if the above wasn’t wild enough, Reasonance***, a wireless technology firm, has unveiled a TV set powered without wires. The firm displayed a 40″ video screen with a power source it calls “advanced magnetic resonance”. The TV can be mounted on a wall while its source of electricity sits on a sideboard up to 20″ away.

But wait! There’s more!

What happens in Las Vegas won’t stay in Las Vegas. We have much more to tell you about other exhibits at the show: computers and accessories, robots and drones, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the connected home, transportation, and a few oddities. But that will have to wait for another post.

**’Reasonance’ is the proper spelling.

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