The 5 Things We Hope to See At CES 2013
Greg Gibson / Jan 7th, 2013 No Comments
The annual International CES is right around the corner and Gaming Illustrated’s bevy of journalists will be right on the scene ferreting out all the latest technology innovations. Coming on the heels of Christmas, attending CES is very similar – we just can’t wait to see what has been under wraps from giants like Sony, Samsung, and Mitsubishi to entrepreneurs like Darbee (“improve your HD with this handy little box” – got your interest didn’t it!).
Well, our reservations are made and anticipation is high. But this begs the question: what are the 5 things we hope we will see at CES 2013? Importantly, this is not what we expect to see – we have been covering all the latest rumors in abundance. No, this is what technological advances would help the consumers the most. So, in no particular order, our “hopes” are that the industry will finally have addressed:
1. Incorporating 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound to TVs
Let’s face it – the single greatest bane of marital harmony involves the remote control. And the single most uttered frustration is “Why did you buy all this stuff that I can’t work”? Simply put, having an audio/video processor sitting next to the Blu-Ray player sitting next to the AppleTV sitting next to the Cable box sitting under the 65-inch TV is obviously “conspicuously unintelligent” (i.e., dumb). But until TV manufacturers make the “great leap forward”, we appear to be doomed. If we can have a “smart TV” with Internet capability, then certainly we can hard-wire a surround sound processor and cable box into the TV and use Bluetooth to wirelessly feed the powered rear speakers. It might still have the Apple TV box, but integrating the audio and cable into the TV will instantly get my vote for best new product OF 2013.
2. Technology improvements on 4K TV to reduce price
Items 2 and 3 are really linked, but I would take either one separately if I had to accept only one choice. 4K TV is a requirement for passive full HD in 3-D. At present, the cost of a 4K TV is simply too much for anyone other than the Rich (as President Obama likes to call them). The current prices are: LG’s LED 84LM9600 for $14000; the SONY projection VPL-VW1000ES for $25000; or SONY XBR-84×900 for $25000.
Sorry guys, but the “critical price point” for 4K HD is around $4,500 ($5,000 if you can include the surround sound processor).
3. Use of 4K for Passive 3D – and use of lasers for DLP
As most of our readers know, “simulator flight sickness” is indeed a recognized (at least by the Department of Defense) condition where first-person shooters can make some people puke in 60 seconds (this author is one). Similarly, active 3-D glasses which “strobe” on and off to create the 3-D effect can also cause nausea and headaches. The simple solution is to use passive glasses like in the movie theaters – but those are all based on the 4K DLP technology.
Whether it is DLP or LED/LCD, the increase to 4K allows for full HD 3-D. LEDs like the LG 84LM9600 have excellent color and contrast; unfortunately, the DLPs do not have the same color quality unless you look at the color of the Mitsubishi LaserVue televisions. The use of lasers in DLPs might be one way of producing vibrant color similar to that of the LED.
4. Increased integration of devices so that the Master PC/MAC can run everything
Over the past three years, the master PC/Mac has been evolving into the brain of the house. It can now control thermostats, stream music, stream video, store audio and video locally on terabyte storage devices or store on the cloud, and sync home video cameras to check on who is Home Alone. What is next for the Home Brain? A simpler, intuitive, integrated software interface would certainly be the next step – with an app to allow everything to be controlled or accessed from your phone. While this is the most likely next step, it will be interesting to see how intuitive the interface will be – people are not going to read 500 pages of tech manuals to operate something. Keeping it simple will be the key to who wins the Home Brain market.
5. Increased use of Bluetooth in surround sound
Yes, there are many surround sound processors that have wireless speakers. But what would be nice is for the technology of the speakers to integrate Bluetooth for each individual speaker (or speaker set). Linking speakers wirelessly to the TV makes a lot of sense, and elimination of the surround sound process makes more sense. Bluetooth technology can give us short-range (25-35 foot distance) communications which will not interfere with our neighbors speakers. We look to a number of advances in wireless technology.
Ok – that is the “wish list” for the five things I would like to see at CES 2013. We will be heavily covering CES 2013 to bring you all the latest news.
tags: 4k tv , ces , ces 2013 , Editorial , opinion