Posted on February 3, 2014 in ATSC News
By Brian Markwalter
Senior Vice President, Consumer Electronics Association
Once again International CES set the stage for an amazing year of technology innovation with a record 2 million net square feet of exhibit space housing more than 3,200 exhibitors in Las Vegas last month. Ultra High-Definition TVs, Hi-Res audio, smartphones and tablets, 3D printers, connected cars, sensors, robotics and drones engaged the more than 150,000 industry professionals who attended.
Ultra HD TVs and deals to deliver 4K content to them were big news at the 2014 CES. It’s hard to believe that just a year ago only a few Ultra HD TV models were on the market. By the 2013 holiday selling season, nearly two dozen models were available. And right on cue to answer the inevitable question “What will consumers watch?”, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and M-Go each announced at CES that 4K content will be available to their subscribers this year. Looking ahead to the not-so-distant future, we also expect ATSC 3.0 broadcasting to deliver 4K content.
Consumers will be able to watch Ultra HD on more screen sizes and different technologies this year. The range of sizes has expanded beyond the 55- and 65-inch models that dominated stores in December, with a number of manufacturers offering a full line-up from 50 inches to 70 inches and beyond. Some manufacturers showed both curved and even bendable Ultra HD TVs. That’s right – the most advanced TVs will literally bend to your will.
TV manufacturers and video distributors unveiled big advances in how consumers find and watch content. Improving TV User Experience (UX) has been a theme the past few years. Dovetailing with industry progress on ATSC 2.0, the pieces came together this year with Smart TVs that responded to the individual watching with that person’s preferences for content and apps, and TVs with multiple forms of interaction and control. Dish responded to consumer demand for simplicity by winning the Engadget Best of CES video product award with the Virtual Joey, replacing the hardware Joey with software to stream live and recorded content to additional Smart TVs in the home.
The underpinnings of “mass customization” were on display at CES. The sold out 3D Printing Techzone was a testament to a future in which manufacturing seamlessly scales from artisanal to mass market, and consumers get custom designs at previously unattainable prices. The 3D Printing Techzone contained everything from consumer-priced printers to high-quality printing services, 3D scanners and even the ChefJet printer for edibles.
The bright line between tablets and PCs continued to blur with a raft of innovative, convertible products shown at CES. Even the line between operating systems disappeared. The Asus Transformer Book Trio won a CES Best of Innovations award by bringing together an Intel Atom-powered tablet with a Core i7 dock and the ability to switch in seconds between Windows and Android. Consumers often use their tablets and smartphones for second screen activities, but CEA-NATPE research released at CES shows that asynchronous activities, like visiting a shows web site, are more widespread and more satisfying than synchronous activities, like voting, which viewers tend to rank as “nice to have.”
Small was big at CES too. Wearable devices loaded with sensors and radios abounded, and not just in exhibits. It was downright common to see attendees sporting Google Glass, fitness trackers and the latest smart watches. And if your job is to figure out the breakthroughs for next year and beyond, then Eureka Park was the place to be. Eureka Park is the home for more than 200 startups showing biometrics and identity protection, invisible speakers, flexible batteries and completely immersive 360-degree virtual reality systems. Check out cesweb.org to see what you may have missed and plan next year’s visit.
Posted in ATSC News
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc., is an international, non-profit organization developing voluntary standards and recommended practices for digital terrestrial broadcasting. ATSC member organizations represent the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite, and semiconductor industries. ATSC also develops digital terrestrial broadcasting implementation strategies and supports educational activities on ATSC standards.
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