A Photo Tour of Top Video Manufacturers at CES 2014

Jan 9

Written by: John Sciacca
1/9/2014 2:05 PM  RssIcon

If you’ve never made it out to Vegas for CES, then it is hard to imagine the immensity of the booths that the major video manufacturers build. Samsung, Sony, LG, Panasonic, Sharp… these are giant, walled fortresses in the midst of the convention center all showing the latest technologies that will be gracing the world in the coming months/years. I combed the Las Vegas Convention Center’s Central Hall and visited each of the big booths and took photos of the displays and technologies that stood out to me.

LG


You are welcomed to LG’s booth by just a mammoth wall of flat panel TVs, 140 of them all together, all seamlessly synched to display one gigantic 3D image. The flat panels are in a 20 x 7 array and produce a pretty awesome 3D picture that is incredibly bright and immersive.
 
 
LG calls this the “world’s first 21:9 curved Ultra HDTV” which means that I guess Samsung’s is the world’s second… What I liked about this set was the industrial design of the pedestal base and the attention to sound with the included Harman/Kardon audio system.

 

What’s cooler than one 105-inch UHDTV? How about five of them arrayed vertically to produce one massive display. This is taking digital signage to the max!

Toshiba

 

You are greeted outside Toshiba’s booth by an array of the company’s UHD offerings, letting you know that the company is serious about size and performance offerings in 4K.

 

Think 4K is good? How about adding one more k. This extra wide Ultra HD set by Toshiba is 5K, or 5120 x 2160 resolution. However, I attended a panel given by Joe Kane where he mentioned that this format isn’t supported by HDMI 2.0, so, ummm, whoops…?

 

Toshiba displayed quite a few “video behind mirror” displays, and I felt this was the coolest. How often are you getting ready in the morning when you’d love to know the latest news, weather or Twitter update? Now, you can!

Panasonic

 

Panasonic mentioned this during its press conference, and I told you I’d be getting a picture of it. So, as a man of my word, here it is! While this has no real residential application, it would make for an awesome commercial display.
 


Gaming had a big presence in the video manufacturer booths at CES, and this was a cool demo that Panasonic put on, featuring 4K, 60P gaming on an 85-inch screen. The motion was terrific during the racing game.

There has been much wailing and teeth gnashing over the fact that Panasonic decided to cancel its plasma line-up. But to prove that they haven’t given up on picture quality, there was a dark room, no cameras demo comparing last year’s flagship ZT-series plasma panel to the company’s next-generation LED sets. While I think the plasma was still the clear winner, the LED wasn’t as far behind as you’d think.

Sharp

 
Sharp really touted how great the new Quattron+ sets with Revelation technology were during its press event, and I was eager to see how they looked side-by-side next to a 4K set. At half the price of the UHD model, I felt the Quattron+ held its own very well and delivered a gorgeous image that had deep blacks and punchy, bright color.

 
Sharp has showcased 8K at CES for the past couple of years, and it seems that everyone likes to look at this 85-inch TV from like six inches away. Well, if you want to know what the pixel structure looks like from inches away, here you go. I used the macro mode on my camera, and any blurriness is from my lack of hand steadiness.

Samsung

 
The Samsung booth is gigantic, like you need to punch in GPS coordinates to help find your way back out again if you get lost. It’s also the most impressive booth in the scope of technologies displayed. When you enter the booth, they have an awesome orchestral presentation on the Ultimate Immersive Experience. It would actually be really cool to see a concert in this set up.

 
And here is the second “world’s first 21:9 curved Ultra HDTV.”

 
This is an OLED TV that can change from flat to curved at the press of a button. I’m not really sure the logic behind it. Maybe you like it curved when on and flat when off. Or maybe curved for movies and flat for sports. Or, you know, sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don’t… Whatever. Press a button, and this thing transformers into a different shape.

 
Not to be outdone by Sharp having an 8K TV, Samsung displayed a 98-inch QUHD TV.

 
For commercial video displays, this Samsung TV features the world’s thinnest, ultra narrow bezel creating a near seamless wall-o-video.

Sony

 
With all of this talk about 4K, people are still wondering where the content is coming from. Well, if you are a Netflix subscriber, you can start streaming “House of Cards” in 4K sometime this year. Now, it definitely didn’t look as good as the true, native 4K demos, but it looked much better than traditional Netflix HD video, so maybe Netflix 4K is getting us much closer to actual streaming HD quality.

 
This is a picture of the Sony XBR950B and it is one of the most gorgeous looking images I saw at the show. The black levels were deep, pure black with and free of noise, while still providing low-level detail. Colors were also incredibly rich and detailed and vibrant, which is the only reason why I took this picture of the dancing girl. The 4K set uses LED local dimming technology and it was absolutely stunning.

 
This is another shot of the XBR950B showing off its extended dynamic range next to a traditional TV. Similar to the HDR pictures cameras can take, this set can provide the widest dynamic range for deep black, and bright whites and all levels in between.

 
On all W-series models and beyond, Sony will include a new Social Viewing feature. This will allow you to continue watching TV while carrying on a live Skype video chat or five simultaneous audio chats. Along the bottom of the screen you can follow your favorite Twitter feed or hashtag. I suggest @SciaccaTweets and @ResiSys.

Tags: CES , 2014 , Video , 4K
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2 comment(s) so far...


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Re: A Photo Tour of Top Video Manufacturers at CES 2014

Let's start with a "tilting at windmills" comment: PLEASE refrain from using the word "immersive." Although I can immerse myself in a swimming pool I have yet to see anything on any video screen (or multiples thereof) as "immersive" as reality.

Re Toshiba's "5k" display: Am I being a Luddite if I ask that we get a viable 4k infrastructure (and that includes SOURCES some of us might even enjoy watching!) in place before we add more "ks" to the mix?

Is a "video behind mirrors" display only for input-deprived narcissists? If so, there may well be a market.

Re Sharp's 8k display: If 5k is one more than we can deal with now, what do we say to 8k? Incidentally, if I were that close to that many pixels, my hand would be shaking too.

Can't really comment on the size of the Samsung booth. Did they provide guides to get out?

It's sort of a shame that a promising technology like OLED has to morph from flat to curved to really get noticed. How sad.

And it's even more of a shame that thin bezels (a very cool design exercise) make it almost impossible to get decent sound from a flat screen. Oh, wait, they're designed by soundbar manufacturers? NOW I get it.

Seriously, John, thanks for your coverage. As one of the many impacted by East Coast snow/ice/freezing temperatures, I found your photo tour most enjoyable.

By Len Schneider on   1/13/2014 12:27 PM
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Re: A Photo Tour of Top Video Manufacturers at CES 2014

Great photos of things I would have sought out! Saved me $$$. I still like to do CES but times are tight. I especially appreciate the side by side of the dynamic range of XBR. Give "dancing girl" a tip for best of show! Glad for the 21:9's on display. These will be the driving force behind 8K. My MC is waiting for a 183 inch (15.23ft) 21:9 8K screen! Till then the projector fills in OK ;-) Many thanks, Paul

By Paul Soundman on   1/13/2014 3:13 PM

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