Manufacturers do their best to fuel excitement over 4K TVs at International CES — with decidedly mixed results.
It’s the first TV format to be driven by the Internet video-streaming phenomenon, and at the International CES gadget show this week, major streaming players Netflix and Amazon said they’ll offer movies and TV shows in the format, and Sharp introduced a relatively inexpensive TV with near-Ultra HD quality.
New Internet-based entertainment services, including a streaming game service and a cloud-based TV service, highlighted Sony’s Tuesday morning keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show.
There’s a battle being waged for that much-maligned piece of furniture we all end up in front of sooner or later. Call it the Idiot Box, the Boob Tube or whatever you want — the majority of media consumption still happens in front of the television, and whether it’s gaming, movie watching, Netflix or just listening to the stereo, tech giants are fighting tooth and nail for a seat on your couch. Here’s what they’re bringing to the party.
Netflix exec Reed Hastings says 4K streaming is “very practical with HEVC compression.”
Under its partnership with Comcast Corp., the country’s largest cable company, Samsung TVs would get 4K content through an app running on the Internet-connected TV, bypassing Comcast’s set-top boxes.
Its new Quattron+ technology doubles the vertical resolution of a high-definition set by chopping the existing pixels in half. Meanwhile, it uses a mathematical formula to double the horizontal resolution for everything but certain parts of an image. According to Sharp, that gives its Quattron+ televisions 16 million subpixels, versus 8 million for its Quattron line and 6 million for HD. It’s a middle ground before stepping up to a 4K TV, also known as “ultra HD,” which has 24 million subpixels.
While questions still swirl around Ultra HD television, the chief economist for the Consumer Electronics Assn. expects many answers to arrive during this week’s 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. In his annual presentation on CES trends to watch, Shawn G. DuBravac, chief economist and director of research for the CEA, said he expects at least 75 announcements related to UHD this week, and perhaps as many as 150.
Prices of ultra high-definition TVs are plummeting, driven by Chinese manufacturers and by surging demand in that country.
Resolution isn’t the only reason to adopt a 4K ultra high-definition TV. Costs are coming down and the TVs offer plenty of other technological tweaks.
DVR penetration in U.S. homes is slowing down, according to a new study. Leichtman Research Group says 47% of all TV homes have at least one digital video recorder — up from 40% three years ago and 23% six years ago.
Tim Cook hinted Monday that Apple is well positioned to take over the TV. Speaking during an earnings call with Wall Street analysts, who asked what new product categories Apple would step into in 2014, Cook advised them to think about what the company already does well: Hardware, software services and its app ecosystem. No one else has a set of skills like these, Cook said, and Apple would use those unique skills to push into new product categories.
A majority of consumers aren’t interested in buying a new smart TV over the next 12 months — but advertising its strong attributes could help turn that indifference around. Some 73% of consumers have given a thumbs down to buying a new smart TV over the next 12 months, according to a survey from TV Systems Intelligence Service unit of IHS. It says “purchase intention” is just 7%.
Connected TV sets will more than double their share of the overall market in four years — amounting to just over a quarter of all worldwide TV sets — partly due to new Internet-to-TV technologies for non-connected TV sets.
After abandoning the annual tech convention this year, the software giant is “officially back” in 2014, according to the conference’s governing group.
People familiar with the company’s plans say that Apple TV is scheduled for an internal overhaul on Sept. 18, the same day Apple releases its iOS 7 mobile operating software.
Increased recording capabilities, along with streaming and downloading features for portable and mobile devices, are superpowers inherent in new pay TV digital video recorders.
Samsung on Wednesday introduced a digital watch for the holiday season that will let users check messages with a glance at their wrists and have conversations secret agent-style. So-called smartwatches have been around for several years. But so far, they have failed to attract much consumer interest. That may change with the Samsung Galaxy Gear, which offers the company a chance to pull off the same as feat Apple did with the iPad — popularize a type of device that has lingered mostly unnoticed on store shelves.
The new devices face more competition than TiVos did when they debuted in 1999. Cable and satellite TV companies are improving their own DVR offerings, while stand-alone devices such as Roku, Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast seek to simplify Internet streaming on big-screen TVs. Meanwhile, game consoles and smartphones now come with apps to do much of what TiVo does. With its new Roamio DVR, TiVo is counting on the notion that avid television viewers prefer one device to do it all.
A study done by customer experience research firm ForeSee has found that in the streaming TV and movies category, Apple’s iTunes beat out competitors such as Netflix and HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Crackle and Hulu Plus.
4K won’t get anyone excited if there’s no way to get the format into homes, or worse, if it looks no better than today’s HDTV.
In the never-ending battle to gain market share and stand out as the “it” gadget of our time, technology advertisers are employing more aggressive tactics to convince consumers that they offer the fastest, smartest and most intuitive devices on the market. In 2013, they paid a premium for the attention: tech ad spend in the U.S. jumped to $723 million in 1Q, up a whopping 30% from 1Q 2012. This increase is especially noteworthy when compared with total spend across all industries, which actually declined 1% over the same period.
NEW YORK (AP) — Ouya, maker of a bite-sized game console that runs Google’s Android operating system, wants to take a bite out the video game triumvirate of Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. The console, which went on sale Tuesday for $100, lets players try games for free before buying them, a selling point Ouya (pronounced […]
The technology sometimes referred to as “Ultra HD” provides extraordinarily vivid images — sets offer four times the resolution of a conventional HDTV — and was all the rage at recent industry shows including CES and The Cable Show. But ordinary consumers probably won’t share executives’ enthusiasm according to a report today from Bernstein Research.
For the past two years, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has outsold its rivals. But it’s been eight years since that entertainment console came out, and Microsoft is the last of the three major console makers to unveil a new system, Xbox One. The stakes are high as Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are all using their latest machines not only to draw gamers but also to command the living room. The goal is to extend their reach beyond loyal legions of hardcore gamers and to become as important to our lives at home as smartphones have become to our lives on the go.