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CES 2022 concludes

CES 2022 concluded on January 7, following a week filled with thousands of product debuts unveiling innovation that will better the world and solve global challenges. More than 2300 exhibiting companies from around the world, including more than 800 startups, launched products featuring innovation across artificial intelligence, automotive technology, digital health, smart home and more. After nearly two years, CES returned ‘home’ to Las Vegas welcoming well over 40,000 attendees in person, including 1800 global media, across 11 indoor and outdoor venues. The show was truly a global event, with 30 percent of attendees traveling from outside the US – representing 119 countries.

“Innovation came to life at CES 2022 – with technologies that will reshape industries and provide solutions to pressing worldwide issues from healthcare to agriculture, sustainability and beyond,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, owner and producer of CES. “The CES show floor buzzed with the joy of human interaction and a five-sense innovation experience with products that will redefine our future and change our world for the better.”

“CES 2022 furthered global business this week, as our industry gathered – many for the first time in two years – to collaborate, forge partnerships, make deals and advance the economy,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES. “After two years of not being able to connect in person, we were thrilled to welcome our industry back together again face-to-face to experience the latest innovation at CES 2022.”

Key trends
CES 2022 featured transformative technologies that will spur business and shift markets, with major brands including Bosch, Canon, Hisense, HTC, LG Electronics, Nvidia, Samsung Electronics, Sony, Panasonic and Qualcomm. Key TV trends included:

The main trends for TVs 2021 included bigger screens (80-inches and larger), more 8K, mini-LED, improved brightness for OLED TVs, AI video and audio processing, continued implementation of HDMI 2.1, and Google and Alexa integration spread across more brands and models.

Samsung is traditionally the biggest exhibitor at CES and, despite virtual limitations for 2021, didn’t hold back, especially in the TV space. Just before CES, Samsung announced a line of MicroLED TVs with 110 and 99-inch screen sizes and teased more sizes in the future.

MicroLED TV eliminates the weakness of both LCD-based and OLED TVs by providing excellent color, absolute black, high brightness, wide viewing angles, and no burn-in susceptibility. Instead of using LEDs as backlights, each MicroLED is a microscopic pixel that emits its own light and produces the image and color. However, the 110-inch model sells for approximately USD 156,000, which is out of reach for about 99 percent of consumers.

On the “more affordable” side, Samsung introduced its new QLED Neo-labeled TVs. These are select QLED TV models that incorporate mini-LED blacklight technology to improve black levels, contrast, which more closely approaches OLED TV performance (LG is Samsung’s main competitor). All QLED TVs (even those with mini-LED backlighting) still incorporate an LCD panel as the front display element.

Samsung also announced a solar-powered TV remote for select TVs that can be charged with sunlight or indoor lighting. However, since many use TVs in dark rooms a USB-C connection is provided as an alternative charging method.

More details will be forthcoming in relation to specific model numbers, screen sizes, and pricing as well as what feature mix will be included in which models.

LG Electronics was onhand to reveal both more affordable OLED TVs, as well as a new line of OLED (EVO) TVs that can display higher light output (up to 1,000 Nits). To put that in perspective, most OLED TVs can only output up to 700 to 800 nits. This improves performance in brightly lit rooms and improves the HDR dynamic range.

QNED. LG also announced its new high-end “QNED” LED/LCD NanoCell TVs which add mini-LED backlighting and Quantum Dot layers that improve both color and contrast bringing those sets closer to the black levels displayed by OLED TVs (although OLED TVs are still the only sets than can display absolute black). To improve the onscreen user experience, LG is also upgrading its OLED and “QNED” TV lines to the WebOS 6.0 smart TV platform. There was no indication if or when other LG TVs would get the WebOS 6.0 upgrade.

Bendable and Transparent OLED Displays. LG Display, also got a lot of attention with several innovations, including a bendable 48-inch OLED gaming monitor and 55-inch Transparent OLED screen for business, retail, and home use. They also hinted at the possible offering of a 42-inch OLED panel to its TV brand partners interested in offering an OLED TV with that screen size to consumers.

Sony revealed its high-end Bravia XR TV line which consists of three (X90J, X95J, Z9J) LCD-based and two (A80J, A90J) OLED model series. The Z9J is the lone 8K series, with the rest being 4K models.

The main feature of the sets is Sony’s new Cognitive Processing XR, which optimizes both video and audio performance in real-time by mimicking how our brains see visual and hear audio detail.

All Sony Bravia XR TVs include an exclusive (for now) pre-installed streaming service referred to as Sony Bravia Core. The content is grabbed from the extensive Sony Pictures film library and is accessible via credits given to each TV owner. The number of credits varies by Bravia XR TV model.

TCL caused quite a stir at CES 2021. Quickly becoming a dominant force in the U.S. TV market with its successful line of Roku-enabled QLED TVs, they upped their game by announcing its 85-inch XL Collection which will include one or more “affordable” 8K TVs. Exact pricing is still forthcoming, but if TCL can deliver a 65-inch or larger 8K TV for USD 2,000 or less, that will shake things up.

In addition to 8K, they also announced the OD Zero form factor technology for select TVs which fuses a mini-LED backlight panel with a light diffuser plate improving backlight efficiency and reducing TV thickness to 3mm or less. TCL also announced it is adding the Google TV OS to select models.

Hisense has been growing its market share in the U.S. and at CES announced their plans to add 4K and 8K QLED Mini-LED TVs to its U.S. product line as well as adding new 4K Laser TVs (aka short-throw projector systems) with an evolved TriChromatic (RGB) Laser light source for more precise color.

In addition to reveals from familiar TV brand names, two brands that are well-known in the industry but not familiar with U.S. consumers, Konka and Skyworth will be increasing their presence with LED/LCD, QLED, and OLED TVs.  Panasonic is experimenting with a limited return to the U.S. TV market after leaving several years ago by allowing Value Electronics, in Upstate York, to offer select models from its Hollywood-grade Pro OLED TV line to U.S. customers.

In addition to TV-related announcements, some audio announcements were sprinkled in, but home theater audio manufacturers didn’t have as much of a presence at CES 2021.

With TVs continuing to become “ultra-thin” there is little space for an adequate speaker system, so solutions such as embedding speakers into LED/LCD and QLED TV frames or placing transducers in the screens of OLED TVs is becoming a design choice for companies such as Samsung, LG, and Sony.

Several TV and audio companies revealed new soundbar systems (some with Dolby Atmos support), and Sony revealed its 360 Reality wireless home audio speaker line.

Tech to unlock the metaverse
“There’s a lot of buzz about the metaverse today. And it is in fact a new trend in the industry, and one that I think is going to evolve over the next roughly 20 years,” said Steve Koenig, Vice President for Research at the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

“We’re starting to talk about metaverse now the same way we started to talk about the internet in the early 1990s. And so if you remember back to that time, when we were all using 56k modems and dial-up internet service, it was impossible to imagine the things we’d be doing online today and I think the same is true with Metaverse.”

Tech companies such as Hyundai, Shiftall, Owo or Touchcast have all unveiled tech at CES 2022 that will unlock the metaverse.

The CES keynote stage featured leaders across global industries. Top executives delivered addresses including J.H. Han, Vice Chairman, CEO and Head of DX (Device eXperience) division at Samsung Electronics; Mary Barra, chair and CEO of General Motors and Robert B. Ford, president and CEO of Abbott, the first healthcare keynote in CES history. Emmy-award winning FOX Business anchor Liz Claman and owners of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), Erin and Faith Ozmen, spoke during the CES Leaders in Technology Dinner.

With more than 40,000 attendees, CES 2022 was able to successfully gather the industry together in person with praise from the US Travel Association on the show’s protocols. Health protocols were put in place for in-person attendance, including proof of vaccination, required masking indoors, testing and social distancing measures.

“CES offers ScenTronix a platform to directly connect with end consumers, potential business partners and investors,” said Frederik Duerinck, founder and CEO of ScenTronix, a startup within Eureka Park. “It’s an enabler for our next step in rolling out the next phase of expansion into the US.”

Those in the industry unable to attend CES in person can access the show digitally through January 31. Web Summit was selected as the digital platform provider for CES 2022. The technology benefits both in-person and digital attendees.

Exhibit sales for CES 2023 are already off to a strong start, with CES returning to Las Vegas January 5-8, 2023.
TVJ Bureau

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