By Mrugesh Desai, Regional Vice President, North America
While CES does not typically revolve around video, like NAB and IBC, this year saw a much greater focus on video than ever before. In fact, the top trend mentioned in Forbes’ CES coverage was “The Wave of New Video Streaming”; discussing the emergence of new innovative video services like Quibi and Peacock. For Accedo, it’s exciting to see the video industry continue to innovate and launch new and disruptive experiences for consumers.
CES is always awash with the latest TV hardware and this year was no exception, with a strong focus on improving the user experience while also giving consumers more flexibility in how they view TV than ever before. For us, TV hardware innovations that standout are as follows:
The latest Roll-Up TV from LG, following on from the success of its first model launched at least year’s CES. It gives consumers the ability to transform any viewing space at the touch of a button.
Real 8K OLED and a 48” OLED TV from LG bringing amazing resolution to viewers. Both models support Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, something that is increasingly important for viewers who are using voice commands for a wealth of interactions in the home. Just as exciting from LG, is the announcement that the company will add the Apple TV app to all 2018 and beyond TV models, breathing new life into older models.
Two firsts from Vizio with its first ever OLED model and its largest ever TV to date. The P-Series Quantum X is a class of 4K LCD TV with the largest model being 85 inches. With the all-new HDMI 2.1 connectivity and the company’s ProGaming Engine™, viewers can expect stunning feedback from even the most intense user-input applications. However, the Vizio OLED promises to be the company’s most premium range of TVs to date.
Sony’s smallest 4K OLED. While it is the same size as LG’s new OLED set, at 48 inches, it is the smallest Sony has to offer. The company also unveiled 75- and 85- inch variants of its new 8K LCD TV model, the Z8H.
The Sero, Samsung’s vertical TV certainly turned heads on the show floor. Mounted on a rotating mechanism, it allows users to quickly alter between landscape and portrait mode. This opens up the door to new possibilities when casting to ten foot devices, especially when navigating social media applications. Just think – no more annoying black bars and having to sacrifice picture size when viewing a video filmed vertically! In a recent blog post, Accedo’s innovations team cited vertical video as one of the trends to watch in 2020.
Entertainment on the Move
There were some significant announcements at CES that will see the in-car entertainment industry totally transformed, some of which we have outlined below.
LG’s Roll-Up TV is also coming to cars, enabling passengers to roll out the TV when they want to watch something and then simply stow it away when finished.
OLED transformations including a transparent windshield that could serve as an alternative to projected heads-up displays in cars, and a mock airplane cabin with walls that were lined with curved OLED TVs to display a view from the outside of a plane in flight.
Fire TV OS comes to the car with Amazon announcing that seat-back screens powered by the Fire TV OS would be coming to BMW and Fiat Chrysler cars. The touchscreens will offer both streaming and offline playback.
Streaming Devices and Services
Streaming also got some decent airtime at CES, giving consumers more, and affordable, ways to stream the latest content than ever before. For us, the highlights have to be:
Stream 4K from TiVo, an HDMI dongle that will leverage Sling TV for DVR functionality and a live TV service. Sling TV subscribers will get access to TiVo’s free streaming content network, TiVo Plus. It will run on an altered version of Android TV, which means that users will also be able to access their favourite streaming entertainment apps.
World’s first mobile-device focused streaming service from Quibi. The service has been highly anticipated and demonstrates the rising popularity of mobile viewing. Quibi focuses on short pieces of content and offers seamless transition between portrait and landscape viewing. What is quite interesting is the Hollywood-quality level of original content the company has secured. Movies will be delivered in short, bite-sized chapters, perfect for on-the-go viewing. With the potential for unique interactive features through other mobile technologies, we look forward to seeing how audiences take to these new entertainment possibilities!
An AI powered search engine in the form of Dabby. Dabby promises to eliminate the frustration of having to toggle between apps. Dabby comes with a touchscreen device that syncs to a TV dongle and makes it possible to search across, and play content from, multiple content sources such as big-name devices (i.e. Roku, Fire TV etc.) and streaming services (i.e. Netflix, HBOGo, Youtube etc.) as long as the user is subscribed to the service where the content has been discovered. Users can also manage their subscriptions via Dabby. With consumers getting increasingly frustrated with having to navigate between apps, this is certainly an exciting prospect.
Of course, CES is also about walking around the show and staring in awe at the latest and greatest. So, here is a quick roundup of our favourite tech from this year’s show:
A water-resistant drone, the PowerEgg X, which can quickly transform from a flying device to a handheld one.
Teslasuit VR globes, the next step in detailed haptic feedback. It could have a range of exciting applications, from rehabilitation to immersive reality experiences.
Panasonic’s steampunk-looking ‘reference product’ is a new take on VR gear, replacing the bulky headset design with one that wears like a pair of eyeglasses.
The Accedo Perspective
All of these innovations are extremely exciting for consumers and the video industry alike. At the same time, as new devices enter the market along with new ways to view video, the complexity for video content providers increases. So, while we were spending time meeting video companies who are looking to take their services to the next level, we were also busy looking at the latest and greatest products and meeting the manufacturers to make sure we can continue to ensure an optimal user experience across all of these.
If you are looking to enter the video space or improve your current offering, our team of experts can help you make an informed decision. To learn more about Accedo or to schedule a demo, visit Accedo.tv or get in touch with us here.