CES 2017 wasn’t much for shocking new technology debuts or any real game-changers. Instead, we saw plenty of refinements and advancements to the wowing tech that debuted maybe last year or the year before. That trend was especially evident with televisions and associated home theater stuff. Here are our Top 5 Developments in TV from this year’s CES.
1.) More OLED
For nearly three years now, LG has had run of the court as the only manufacturer with a commercially-available OLED set. While a bit pricey, they also produced what was unanimously considered the best picture possible in a backlit display that you could fit in your family room. That changed this year, with both Sony and Panasonic showing off their own OLED models. The Sony Bravia A1E OLED has a few other tricks up its sleeve, in addition to the stunning picture. Meanwhile, Panasonic’s 65EZ1000 OLED is claimed to have double the brightness of a typical OLED, which may make it reigning champ of the home theater picture quality, a crown they often wore in the Plasma TV days.
2.) Samsung QLED
Not everyone’s hitching their wagon to the OLED train, however. Samsung has gone in a different direction by refining their existing LED technology into a new panel technology that was unveiled at CES, the Samsung QLED TVs. Yes, that’s a ‘Q,’ and it stands for “quantum.” Samsung’s Quantum Dot technology has been around for a few years now, and was the basis for their popular line of SUHD TVs. For QLED, Samsung has further upgraded that technology in a way that gives these new TVs truer colors, better efficiency, and improved viewing angles. By our eye, they provide nearly as good a picture as an OLED set, and should come in at a significantly lower price.
3.) Even Thinner TVs
In addition to mind-blowing picture quality, one of the main advantages of OLED technology is the ability to produce incredibly thing displays. Some sets, like the LG Signature Series, actually require a glass panel to give the screen some heft, because otherwise it would be too thin. But for this concept, LG went in the other direction. The LG W7 Wallpaper OLED is a fully-functioning 4K, HDR-capable display that can literally be stuck on the wall like a giant sticker. You can’t roll it up, but we can’t imagine that option is too far off in the future. Check it out:
4.) More High Short Throw Projectors
For most of their existence, home theater projectors have been cumbersome objects that need to be mounted on the ceiling, a significant distance away from the surface onto which they were projected. The advent of short throw projectors changed that, allowing viewers to place the device on a stand, mere feet from the projection screen. The latest short throw projectors have cut down the throw distance even further, all while drastically improving picture quality. Case in point, the Hisense Laser Cast projector, which is placed just over a foot away from the wall. Or, the new Sony VPL-VW1000 short throw projector, which will project a cinema-quality 120-inch picture from seven inches away from the wall. Hard to believe until you see it.
5.) Sony CLEDIS
The Sony CLEDIS was one of those rare things we saw at CES that truly stands alone. CLEDIS, which stands for “Crystal LED Integrated System” is a scalable display system that can combine individual display panels into a seamless video wall. While it’s primarily intended for commercial applications, we can’t imagine it will be long before an enterprising individual outfits the Ultimate Home Theater with full Sony CLEDIS wall.