Last week, companies unveiled new TV technology the International CES consumer electronics tradeshow in Las Vegas.
Samsung introduced its U9000 series, which offers UHD (Ultra HD), curved 55-, 65- and 78-inch options and 4K visuals. The TVs reportedly have better contrast, and unlike most of their competitors, all Samsung sets can be wall-mounted. They also have more background power for faster warm-up; a new Multi-Link mode for tablets; and the ability to split the screen between Live TV and other apps like YouTube or a web browser. The series will be available stateside later this year, but the price has not been announced.
"[A curved television] provides even more lifelike picture quality and depth. It gives you a 3D-like effect without wearing 3D glasses. It provides a truly immersive experience," said a Samsung exec during the event.
The company also revealed an 85-inch prototype called "Bendable TV," which can switch between curved- and flat-screen with the push of a button. But perhaps most impressive was the 105-inch LCD (105U9500), a show-stopping mammoth that really put the power of the curve in the forefront. Both are expected to hit shelves in the second half of the year.
Vizio announced its foray into 4K territory with the P-Series, TVs ranging from $999 for the 50-inch up to $2,599 for the 70-inch. The company said that Netflix's 4K content will be available on the new line.
If you've got the funds, Vizio's new Reference series is what you want. Made with the videophile in mind and available in 65- or 120-inch models, the TVs come with a 5.1 sound bar, a 10-inch wireless subwoofer and Dolby's HDR processing for better contrast—aiding an amazing display that holds its own against other brands' high-end products. The company said, "Starting from scratch and building from the ground up, Reference series sets a new benchmark for best-in-class TV."
Sony made its curved debut last October. But the tech giant still presented a wide array of new TVs, among them the XBR-X950B series, which comes with LED backlighting and advanced micro-dimming. The UHDs, in 65 and 85 inches, are expected to be available this spring at prices yet TBD. The most reasonably priced line will be the XBR-X850Bs, which will have 4K resolution but lack micro-dimming. All of the televisions will be 3D-capable.
None of Sony's offerings at CES 2014 were curved. Aware that not everyone will like the new craze—many call it a gimmick—Sony CEO Kaz Hirai told USA Today, "Some people actually like it very much. I personally think it's a great experience because you do have that feeling of being a little bit more surrounded... [but,] it's not for everyone."
LG presented what was arguably the most impressive TV at the show. The Korean company's 105-inch curved IPS LCD Ultra HD TV is nothing short of spectacular, presenting the most compelling case for curved TVs. But it will cost you big—$69,999. The company also debuted a new webOS interface, to be featured on most of their 2014 line of televisions. It features simpler navigation, several apps and the ability to send video to the TV from a smartphone or tablet.
Also impressive was LG's 77-inch curved UHD OLED TV, which can turn into a flat panel television with the push of a button. A release date and price point have not yet been announced.
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