CES 2019: More Show Floor Favorites


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In my final piece covering CES 2019, I will review more automotive technology, updates on 3D printing, and some trending devices such as smartwatches and new computer components for those that either need or just want to have extremely powerful and impressive-looking computers. I will also talk a little about new 5G developments and then provide some predictions. If you have not read my previous article on showstoppers and neat stuff on the show floor, click here. If you have, let’s continue.

When you enter the main hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, you are greeted by a virtual scene that no picture can fully capture, which shows what you are about to experience.

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On the other side, huge exhibits show the very latest large-format HDR 8K TVs and displays from many of the world’s leading suppliers such as Samsung, Sharp, LG, Sony, etc., as well as some you may not have heard of yet such as SKYWORTH, TCL, and more. Most were showing or teasing amazing 8K models, some with OLED screens and sizes up to and over 100” called “The Wall.”

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Yes, the demonstration graphics on their screens were truly amazing, but considering there is no commercially available content for 8K yet (although there are some upscaling devices to convert 1080p or 4K to pseudo-8K being introduced) and no standards as yet, I feel that most will not jump into 8K in the next year. Most are just deciding to move to 4K from the present standard of 1080P because 4K is a significant improvement. Available 4K models are improving and the unit prices have started to become more reasonable. While the upscaling from 1080p to 8K is enticing for a few of today's buyers, there will be lower price points by year end, which should accelerate the presently almost nonexistent market for 8K. On the downside, the introduction of the initial 8K units will add confusion to an already undecided market just starting to seriously consider 4K. Those of us seriously considering 4K now have to decide if we wait for 8K or see what the 8K standard will bring? Will 8K drive 4K prices lower in the next 12 months?

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So, here is my first prediction for 2019. I feel that there will be those that jump into 8K as soon as they can, but it will not be many because 8K will not be the new standard in the near future. Meanwhile, 4K will take off. Yes, the promise of 8K may retard the market some, but the new larger, higher quality, and lower priced 4K units available from more suppliers will help make 4K the new standard. After all, viewing HDR 4K is still an amazing experience.

Those of us in the industry realize that automotive electronics—whether it’s the components that enable autonomous transportation or enhance the drivers’ and passengers’ comfort through infotainment, power savings, safety, and everything in between—is the fastest growing and probably now the largest segment in the overall electronics industry. Be aware that CES has become one of the top automotive shows and was recently named one of USA Today's 10 best automotive shows. This year, the CTA reports over 290,000 square feet of exhibit space dedicated to automotive at CES. One of the featured sessions at CES was entitled “Revolutionary technologies like 5G, self-driving vehicles, and IoT are disrupting traditional models of transportation and communication, reshaping our communities, and increasing mobility, consumer choice, and connectivity.” In the last five years, CES has gone from showing just a modest number of only the most advanced vehicles to one where just about every brand was showing something.

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