Acronyms like OLED and UHD appear to be making a strong showing at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. TheBlaze told you about Samsung's well-received unveiling of the "world's thinnest TV" OLED (organic light-emitting diode) last year, but Samsung and several others have unleashed even more this year.
Before we go any further, as a refresher, ultrahigh definition is also referred to as a "4K screen," which means that it contains four times more pixels than a traditional HD TV.
The one that's worth a mention first, for a couple reasons, is Sony's. It combines both technologies making a TV that the company is calling the world's first ultra-HD OLED TV. Even this impressive combination didn't save its stage unveiling from a little embarrassment though. When CEO Kazuo Hirai was showing off the tech Monday, the TV's impressive screen went blank.
Sony's OLED ultra-HD TV prototype. (Photo: CNET)
Hirai carried on with his presentation, at one point looking back at the 56-inch display only to see the error continue. "Excellent," he said. A Sony staffer rolled the TV further away as he continued.
Hirai said the set is a prototype and didn't announce price or availability.
Watch this CNET report to have a look at Sony's ultra-HD OLED TV:
LG Electronics and Samsung showed off their new TVs at the show Monday as well.
The new LG OLED TV is displayed during an LG press conference during the 2013 International CES. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Here's a bit about those models:
- LG: Two ultra-HD models were announced, a 65-inch and 84-inch. LG said the 55-inch and 65-inch versions will be available later this year in the U.S. No price was announced, but it will be less than $10,000. The 84-inch version that went on sale late last year cost $20,000.
Here CNET talks about LG's ultra-HD models:
- Samsung: Unveiled at the show was an 85-inch ultra-HD set, but perhaps more interesting was Samsung's new interface that will be a feature of upcoming smart TVs. The new lineup of smart TVs respond to more natural speech and motion, similar to the way the Kinect controller on an Xbox 360 game console allows users to swipe through menus by gesturing in the air. The camera is mounted on top of the screen and can be folded back for people concerned about privacy.
See Samsung's ultra-HD TV in this video from CES:
In addition to the price of the TVs being current barriers preventing them from being purchased more by consumers, there is also little content that can take advantage of ultra-HD sets. According to the Associated Press, since 2004, only about 50 movies have been shot with an ultra-HD camera. They include the James Bond hit "Skyfall" and the Batman sequel, "The Dark Knight Rises." Even fewer shot on regular film have been converted to ultra-HD.
Sony did announce Monday that it would launch the world's first ultra-HD movie download service (starting with 10 movies) for owners of its compatible sets in the U.S. this summer. Owners of the smaller ultra-HD sets from Sony may have to buy the playback device and movies separately, although a final decision hadn't been made, company representatives said.
For now, although ultra-HD is a "buzz-worthy thing," as Paul Gagnon, an analyst with NPD said to AP, "it'll remain a niche, high-end business for a while."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.