Monday, 7 January 2013

The future of Television. Three issues that are being discussed at the CES show in Las Vegas.

The future of Television is on show at The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week. Possibly THE show to see in the world today.

Most of the brands you know and love are there (although no Apple or Microsoft this year) along with new, Chinesey ones, hoping to take on the consumers of America and don't, misjudge them. Remember Samsung. Everyone laughed. 

What they're all talking about at CES is new, higher definition TV called "Ultra High Definition" (previously '4k') and about 4 times the definition of standard HD. Which if you have HD (and if you haven't, go get it), you know that 4 times better is pretty damn good and you'll really feel involved in the picture's expensive right now. About 7,500 euro for the first TV to market, 'LG' set. It's also important to note that you need the content suppliers to be shooting in the same mode.

Already there's very limited 3D content and even HD content, although improving. There's no point in having a 3D TV with nothing in 3D to watch. No point in an Ultra TV if there's no Ultra shot film.

Of course TV's are now all web enabled, 3D, and so on but what you're also seeing is the rise of TV as a much smarter device.

Ideal for Skype calls? Interactive video? Web browsing? The TV is getting more and more development focus as a multi-platform device.

So the second big issue at the CES is this convergence and integration of TV. With more TV options on screen, the controlling device (the remote control) needs to change and more and more that device is becoming your mobile phone using Wifi. You phone is now becoming a controlling device in the home.

So marketing of phones, as useful TV devices, have blended into CES and Sony is launching its first major phone at the show since it dropped the 'Sony Ericsson' brand. Of course too, interactive glasses is all the talk as a way of replacing the phone.

Although we know of the development of 'Google Goggles', a lot has been going on in this space and there's no doubt that there's a bigger number of investors and developers now, who see glasses as the replacement for phones. And glasses as the real "mobile TV'. Do you know, they might well be right.

A new type of device, like glasses, will give brands like Sony/Blackberry/Nokia a chance to re-enter a market that swept them aside. Although the three brands I mention are pretty much at 'junk bond status', there is the possibility of a last chance saloon for them by developing glasses.

So the future of TV looks like higher picture/sound definition and quality; better integration with other devices online and notably mobile; and the emergence of glasses as a potential new delivery system.

Now there you go, I've just saved you that 'all expenses paid' trip to Las Vegas. You wouldn't have liked it anyway. What with all the bars and all. Great restaurant selection, super shows, nah better off behind your desk. Sorry.