The future has curves: Samsung, LG show off bendable big-screen TVs
LG's flexible OLED televisions are shown at the CES in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. (LG)
Maurice Cacho, CTVNews.ca
Published Monday, January 6, 2014 10:55PM EST
LAS VEGAS -- In the race to build the biggest -- and most flexible -- TV, Samsung threw the first punch at CES with a prototype 85-inch HD TV that goes from flat to curved with a push of a button.
But then LG swung back, announcing late Monday afternoon that it was unveiling a 77-inch TV that could do the same, except it was an OLED model -- which means it consumes less energy and can be built very thin.
If you can’t tell how fierce the competition is between the two, just check out the respective taglines for the show. LG: “It’s all possible.” Samsung: “Discover the world of possibilities.”
The two South Korean electronics companies, along with Sony, showed off their latest and greatest televisions at International CES on Monday.
Samsung announced it will sell the world’s largest curved 105-inch UHD TV, and more sensibly-sized U9000 Series TVs in 65-inch and 55-inch flavours. The sets look gorgeous and are as slim as a picture frame.
The press conference wasn’t without any hiccups. Hollywood blockbuster director Michael Bay appeared to get confused when the teleprompter didn’t show him the right line. After a few awkward moments, he stormed off stage.
But a fair chunk of Samsung’s presentation focused on the company’s growth into the connected home sector with the launch of Samsung Smart Home.
It’ll consist of three main features: device control, home view and smart customer service. For example, voice control will be used to dim the lights and turn on the TV.
At CES Unveiled on Sunday, Samsung already previewed Dropcam-like surveillance cameras. But there is still more to be explored here.
On the appliance front, Samsung is launching a high-end appliance lineup called the Chef Collection. Android capability and innovative features (a dishwasher that won’t miss the corners of the tub) are the feature’s you’ll find in this bracket.
In the mobile segment, Samsung didn’t unveil any new phones but it did pull the wraps off a new “Pro” series for its tablet lineup, anchored by the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2.
A 2,560x1,600 pixel display, quad core processor and 3 GB of RAM highlight the 12.2’s feature sheet.
The Pro series will also have faster wireless connectivity thanks to 802.11ac MiMo (multiple in and multiple out) WiFi, faster than the transmitter affixed to the iPad Air (and most other tablets).
Samsung says users can also have both WiFi and LTE connections active simultaneously, to speed up the time it’ll take to download movies and TV shows.
Sony stresses 4K, wearable tech
Over at Sony, the company pulled the wraps off new 4K TVs and really preached about how great the super-high resolution standard is.
Newly appointed Sony president Michael Fasulo stressed how the company delivers 4K content “from the scene to the screen,” through equipment that shoots live sports in 4K to the TVs that display the finished product.
For those who want to shoot their own 4K material, Sony unveiled a new Handicam video camera that can record the super-high resolution material, but costs only $2,000.
Sony isn’t immune to the wearable tech craze -- it’s gone to the dogs. Literally.
The company says its Action Camera can be attached to your dog with a special harness.
Back to humans, the company announced the Sony SmartWear platform, which takes the shape of a “Smart Band” bracelet that tracks everything you do throughout the day.
Other than that, few other details were announced about SmartWear, other than more details will be announced at the mobile phone conference in Barcelona next month.
Tomorrow, the doors of the convention centre are open to all -- and expect to hear about more wearable gadgets and connected appliances.
Follow @mcacho and @hainsworthtv for more updates from CES