The line between entertainment and technology continues to blur, which is why Indiewire has expanded our technology coverage -- and next week, we'll cover the International CES for the first time.
Quick brief for those who may be unfamiliar: the Consumer Electronics Show is the mothership for every cool (and uncool) gadget, camera, TV and anything else that might consume power and broadband. In its 47th year, CES, which runs from January 7-10 in Las Vegas, attracts around 150,000 people and features over 3,000 exhibitors from around the world. Owned and produced by the Consumer Electronics Association, it's the largest trade show in the U.S. covering the $203 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry, including mobile, games, internet, satellite, broadband and cable.
Much of the show is devoted to helping retailers get an early look at the products that will be available for next holiday season. We're looking forward to finding out how we'll be experiencing TV and film in the near future.
We'll be posting news from CES, along with reviews of the latest gadgets, but here are a few of the trends the entertainment tech industry will see at CES 2014:
Cheaper 4K TVs
Samsung recently introduced a 110-inch 4K TV in South Korea at a reported price tag of $150,000. Though they're going to be available in China, the Middle East and Europe, there's no word yet on when they'll make it to the U.S. But we're already getting more realistically sized and reasonably priced 4K monitors. Dell already offers a 32-inch 4K monitor for $3,500, but Michael Dell has said that he expects 4K monitors in the $1,000 price range to hit the market in 2014.
We expect to see a lot of 4K TV sets and monitors at CES -- although most of them will probably cost way more than $1,000 -- for now. Of course, we'll need 4K content for our new TVs and we expect that to come in 2014 as well.
LG will be coming to CES with a 105-inch Curved 4K Ultra HD TV with an aspect ratio of 21:9 - which the company is calling "Cinemascope." Meanwhile, Samsung, which plans to bring its own 105-inch Curved 4K TV to CES.
We're expecting to see more internet connected Smart TVs with enhanced capabilities. Samsung will be pushing their line of Smart TVs, which offer features including voice command and gestures to control the TV's functions.
LG, which has been selling Smart TVs powered by Google TV, is expected to present a new Smart TV powered by webOS, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Will this be the year glasses-free 3D finally catches on? We've been hearing about 3D TVs for years and there were even some glasses-free 3D options at last year's CES, but it's possible that this will finally be the year of glasses-free 3D television.
Stream TV Networks plans to promote Ultra D, a propriety technology that offers glasses-free ultra-high definition 3D on TVs or PC monitors and can automatically convert 2D to 3D.
Florida-based IZON, a subsidiary of 3D Future Vision II, Inc., will showcase their ultra-HD sets which feature glasses-free technology (co-developed with Dolby). The company is anticipating the launch of its line of LED screens with 32-inch, 47-inch and 55-inch glasses-free models by the second quarter of 2014.
From the slew of e-mails on the topic we've been receiving, it's clear that wearable technology is going to be the hot topic at this year's CES. Epson, known mostly for printers, has said that it will introduce "several new innovations in the wearable tech space," and Google Glass should also be well represented. Google will also debut wearable cameras for use with Google Helpouts, video compression company Ambarella announced. Ambarella called the tech "a new class of wearable cameras," but we're sure we'll see many more companies introducing wearable cameras at CES.
This could be the year of the 4K camcorder, with Sony suggesting that this will be the year of Ultra HD. "We're [going] after the premium consumer out there," Sony Electronics president Phil Molyneux said at a pre-CES briefing early last month. "It's clear people will want to generate their own 4K content."