Panasonic's official departure from the plasma TV market has pretty much sealed plasma's demise. Samsung and LG may continue to offer new plasmas in the short term (and that is another item of curiosity on my CES agenda - just how many new plasma TVs will be announced?), but OLED is clearly the future of TV in the videophile realm. I'm currently putting the finishing touches on a review of the Samsung 55-inch KN55S9 OLED TV, and let's just say that its performance lives up to the hype.
Now that a couple of 55-inchers have actually hit the market, we need even larger screen sizes. I personally don't care that much if the new OLEDs have an Ultra HD resolution, but I know a lot of people want that; and, given the price premium these TVs are sure to demand, it's fair to expect them to be progressive enough to include the Ultra HD resolution. And I could do without the curved panel, frankly. I'd prefer a little more "flat" in my flat-screen OLED TV.
More High-Resolution Audio Content and Devices
A few months ago, we reported on a press event in New York City in which the major record labels showed a new enthusiasm for high-resolution music and those labels willing to offer it. Now CES is introducing a new TechZone called Hi-Res Audio Experience, which will highlight content from places like HDtracks, the Acoustic Sounds Super HiRez Store, and Blue Coast Records.
This new emphasis on the value of hi-res audio could be great for both audiophiles and high-end audio manufacturers, but will the manufacturers embrace it wholeheartedly? Of course we want to see more high-resolution music offerings from the major labels, but we also want to see more audio products that are targeted at this audience. Yes, a ton of USB DACs are available to help move high-resolution audio from your computer to your audio system, but we want to see an even easier, even more integrated path for consumers to get the content from HDtracks to their speakers. Sony is putting a lot of focus on this category with its new Hi-Res Audio offerings like the HAP-Z1ES , but what other companies will lead this charge? We look forward to finding out.
So, those are just a few of our top interests at we approach the upcoming CES. What are yours? Let us know what products and trends most interest you, and we'll do our best to report back.