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Best of CES: Day 1, January 9th

A rundown of some of the biggest and most relevant product launches and announcements made on the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas

A rundown of the biggest and most relevant product launches and announcements made on the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas

Just because CES has the word ‘consumer’ in its title, doesn’t mean the show is off the radar for those in the B2B world – plus, if you have a career in AV, we strongly suspect you’ll have more than a passing interest in some of the latest, greatest, weird and wonderful products launched at the annual event.

So, if you were unable to join the 180,000 plus visitors (58,000 based outside the US) and the 4,000 exhibitors over in Las Vegas, here’s a summary of our top picks.

Samsung unveils 146 inch TV

Samsung has wowed visitors at its press conference with the launch of a 146 inch 4K MicroLed flat panel display TV.

Dubbed by the company as ‘The Wall,’ the screen provides an ‘unprecedented TV experience and is the world’s first modular display.

Samung claimed the The Wall’s ‘true innovation’ lies in its incorporation of brand-new, self-emitting display technology that clusters numerous MicroLED chips and removes the need for colour filters altogether.

This, so it claims, allows the screen to ‘outperform’ existing displays in just about ‘every aspect’ of picture quality.

The Wall’s module-based and bezel-less design, which is capable of reaching over 100 inches, enables users to ‘easily’ customise their display size to align with their style preferences and living environment. Each 9.37-inch module seamlessly integrates with the next without altering the display’s fine-tuned MicroLED structure. Therefore, users always get optimum picture quality and resolution no matter how big they decide to build their screen.”

“At Samsung, we are dedicated to providing consumers with a wide range of cutting-edge screen experiences,” said Jonghee Han, president of visual display business at Samsung Electronics. “As the world’s first consumer modular MicroLED television, ‘The Wall’ represents another breakthrough. It can transform into any size, and delivers incredible brightness, colour gamut, colour volume and black levels. We’re excited about this next step along our roadmap to the future of screen technology, and the remarkable viewing experience it offers to consumers.”

Panasonic unveils first UHD OLEDs

Now in its 100th year, Japanese manufacturer Panasonic used CES as the launch-pad for a new range of UHD OLEDs.

The new displays include 55 inch and 65 inch models in its FZ950 and FZ800 series, which will be targeted and sold to professional markets in Europe.

The FZ950, launching in Spring, will be Panasonic’s flagship TV for 2018. Features include Panasonic’s latest HCX processor, Dolby Vision ,dynamic LUTs, HDR10+, Dynamic Scene Optimizer, extreme 2.5 per cent calibration levels and Technics-branded 80-watt blade speaker.

The FZ800

Features on the FZ800 will largely mirror that of the FZ950, but will not include the 80-watt blade speaker.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed for either model

LG debuts ‘compact’ UHD laser projector 

LG has taken the wraps of its latest home cinema laser 4K UHD projector, the LG ProBeam HU80KA.

LG claims the device can project 4K UHD video content on up to a 150-inch screen image at 2,500 lumens brightness. It’s also able to play HDR content.

The projector’s portable size and ‘unique upright design’ is made possible by the mirrorless I-shaped engine which allows the projector to display images whether placed on the floor, on the wall or hanging from the ceiling. It also features two ‘powerful yet clear’ 7W speakers, removing the need for external speakers or a sound-bar.

Other features include, LG’s webOS smart TV plat- form, which gives users access to popular online streaming apps with 4K content. The projector supports HDMI 2.0, USB 3.0 and HDCP 2.2 and has optical ports and Bluetooth to enable digital and wireless connections to external sound systems as well as connectivity with iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and other smart devices.

“We are excited to bring value to consumers with our first 4K UHD projector, which delivers the highest resolution we’ve ever offered in a compact size,” said Chang Ik-hwan, head of LG’s IT business division. “LG’s 4K UHD projector will lead the way in changing how consumers view 4K content in any room in the home, wherever there’s an audience.”

And that’s not all from LG…

The Korean giant is also using the show to showcase its lineup of premium audio products, including its first premium smart AI audio product, the LG ThinQ Speaker, which comes with Google Assistant built in.

LG teamed up with Google to ensure that the LG ThinQ Speaker delivers all the conveniences which comes with having a digital assistant at your side. And LG ThinQ Speaker isn’t only a smart companion, it is also a personalised voice-activated interface for LG’s smart home appliances. For example, the LG ThinQ Speaker can be set to turn on an LG appliance with the simple spoken command, “OK Google, talk to LG, turn on the air purifier.”

LG ThinQ Speaker’s High Resolution Audio is compatible with high quality lossless files, giving it the ability to faithfully recreate sounds that were originally recorded in the studio.

Cleer launches new noise-cancelling headphones 

Audio manufacturer Cleer has launched two new noise-cancelling headphones, Flow (over-ear) and Trek (in-ear).

Flow, so says the firm, combines ‘best-in-class digital noise canceling technology’ with ambient awareness, Bluetooth 4.2 wireless audio streaming capability, and up to 20 hours of playback. AAC and aptX codec support is included.

The Trek (in ear) model, provides similar digital noise canceling capabilities (up to 30dB ambient suppression) with ambient awareness, 12mm dynamic audio drivers, up to 13 hours of playback. Interchangeable

Both products are available now, with the Flow priced at $279 and Trek at $149.

Smarten up your office with some WooHoo

SmartBeings, a Silicon Valley based startup focusing on Smart Homes, Small Business and enterprises is is showcasing its advancd AI-powered digital assistant WooHoo, which it claims will bring a new experience of connected lifestyle, both in and out of the office.

The device, which can be connected using a 4G/LTE SIM operates as a personal assistant by connecting with other devices – but stretches beyond just audio, by including an intuitive display for visual interaction.

Features include; gesture control, motion-and-fall detection, a smart camera with facial recognition, natural language processing based voice commands, and audio-video conferencing.

…Pioneer and Onkyo speaking the same language 

Pioneer, a subsidiary of Onkyo has also launched a new smart speaker, with the Google Alexa voice controlled Elite Smart Speaker F4 (VA-FW40.

The product, so says the firm, can answer almost any question and can also play music and provide the latest news headline, traffic updates, weather, set reminders from voice commands. It also provides a multitude of home/office automation capabilities with compatible connected products, including AV receivers, lights, temperature and so on.

It’s currently available for $300.