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CES 2013: In search of television’s “next big thing”

At the 46th annual Consumer Electronics Show roughly 150,000 attendees gathered to assess what’s new — and what might sell — in consumer electronics.

This year, manufacturers like Samsung, Sony, LG, Westinghouse, Toshiba and Panasonic are trying to shake the trees by building bigger television screens and quadrupling the resolution in their images to 4K in Ultra HD sets. However, many of these new models are quite expensive. Panasonic and Sony both announced new 56in sets, while LG said it has begun taking orders for a 55in flat-panel OLED screen that will ship in March.

The real action at the show was is in the far more affordable software for “smart” TV receivers. Manufacturers are clamouring to add apps and other interactive elements to their ultrathin displays.  And there’s more competition than ever to the home television set. Viewers can now access programming over smartphones, tablets and computers. This reduces the need by many people to buy a television set at all. 

This year the “big thing” that manufacturers are pushing is 4K Ultra HD television. These new sets have four times as many pixels as their HD predecessors, though — like 3-D — there is little programming being distributed to watch at this high resolution. Ultra HD also costs more, far exceeding the low prices of HD sets.

(Broadcast Engineering)