Now in its 50th year, the Consumer Electronics Show (or CES to you and me) has been the go-to platform for many important technological announcements. From the first VCR, to DVD, Blu-ray and the new Ultra HD Blu-ray players, many products have made their international bow on this Las Vegas stage.
It’s commonplace to see manufacturers use the gravitas of this show to reveal their latest TVs too. With the world’s press descending on the event, we get the scoop on 2016’s upcoming TV releases. Lets take a look at what each manufacturer has in store for the year…
Probably the most anticipated announcement of the year came from LG and the news of webOS 3.0. Those familiar with LG’s Smart interface won’t be surprised to see the award-winning platform return for a third year in 2016. Thankfully LG is considerate to the people who invested in a 2015 Smart TV. They will release an updated version of the interface with many of the features of webOS 3.0, to be called webOS 2.X. Another feature we took for granted, but were delighted to see nonetheless, is the inclusion of OLED TVs in LG’s 2016 range. Starting with two models (the E6 & G6), we are expecting sizes from 55″ to 77″. As all sets will include the latest OLED panels, premium 4K resolution, HDR compatibility (giving a much wider range of colours and contrast), the price on these are likely to hold a premium price tag to match the excellent quality of picture they will produce.
If premium is your thing, then you may be interested in the 8K Super UHD, the UH9800. Set to arrive in the second half of 2016, these incredibly sharp TVs will start at 98″. The sets are designed with the LCD type panel, and use a new type of video connection developed by MHL that can carry 120 frames per second and 16-bit colour. This is an indication of where TV tech is going… unless you are prepared to part with the best part of £100,000 for the privilege now. LG were quick to reiterate, however, that they will also be bringing some great TV technology – including OLED, to more affordable price points. Watch this space for more details as and when they come!…
One of the most used features on modern TVs is the Smart platform that drives the whole experience. Panasonic have returned in 2016 with Firefox OS at the helm. Firefox made one of the most intuitive platforms of 2015, so we’re hoping the same from this year’s version.
The set that sits proudly at the top of Panasonic’s 2016 range of TVs is the CZ950. Combining 4K Ultra HD resolution with OLED technology, the TV will provide a combination of both incredible sharpness and inky blacks. The model effectively combines two of the best TV technologies into one sleek and stylish package. OLED is effectively the choice technology as replacement for plasma TVs. The same advantages plasma offered, from smooth motion to self-lit pixels for deep blacks, the OLED format improves upon. Ideal for those with a good home cinema set-up, but flexible enough to work in a well lit family room.
There is a small yet important difference between Samsung’s 2015’s JS9500 and this year’s flagship, the KS9500. Yes, they are both curved,they both feature Samsung’s Tizen Smart platform and also have incredible colour realism, thanks to quantum-dot and HDR-compatibility. Where this year’s model varies, however, is in the fact it is an LED edge-lit model. The main reason for this is its ability to produce 1000-nit brightness (essentially a very, very bright screen) required to meet UHD Alliance’s standards. As well as improved Smart features, the set also boasts a much slimmer bezel, which results in a very attractive set all round.
Samsung have stuck to their guns with LCD screens this year (as opposed to OLED). This is no surprise, as Samsung has continually developed the LED format (or LED-lit LCD TV, to give it its full name) to higher and higher standards. So much so, this year they achieved a Premium 4K standard on all of their Ultra HD TVs.
Samsung has also introduced a new Smart home platform in the 2016 TVs, known as the Internet of Things. This technology is in its infancy, but has the potential to connect many different devices around the home, from washing machines and fridges to lighting and central heating. The advantage of this is complete Smart integration, enabling simple control of the things that matter most at the touch of a button, a simple gesture or quick voice control. In a year where most technologies are being improved from previous years, the Internet of Things really took a large formative step, thanks to Samsung.
The Japanese technology giant revealed a handful of different 4K Ultra HD TV models at CES 2016. It has very much been a year of incremental development from Sony. All sets on display use the Android TV platform, much like 2015’s screens. Using the OS created by Google has significant advantages, most noticeably seamless integration with many smartphones and tablets. They also feature YouView, the catch-up, on-demand TV service that integrates smoothly into your 7 day TV guide. In terms of aesthetics, Sony has focused on clean geometric designs called its “Slice of Living” design. This results in a design that appears both stylish and timeless, something that is incredibly difficult to achieve. As all sets are traditional LED-lit LCD screens, lighting is still a very important factor for Sony. Slim Backlight Drive is its solution found on most sets, an edge-lit LED system that uses an advance method to accurately control each specific area of the screen. For complete full-array backlighting however, Sony have a single 75″ flagship TV that offers this level of dynamic control, the KD-75XD9405. The main advantage of this is deeper blacks and brighter whites.
As well as the top-of-the-range XD94, we will also be treated to the XD93 in 55″ and 65″ sizes. This model will not feature full-array backlighting, but will have the X-tended Dynamic Range Pro found on the X94, for greater control of colours and image depth. The SD85 model, again on show at CES 2016 in 55″ and 65″, is Sony’s 2016 curved model. Finally, the XD89 (55″, 65″) and XD85 (75″, 85″) models complete the range. The main difference between the two, on initial inspections, is improved motion handling on the XD89.
As with all technology revealed at this years CES, we can’t wait to get our hands on these TVs. Be sure to tune in for in-depth reviews as soon as the screens appear in our stores this spring. As always, we guarantee to be the cheapest on every single TV when they become available. For more information, or to check availability on any of the technology mentioned (OK… it won’t be for a few weeks yet, but we’re excited too!), contact your local store or give our friendly Telesales team a call on 0333 900 0093.