The best TVs from CES 2012 [Updated with video]
The CES event showcases every type of consumer technology imaginable, but it’s always the TVs that take centre stage. This year has been no exception, with OLED TVs, Crystal LED TVs and 4K resolution TVs jostling for attention. We take a look at the best TV tech on show.
Sharp’s handbag-style portable TV, above, doesn’t quite make the list, but here’s a rundown of the best TVs we saw at CES 2012.
1) LG and Samsung OLED TVs
You wait and wait for a living room sized OLED (organic light emitting diode ) TV to arrive, and then two come at once. Both LG and Samsung unveiled 55-inch OLED sets this year – previously, we’ve only seen much smaller OLED TVs.
And what’s the fuss about OLED? Slimmer, sharper, brighter brights and blacker blacks, and more energy efficient to boot.
For me, LG’s set narrowly looked the better of the two. And narrow’s the operative word – LG’s OLED TV is just 4mm thick.
2) Samsung ES8000 LED TV
Samsung’s D8000 TV was one of Which?’s favourite models from 2011, so I had high hopes for its follow-up. By the initial look of it, the Samsung ES8000 isn’t likely to disappoint.
This is the new flagship LED model for Samsung’s 2012 range. All the bells and whistles you’d expect are there – 3D, Smart TV connectivity, gorgeous visuals – but there’s a new extra in the form of motion-control and voice-control.
A small camera on top of the TV detects the motion of your hand and allows you to interact with the TV by opening your palm or closing your fist. The TV can also respond to voice commands.
3) Sony Crystal LED TV
LED TV technology is barely in its infancy, but by all accounts it’s already been outmoded – this year at CES, Sony displayed its prototype Crystal LED TVs.
In fact, Sony was so proud of its Crystal LED displays that it willingly showed off their superiority to Sony’s own conventional LED models. Seeing as the Crystal LED TVs aren’t for sale anytime soon, this may not have been the wisest way of promoting the 2012 LED models.
4) Sharp 80-inch LED Quattron TV
Subtle, it isn’t. But if you have a large enough wall for it, then Sharp’s 80-inch Quattron TV could really tie the room together.
Sharp was eagerly boasting about the potential of its Quattron pixel array on this TV – unlike regular pixel arrays which have red, green and blue outputs, this one adds a yellow output. Sharp claims this gives superior colour displays.
We haven’t been blown away by Sharp’s Quattron range in the past, but we’ll look forward to seeing if the technology has advanced since.
5) 4K HD, Quad HD, 4K-by-2K…
Four times the resolution of high definition? Oh, go on then. Just when we were beginning to get used to 1080p displays (and finally have a decent amount of HD content to watch), the next generation of resolution comes along.
Toshiba, Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, they’re all at it, with names like Quad HD, 4K, and 4K-by-2K. Most of the displays aren’t market-ready, or in some cases, even intended for the consumer market, though Toshiba has an £8000 Quad HD TV ready to sell this year.
The downside? The content! The infrastructure doesn’t yet exist to broadcast 4K-quality programming, and when manufacturers promise “upscaled to 4K HD”, it brings back uncomfortable memories of the first-ever upscaled standard definition to HD attempts.
Still, the future is the future, and we’ll look forward to seeing how 4K develops in the coming years.
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