TechSpy @ CES: 4K In Full Swing
This year at CES, 3D TV Tech has taken a side saddle to 4K or UHD "Ultra High Definition". While most major TV manufactures had 4K displays on the show floor, 3 of the Major Players had the biggest push this year...Sony, LG and Samsung.
Now the reason I say 3D has taken a side saddle as opposed to a back seat is one company has for two years straight, made me feel that 3D is a viable main stream consumer product. LG. In back to back years LG has been my favorite TV at CES. Not only have their high end TV's looked the best, but they have also coupled them with their passive 3D technology that has the most jaw dropping effects as well as little to no eye strain while viewing.
Again this year LG displayed the very finest in TV technology with 4K monitors. What in my opinion LG lacks in design they make up for in spades with incredible function. The 4K TV's on display this year are eye searing, for the first time at CES I actually thought to myself "I need this". I didn't want it, I didn't think, wow this is nicer than my TV. No, I thought maybe a second mortgage isn't so bad. The resolution is incredible even when viewed from literally inches away. The color is vivid without giving that fake plastic viewing experience on some Mid to Low level LED TV's trying for the same effect.
Bundled with these amazing screens is LG's Passive 3D technology similar to Cinema glasses. The effect is leaps and bounds easier on your eyes, as well as keeping the charging and price issues out of the glasses themselves. It needs to be noted though that this is true only for the very highest end of LG, where some of the Mid level TV's still have blur and eye fatigue issues in comparison. When these TV's reach a more reasonable sub $5,000 price point and I am in the market for a high end TV there is no doubt I will be looking at LG first, as they continue to astound me for a TV maker known for run of the mill mid grade TV's in the consumer world. The only knock on LG is that compared to Sony and Samsung the elegant design doesn't reflect the quality of TV you are bringing into your life.
In second place is Sony. The TV's they had on display were amazing as well, but didn't have the same WOW factor that the LG 4K did. Without a doubt they are amazing TV's but when viewed close up they often display what I am self coining "4K mist" I say this in the way that when HDTV's have pixelation issues you see very faint blocks, as with 4K you end up with such fine pixels that it almost just appears as a faint mist on screen.
Doing no favors to themselves the Sony Rep on floor answered my question of "Why do the 4K display's showing sports appear to look better than the Taylor Swift video that appears at time to have a subtle pixelation misting type issue? Is it source material or are they all filmed with the same camera?" Response: "It's your eyes, they are all shot on Sony 4K cameras." My immediate thought was "Hmmmmm bit defensive huh? LG dominates these display's" Which in the end was the final verdict. Sony gets the edge in the best mix of Picture Quality and Design but clearly loses out in pure picture quality comparison.
Lastly we have Samsung, who to put it mildly "Wildly Disappointed" me this year. While they had UHD TV's on display, they seemed to be a afterthought to their Ultrabook and Mobile push...Which for a company that had the most ridiculous OLED TV's last year which were simply stunning is quite the shock. In fact this year the Main display focused on Gargantuan TV's 85"-110" Displays that looked as if a LED and DLP Rear Projector had a Baby TV.
With all that Samsung hate spewed in the first paragraph, let me be clear. A) I own a Samsung TV and a Galaxy S III currently. B) You could probably classify me as a Samsung Fanboy. Soooo....Saying that, Samsung is 9000% the winner in TV design. They are simply works of art to look at, but perhaps the genius of the design department is starting to outweigh the genius of the display quality dept.
The 4K Mist I spoke of earlier was extremely prevalent in the Samsung displays I looked at. They left me feeling as if the technology wasn't ready for mainstream production...Which is obviously false considering Sony and LG have amazing displays ready to go. So this really left me puzzled as to Samsung's future business plans when it comes to the high end TV market.
All that said, at the end of the day this is not just a passing technology in the home entertainment sector. These displays are the next must have TV in your home as soon as the 4K source material is there in abundance for your UHD viewing pleasure.