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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 11, 2012 at 5:22 PM

CES 2012: Gallery of new TVs — big, thin and bright

LAS VEGAS — Photos taken on my 12 megapixel camera and compressed for this blog don’t do justice to the fantastically bright and vivid new TVs on display at CES.

The big attention-getters are prototypes of new sets that increase resolution, refresh rates and contrast far beyond that of today’s 1080p sets. But it remains to be seen whether that will persuade people to upgrade their flat-panel sets over the next few years.

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Apparently 55 inches is the big battleground: LG and Samsung both have wafer thin 55-inch OLED sets that they promise to start selling later this year, while Sonyis showing a 55-inch “Crystal LED” prototype. They were all cagey about releases dates and pricing.

Here’s the LG, which the company announced earlier to drum up interest before the show:

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The LG from the side, with a thumb to show its thickness:

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The Samsung display of its sets which are 4 millimeters thick:

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Sony’s not saying if or when it will start selling Crystal LED sets, which use scads of individual light emitting diodes, instead of a backlit system. In person the colors were more vivid than a conventional LCD displayed alongside – almost too vivid, according to several people who commented while I took this picture:

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Samsung’s also showing a 75-inch LED that’s going on sale later this year. Pricing wasn’t disclosed, but it should be more than the $3,000 to $4,000 it now charges for 65-inchers:

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Sharp is showing what it calls the first LCD TV with 8,000 lines of resolution, but there’s practically no content available for it yet:

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Lenovo’s new 42-inch and 55-inch “smart” TVs run Android 4.0 on Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. They have 8 gigabytes of flash storage but a product manager told me that future models could have more storage and DVR capabilities. The TV is going to be sold in China; Lenovo hasn’t decided yet whether to sell it in the U.S.

In this picture the Lenovo’s facial recognition software — which can be used with parental controls — is trying to recognize the demonstrator:

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One cool trick of the Lenovo TV is the ability to use the remote control as a microphone for voice commands or to dictate messages to social networks during interactive TV broadcasts:

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Haier showed a prototype of a remote control that uses brain waves, detected by a headset. The system is designed to measure the level of the user’s concentration, so it could someday change the channel and display content appropriate for whether you are concentrating or relaxing. Using this remote doesn’t look very relaxing, though.

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