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

January 9, 2013 at 10:42 AM

CES photos and video: Wild and wondrous new TVs

LAS VEGAS — Here’s a look at some of the amazing new TVs on display this year at the Consumer Electronics Show.

TV makers are no longer pushing 3-D, though it’s still offered and the highlight of some new sets this year. Instead, their flagship models are “ultra high-definition” with four times the resolution of current 1080p sets.

Some companies are emphasizing the ultra high-def term, or UHD, but most simply call them 4K sets.

Built-in speakers are also getting the nod this year. Several flagship 2013 models have souped-up speakers built into their frames. Instead of hiding the speakres behind a grill, Sony has made them a major design element on its latest sets.

Samsung stole the show with these enormous sets that come mounted on a big metal easel. Inside the easel are rows of speakers. Samsung is displaying models with 110-inch, 95-inch and 85-inch displays; the 85-inch “S5” model will go on sale by June. Prices weren’t disclosed but I’ll bet they’ll cost more than $4K.

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The Samsung sets have cameras and microphones so you can control them with voice commands and hand gestures. Physical gestures are also used to tilt the display:

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You can see the speakers clearly on Sony’s new XBR65X900 4K sets:

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Forget picture-in-picture. Sharp’s new sets offer picture next to website. You can browse with half the screen while watching a show on the other half, in case you can’t reach your laptop, smartphone or tablet from the couch:

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Sharp also brought out its 85-inch 8K TV, to remind people of what’s coming to CES in 2017 and to scare broadband providers who will have to stream sitcom reruns that Netflix upscales to 8K resolution:

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Here’s Panasonic’s new interface, which let’s you relax with the TV after catching up on your electronic messages and appointments calendar. It’s shown on the new “full 3-D” TC L55WT60 Viera:

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Sony is offering a library of classics in 4K resolution on Blu-ray discs:

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Sports are especially striking in 4K. Here Sony is playing a soccer game that’s been upscaled from high-def to 4K, showcasing the 84-inch XBR84X900:

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Samsung is showing an OLED TV that displays two different shows at once, both in 3-D. You need to wear different 3-D glasses to watch one show or the other. The domestic tranquility this promises is offset by the risk of nausea when changing channels:

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This isn’t really a TV but I thought it was cool; it’s a $5,000 box made by Samsung that displays semi-transparent video across the front panel.

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Comments | Topics: 4K TV, ces, new tvs

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