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

January 8, 2015 at 4:52 PM

CES: New TVs galore

LAS VEGAS — Despite all the new gadgets that show up at CES, the show is still anchored by a parade of new TVs.

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They’re still the biggest display in the home, the best place to consume digital content and the portal to our favorite online services.

The continual investment in display technology also leads to crisper, brighter and more power efficient computer screens, phones and tablets, so it’s worth keeping an eye on what the big manufacturers bring from Japan, Korea and China to Las Vegas every January.

Here’s a sample of what I saw this week, starting with a close-up of Sony’s new flagship XBR 900 line. It took a awhile to get a picture showing how thin this 65-inch model is at the upper edge:

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Here’s the Android TV interface on one of these Sony TVs:

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Samsung brought what it called the largest 8K 3-D TV, which doesn’t require glasses for the depth effect:

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Here is Sharp’s 2-D 8K TV, with 100 million subpixels, vs.  to 24 million on a 4K set and 6 million on a 1080p set. As captured by an 8 megapixel iPhone camera:

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Sony began selling its laser-projection 4K system this fall. The $50,000 projectors display a 147-inch diagonal picture on the wall. For those with walls too bumpy or bright, the company is preparing to sell this optional screen, shown here powered by two of the projectors side by side. An app  that runs on a tablet is used to move around the different images if you opt to have multiple shows on at once; then you can flick the game onto the big central area when something exciting happens.

Unlike most projectors, these don’t have a bulb to replace. Instead they have a laser that’s supposed to last more than 20,000 hours, or more than two and a half years of continual viewing, a Sony rep said. He wasn’t sure about the laser replacement cost.

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The black projectors are intended for commercial use; Sony also makes white ones for consumers.

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Occupying what was traditionally Microsoft’s space in the central hall next to the Intel booth, Chinese TV maker Changhong is displaying sets such as this 79-inch curved OLED model. Prices weren’t available. A representative told me that manufacturing of these sets hasn’t started and some of the units on the show floor were just mockups. Still, the lanterns and totems were really cool.

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Haier, a major Chinese producer, is now selling this 105-inch, 5K TV for $25,000:

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Panasonic’s interactive salon mirror isn’t quite a TV. When you sit in the chair, it projects your face into the screen and lets you and your stylist see how you’ll look with different hairdos, makeup and even facial hair. It can be adjusted to show how your paint job will look in different lighting conditions, such as a restaurant or nightclub.

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