CES 2013 was pretty exciting as I got a small taste for the future and direction of Home Theater. It seems like everywhere I turned this year, companies were demonstrating 4K televisions – all of which looked really amazing. Some manufacturers demonstrated the 4K technology by comparing a Blu-Ray on a 4K set alongside the same video shown on a 1K high-definition set and, needless to say, the difference was stunning. These 4K televisions are able to upconvert the 1K material to 4K and, I must admit, the 1K looked a bit plain in comparison.
The two obvious questions I had when looking at the 4K televisions were, “when will these be available?” and “how much do they cost?” I asked around and found out the new 4K should be available sometime over the summer. But as for their cost, well, nobody could quite say. I heard rumors of prices starting at US$12,000 but nothing was verified. If the rumors are true, I don’t suspect to be seeing them at Best Buy or Walmart anytime soon. Even so, one manufacturer claimed there would be a 4K set available for the consumer market this summer, but again, nothing official. I personally don’t expect to see the new technology hit the consumer market for a few more years, but I would love to be wrong about that!
With all the 4K televisions around, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going on in the 3D world. I saw some good looking 4K 3D televisions that didn’t require glasses, but the viewing angle was pretty narrow. The picture started to look strange when you got far enough off-axis and it appears they were using some type of lenticular system to create the 3D effect. I didn’t see one demonstrated, but I wonder what the 2D programs look like on those 3D televisions.
Anyways, it was good to see the new technology and I can’t wait to see where it leads the Home Theater industry in the coming years.