The annual IFA show in Berlin kicks off next week on September 4 and all the big TV manufacturers are there to show off the latest products. This year, we expect to hear more about Ultra HD Blu-ray, OLED, Smart TV, HDR, and Virtual Reality.
FlatpanelsHD is in Berlin to give you all the news. IFA 2015 officially starts on September 4 but most manufacturers have scheduled press conferences in the days leading up to show. These conferences will be live-streamed (videos here).
Ultra HD Blu-ray First of all, we expect to see the first consumer-ready Ultra HD Blu-ray players that will take the picture experience to the next level. Panasonic has already demonstrated a prototype but you cannot buy it. It is as good as confirmed that Panasonic, Samsung and Sony will support the initiative, and more manufacturers are expected to join in on the fun. The big questions are when and how much.
We also hope to hear about 4K content from other companies. Let us hope that PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have some secrets.
Ultra HD and HDR We can guarantee that almost everyone will have Ultra HD TVs to show off. We also expect to hear much more about HDR (high dynamic range), which will likely be a major theme at IFA.
Some TV manufacturers have already launched HDR-capable TVs but others have yet to. Panasonic and Philips have not yet released their flagship TVs for 2015 so we expect them to do that at IFA. FlatpanelsHD has already published details on the new Philips' 8-series. A 9-series with HDR seems likely, too.
We also hope that Netflix will tell us more about its plans for HDR.
OLED! And then there is the most important technology of them all; OLED. LG has several OLED TVs on the market and they intend to launch more at IFA, including 4K OLED TVs with HDR. Rumor says that Panasonic will enter the market with its first 4K HDR OLED TV. Sony has also been rumored to launch an OLED TV but we are less sure of that one.
LG has promised to give us a glimpse of "the future of TV" - that can only mean OLED.
Smart TV & Android TV We expect to see lots of Smart TVs again this year. Samsung, LG and Panasonic will focus on Tizen, webOS and Firefox OS, respectively, and Grundig will join team Android TV. Sony and Philips are already selling TVs with Android. We are not so sure about Sharp. The Japanese company was one of the Android TV launch partners but they recently went through a major reorganization in Europe.
It will be interesting to see if other manufacturers decide to join Google. Perhaps we will even get a sneak peek at the next version of Android TV (6.0).
Microsoft and partners are expected to showcase Windows 10 hardware and we might get a chance to see Windows 10 running on an Xbox. We also hope that Sony will announce European launch plans for "PlayStation Now” - its game streaming service.
Another big trend is the “Smart Home” but no one seems to have a clear vision of what that entails. That will not stop them from talking about it.
Virtual Reality Finally, we expect more Virtual Reality products on the show floors. Samsung used last year’s IFA show to launch the Gear VR "Innovator Edition". We are still waiting for the consumer version but it is a little unclear whether it will be unveiled at IFA 2015 or not.
HTC and Valve have already confirmed that they will bring their Vive headset to IFA but Oculus will not attend. Sony is expected to showcase its "Project Morpheus" headset for PlayStation 4.