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CES 2016 - what to expect

23 Dec 2015 | Rasmus Larsen |

As always, FlatpanelsHD is in Las Vegas for CES 2016. This year, CES kicks off on January 5 and you can expect manufacturers to unveil their 2016 TV line-ups. But what else can we expect? Here is what we have heard.

What to expect at CES 2016

So last year, Sony and Sharp launched the first TVs powered by Android TV and we saw lots of lots of new Ultra HD TVs and the first HDR TVs. We expect to see many of the same things at CES 2016. But we also expect new stuff.

LG will launch a new line-up of its OLED TV and we have already exclusively given you the first details on the 2016 OLED TVs. Expect cheaper OLEDs, a bigger line-up, better HDR, a wider color gamut, and higher light output.

The big question is whether other manufacturers will join the OLED camp? Panasonic has already announced its first 65” OLED TV (with an LG panel) and they have said that they will launch smaller and flat options, but we are not sure that it will happen at CES. There were rumors about Sony’s interest in OLED but it has been a while since we have heard anything. Fingers crossed.

What about Samsung? In 2014, a Samsung executive told everyone that he was “really, terribly sorry” to report that it would take 3-4 years to make OLED affordable. So we’re not holding our breath for it to happen next month.

CES 2016 in Las Vegas

UHD Blu-ray
We will surely hear much more about UHD Blu-ray players and the first movie titles. We saw Samsung and Panasonic’s first players at IFA in September but CES will be a much bigger event for UHD Blu-ray.

UHD Blu-ray is not just about “UHD” – or 4K – but also includes specs for HDR and wider color gamuts. The format will set new standards for picture quality and we are excited.

Android & Smart TV
We expect to hear more about Android TV. Sony, Philips, and Sharp were the first to integrate the operating system into TVs and they will likely continue in 2016. Android TV 6.0 (Marshmallow) could make its debut on TVs at CES 2016.

We also expect much improved hardware from TVs manufacturers for an improved Android TV experience. Several companies, including TCL, Hisense, and Grundig, have already confirmed that they will switch to Android TV in 2016. And we will surely see new media players introduced.

Talking about “smart TV”, we haven’t heard any whispers about the big brands so we expect Samsung and LG to stay with Tizen and webOS, respectively. But what about Panasonic? Mozilla has discontinued development of Firefox OS for mobile devices stay committed to “other devices” – does that include TVs? We hear that Panasonic has a quite small consumer-related presence at CES 2016 so we might have to wait until later to hear about its plans for the 2016 TV line-up.

8K, HDR, Premium spec, and other TVs
We will surely see 8K TVs on the floor and we expect 2016 to be the year when some of these TVs make it to market. We will hear much more about HDR TV and the UHD Alliance will announce its “Premium UHD” specification that includes a logo for premium UHD/HDR TVs.

We’ve also heard about a rollable 55” OLED prototype from LG. Chinese Letv has confirmed that it will enter the US in 2016 and showcase a 120” 4K TV at CES.

More about Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, too.

Content in 4K and HDR
If you were at CES 2015 you might remember Netflix making an announcement for content in HDR quality. Well, that didn’t happen in 2015 but it will surely happen in 2016, the company says. In fact, Netflix plans to launch HDR streaming in early 2016 so we expect them to tell us more at CES.

Amazon and Vudu have already started streaming in HDR and we expect others to join them in 2016.

Virtual reality
2016 is also the year of VR – virtual reality. Oculus, Sony, and HTC have all confirmed that they will launch VR headsets in the first half of 2016, and we expect to hear more about these products in Vegas. Others might even join the race.

The rest
We have heard some rumors about PlayStation Now – Sony’s streaming service for games – and a possible European launch but we can’t confirm whether it will happen it CES.

Steam Machines? Yes, we expect Valve’s game consoles to be on display at CES. Some of them are already in the market but Valve will try to drum up interest in the PC-based game consoles.

What else? Hopefully some surprises!

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