CES 2013: The Televisions of CES

If there was one thing on prominent display at CES this year, it was televisions. Every size was shown from the tiny 7″ models at the RCA booth (and others) to the massive 110″ displays that were suddenly everywhere.

The other trend was practically edgeless televisions. LG, Sony, Samsung and others all shared TVs that had bezels that were 2-3 millimeters, meaning they were practically invisible from viewing distance. What happened to the idea that you needed a large bezel to give good contrast to the picture? I guess that was never true.

Samsung got the most bang for its TV buck this year with the unveiling of its 110″ 4K TV. Speaking of which, no one at the show called it “UHD” which is the official term for 4K. It was 4K this, and 4K that. We have a feeling that the term 4K will stick no matter what anyone says.

It seemed like every manufacturer, even Haier, Hisense and Westinghouse, had a 4K TV this year. 4K was everywhere, even though there is no source for content anywhere outside of a few hard drives.

LG seemed to be playing every possible angle with its televisions. Most other manufacturers were strong on 4K, but only LG played up 3D to such an extent.

LG showed the largest possible laser TV, 100″. It turns out all of those fancy 4K TVs are too heavy and too thick to mount on the wall. On the other hand, this laser-backlit TV is only a few millimeters thick and mounts easily. Unfortunately, it was nowhere as bright as the other super-large TVs.

The other big featured item at LG’s booth was the OLED TV. They showed this same device last year, and it’s still stunning to look at. It’s paper-thin and so bright and clear that it makes most TVs look like 1970s leftovers. This year LG really, really, wants you to believe that they will bring this TV to market in 2013.

Sharp brought their 120″ LED-backlit TV. It was gorgeous but it was a little outclassed by similar-sized 4K units.

Of course, there were a whole raft of other manufacturers. Panasonic had what seemed like an almost retro booth that looked liked it belonged in 2006’s CES, with large TVs being the most prominent feature.

No question that the major manufacturers want you to buy a new TV this year. They have new smart features, powerful processors and picture quality that improves even upon last years’ offerings. Still until there is something to actually watch in 4K, it’s hard to recommend buying something this year if you’ve upgraded in the last few years. On the other hand, it’s fun to watch and drool…