New TVs Steal The Show At World Tech Event

Televisions have been grabbing the headlines at the world's largest consumer technology trade show, CES 2012. LG and Samsung have both revealed gorgeous, 55' OLED (organic light emitting diodes) screens on display - still only HD resolution, but with new electronics that produce vibrant colours and the deepest blacks. Fast moving pictures - live sport for example - have often revealed the weakness of LED and LCD televisions and gave plasma sets the edge. But the new OLED sets can change their pixels in less than two-hundreths of a second - fast enough to track any ball or Formula One car. Voice and gesture control TV has also dominated this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The smart TV now resembles an oversized smartphone, with app stores and web connectivity allowing viewers to watch streaming movies, catch up TV or chat on Facebook from the comfort of an armchair. Once again, the missing elephant in the CES room is Apple. The company does not display at CES but almost every product at the huge trade fair is defined in terms of opposition to its Apple counterpart. So even without a presence at CES, the talk in Vegas is of an Apple iTV, a display device in the manner and style of the iPhone and iPad. Such a device would complete the ecosystem so loved by Apple fans. Users' iPhone photos and videos will seamlessly be displayed on their TVs and watching television and movies will be a matter of a click in the iTunes store. Other big players such as Samsung and LG, Panasonic and Sony are trying to set up their own, in-brand, inter-operability. It is being touted as convenience for the user but in truth is about selling owners of a Panasonic TV, a Panasonic phone and/or computer and/or camera, with a promise of simple connectivity. The other major trend at CES 2012 is the rise of the Ultrabook, a concept coined by Intel which makes the chips that power the devices. The idea has been taken up by a dozen or more suppliers and, while it is in essence a copy of the MacBookAir, it is a useful addition to the canon of lightweight, long-battery life, fast starting computers. But above all, it seems content remains king. There is no point in offering a theoretical land of plenty through a technology that has the potential to please if there is little to satisfy the appetite post acquisition.