CES 2015: Installer's analysis & Photo Gallery

posted on Sunday, 11th January 2015 by David Slater

CES  4K  Events 

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The 2015 CES certainly lived up to the buzz of previous years. Press events, as usual, kicked off on the Sunday before the show opening with an overview of the global technology market; there has been major growth in the 4K screen market, especially curved screens, and the sale of UHD TV has also driven down the price point of Full HD with large screens selling for massively discounted prices. There has also been a pronounced shift to wearable technology, as evidenced by the CES Unveiled pre-show being rammed with headsets, watches and exercise devices and apps.

All the big names had new hardware on the show floor, nothing earth-moving but some nice products all the same. Market leader Samsung boasted improvements to picture quality as well as its new Tizen-powered smart platform. Samsung's new flagship series includes the JS9500 (US model number, naturally), available in 65- and 88-inch configurations. Samsung also revealed the JS9000, an edge-lit model available in 48-, 55-, 65-, and 78-inch options. These TVs will also feature the new up-scaling technologies and, as with the JS95000, also come with the Tizen smart platform. Stateside, Tizen also includes Samsung’s Milk Music streaming service, multi-player games like Just Dance Now and even access to the PlayStation Now streaming subscription games service (no console required).

Panasonic also revamped its connected TV range for 2015 with a move to the Firefox OS system from Mozilla: this is a custom user interface and will be available on pretty much all the companies Smart TVs this Spring. Panasonic also previewed the first disc player to support the 4K Blu-ray standard, which is expected to become available later in 2015. The HEVC prototype also supports High Dynamic Range content and the wide colour gamut standard known as Rec.2020. Data streams from the disc at 100Mbps, compared with current Blu-rays which are only capable of a maximum bit rate of 40Mbps.

With an eye for photography, I could not help but visit the Go Pro stand and have a look at the new Hero 4 which now is capable of recording 4k at 30 frames per second. This makes me question why am I lugging 10kg of camera kit around when this product does an awesome job of imagery and will also fit into your pocket. The Go Pro also comes with a neat app that allows you to control your camera and send images to your favorite social media sites, all wrapped up in a small waterproof package that costs under £360.

Moving over to two channel audio, the Venetian Hotel was a must-visit venue, where there were five floors of some of the best hi-fi kit on show. Golden Ear was displaying the all new Triton Five speaker, which is a larger version of the Seven, with greater dynamic range and even deeper bass extension. On sitting down and listening to a selection of music, I have to say I was truly impressed. Another great new product from the team is the SuperSub XXL -the enclosure is constructed of very thick, high-density medite, which is beautifully finished in high-gloss piano black lacquer. The power driven from this sub is 1600 watt so you can imagine that my bones were just shaking while being drawn into the movie playing.

Nearby, Arcam was demonstrating its new Solo Bar. This large stereo soundbar offers decoding of all current HD audio formats and features six drive units and 100 watts of amplification. You can couple this with the Solo sub, which features a 300watt amplifier and a downward firing 10-inch woofer for added low frequency power and scale. Interestingly, the Solo sub can also be used in association with more complex AV systems, for example the brand’s AVR450 and AVR750 receivers. Another new product in Arcam’s arsenal is the Solo Movie, which is an all-in-one device featuring 5 x 60 watt Class G amplification, a BD/DVD/SACD/CD drive with HD audio decoding and Bluetooth with aptX streaming technology.

Moving along the corridor, it was time to stop in the SVS suite where the company was showing its newly launched Prime Series speaker family. Consisting of a Tower, Bookshelf, Centre and Satellite, the Prime Series is the American audio brand’s second full-range speaker family offering. The sound quality of these speakers is amazing, with a deep, rich tonal value that seems equally happy delivering two channel audio as well as thumping movie sound tracks. The Prime Series feature lifestyle-friendly cabinet design, available in black ash or piano gloss.

As usual CES seemed well attended with suggestions from the organisers that over two hundred thousand people had descended on the strip. Overall I rated it a solid, rather than classic year, with some interesting incremental technology on show. It seems the more things change, the more they stay the same. For a close up look at what CES 2015 had to offer, fire up our Photo Gallery below...

David Slater

David Slater started his writing career with SVI writing a
popular column, he has also guested on publications like Home Cinema Choice and
Living North

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