The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) being held this week in Las Vegas is the chance for companies to show off their newest and greatest inventions. It’s been a year dominated by news of consolidation and restructuring, but there will still be plenty of exciting new products and even a few surprises. The usual faces of Samsung and LG will be there, but expect a bigger presence from Chinese brands including TCL and Hisense. Here are a few of the new technologies we are most excited to see at this year’s CES:

1)      4K and OLED TVs


LGs OLED TV is 0.16

We heard whispers of OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) TVs last year and the technology is rumored to make a splash during CES 2013. During International CES press day today South Korean LG announced that they will be the first to bring a large screen OLED TV to market1. Thinner, lighter, brighter and more energy efficient LG’s 55-inch OLED TV is just 0.16 inches thin. If you happen to have a spare $12,000 lying around, LG’s OLED TV is currently available for order.

The failure of OLED’s to launch last year created opportunities for another technology to be developed, 4K TVs. 4K TVs are also being touted as the next high-definition advancement. These new TVs promise a resolution of 4,000 pixels wide (hence the 4K name) and 2,000 pixels high, which is four times current 1080p screen specs. This may be the year of 4K, so we are excited to see what is on display at CES.

2)      Connected TVs

Connected TVs, often referred to as Smart TVs, will also have a big year at CES. Everyone is adding more streaming services to their televisions. Internet-connected TVs are getting smarter all the time by adding services such as Spotify or Redbox Instant. Samsung is also announcing sorely needed improvements in voice and gesture control. Applications are a big growth area for the industry, but personalization and usability are major factors this year.  With Panasonics unveiling of “My Home Screen” a personalized homepage based on your viewing preferences, and HSN’s shop by remote application, consumers will be able to do even moving without moving from the couch.2>

3)      Innovative TV Design

Samsung translucent display TV

This teaser image was released by Samsung. Is a portrait display Samsung's "innovative" design?

Samsung has been releasing teaser videos promising “an unprecedented new TV shape and timeless design.”3 Rumors are that it’s a translucent display, but we won’t know much more until it’s revealed at CES this week, but we do know that owners of 2012 Samsung TVs shouldn’t be too scared. Samsung will reveal its Smart TV Evolution Kit. This hardware kit plugs into Samsung Smart TVs, adding an array of software and hardware enhancements. With this Evolution Kit, a 2012 TV will feel like a 2013 upgrade. With this option, buyers will not have to worry about their new TVs becoming obsolete quite so quickly.

4)      Video Streaming with NFC Technology

LG is also announcing improvements in smart TV technology. It’s CINEMA 3D Smart TV line will use near field communication technology (NFC) to connect devices with ease. Additionally, NFC technology allows digital content to be easily swapped and shared. This means connecting your smartphone to your TV has never been easier. LG has promised, “easier content access and sharing along with an updated Magic Remote for a simplified, intuitive user experience.” On display at CES will be their 84-inch Ultra HD and 55-inch OLED TVs.

5)      Google TV with Voice Search

LG will also be announcing its new Google TV lineup at CES 2013. LG will be showing off GA7900 and GA6400 sets and announcing prices. Google Voice search has been greatly improved, as has the reconfigured Magic Qwerty remote. With one voice command, you can retrieve any website, TV channel or even a specific genre of TV or film. With a platform integrated with Android operating system, the web and helpful applications are as easily in reach as traditional television channel surfing.

What are you looking forward to at CES 2013?

Follow Dwayne Thomas @Dwayne_CableTV

1 More on the OLED TV release by Mark Halper
2 Read about more of the Smart TV key announcements here
3 View the teaser here