CES 2019 Overview

We learned quite a bit this past weekend at CES 2019 (January 8-11). While I did not have the fortune to go to the grand event, I was keeping tabs on all areas of the show. In this overview we will show off the newest tech that was announced and some insider info. We will look at the major areas and them down into the most important and interesting information we can find.

TVs

The world’s largest consumer electronics trade show, CES, is the place to be if you want to see the latest TV tech that’ll hit stores in the following 12 months.
TVs from Samsung, Sony, LG and Panasonic and many more graced the show floor in Las Vegas and some are truly outstanding.

 

LG Signature OLED R (Rolling TV)
LG always pulls out a surprise or two during CES, especially when it comes to its OLED TVs. Last year it was the W8 – a superthin panel that sticks to a wall using magnets and looks like wallpaper.
This year it is the Signature OLED TV R. Not only is it a superb-looking 65-inch 4K HDR OLED panel, but it also comes with its own 5.2 channel Dolby Atmos speaker set into a cabinet underneath. Here’s the most magical part, however; the TV rolls up inside the cabinet when not in use.
The set has a few different options. You can watch it in Full View, with the entire screen on show; Line View, where only a part of it appears above the cabinet, giving you important information such as the time and weather report; and there is Zero View, where the OLED panel is rolled up inside the cabinet, completely out of view.
The beauty then is that you can use the cabinet as a speaker system in the room. Amazing.
We do expect a catch though: the price. LG is yet to announce how much the OLED TV R will cost. We very much expect it to be in the 15-20 thousand dollar range, sadly. Still, it’s one of the most impressive innovations in television tech we’ve ever seen.

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Samsung QLED 8K
Samsung will expand its 8K TV offering in 2019 with a new series of sets featuring the best images and resolutions possible.
The daddy of these will be a mighty 98-inch model that effectively takes up the entire wall.
It will head-up a range that also includes 65, 75, 82 and 85-inch variants and, like those, features Samsung’s proprietary picture upscaling technology that intelligently scales Full HD and 4K images to 8K, to cater for the home consumer who can’t yet get hold of native 8K content.
One of the biggest announcements by Samsung at this year’s CES is that all of its 2019 models (along with 2018 TVs) will include an app for Apple’s iTunes Movies and TV Shows service. You won’t, therefore, need an Apple TV to view films and programming purchased or rented on iTunes.
These QLEDs, like all other supporting Samsung sets, will also receive AirPlay 2 compatibility. LG and Sony have also announced its new TVs this year will follow suit.

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Sony Bravia Master Series Z9G
Like the Samsung above, the Sony Bravia Master Series Z9G is an 8K TV. It also comes in up to 98-inches and will have AirPlay 2 compatibility.
There is also an 85-inch version coming in 2019 and both use Sony’s X1 Ultimate image processing to up-convert any content to an 8K resolution.
They use LCD panels rather than OLED – even though Sony also has a fine range of OLED TVs coming later this year – but a new version of the Backlight Master Drive system that has been redesigned to suit 8K should provide black levels as good as any other tech.
Like Samsung and LG, Sony has partnered with Apple to introduce AirPlay 2 on these televisions, so you can send them a video, images, and music from your iPhone, iPad or Apple Mac devices. And because they are both Android TVs, you can also make use of Google Chromecast – the best of both worlds.
Prices and availability for the 8K TVs are yet to be revealed. Don’t expect them to come cheap, however.

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Samsung “The Wall” Micro LED
Sadly still not planned for release in 2019, but worthy of making this list nonetheless as it’s now thought to become commercially available in 2020, the Micro LED TV concept was shown at CES again and still impresses.
It is made up of multiple, small LED panels which can be arranged to make a screen of any size without a dip in picture quality.
The one on show during a Samsung preview event prior to the trade show opening was 75-inches but another 219-inch version was also available to ogle at.
As well as screen size, the Micro LED system can adapt to different shapes. Want a 21:9 screen for a movie experience? Yep, it can do that too.
The Micro LED technology is also capable of incredible brightness, more than OLED, yet retain deep, involving black levels. Samsung is sure to bet the house on it in future.

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Sony Bravia Master Series AG9
As well as the mighty 8K Master Series model above, Sony has improved its 4K HDR OLED TV flagship range.
The Sony Bravia Master Series AG9 comes in 55, 65 and 77-inch screen sizes and, like last year’s Bravia AF8, uses the display panel as a vibrant speaker. That means it saves a dramatic amount of space thanks to no visible speaker system.
This year’s sound tech is called Acoustic Surface Audio+ and it can even utilize the entire TV as the center speaker in a general surround sound setup.
As well as HDR10, the Sony TV features Dolby Vision high dynamic range support, plus a brand exclusive Netflix Calibrated Mode. This means video streamed through Netflix is tuned to look its best. IMAX Enhanced mode is on board too, along with the TV version of Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound.
Release timings and pricing will be revealed later this year. It’s been confirmed that the AG9 will be one of the new Sony TV series to feature Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility. It is also an Android TV so features hundreds of apps through Google Play.

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LG OLED TV Z9
Another 8K TV to make the list is rather unique. It is the only one that uses OLED picture tech rather than LCD.
The 88-inch LG Z9 features the company’s new α9 Gen 2 processor that dramatically improves noise reduction and scales all content up to an 8K resolution.
The AI capabilities also refine HDR content on the fly, enhancing brightness where needed while retaining the trademark black levels so associated with OLED.
Dolby Atmos tuning is on board to create a virtual 5.1 surround effect from a slim speaker but it is likely that anyone who will buy – afford – the 8K OLED TV is likely to match it with a bombastic sound system anyway.
Like all of LG’s 2019 models, it will come with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support. LG is also adding Alexa voice assistant functionality to its sets this year, with this 88-incher being no exception.
We don’t yet know when it will hit the streets but cannot wait to test it fully ourselves.

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Optoma
In the world of smart projectors, Optoma is going for broke with its new P1 Smart 4K UHD Laser Cinema. You’re going to get a 3,000 lumen 8.3 million pixel image. That gives you an image up to 120 inches big with HDR10. There’s both Alexa and Google Assistant support, with the ability to display an “infowall” when you’re not watching TV or movies. Even better, there’s an integrated NuForce soundbar with Dolby Digital 2.0 support. It’ll arrive in late Q2 for $2,999.

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Audio

CES 2019 is awash with a wave of smart speakers that have Alexa and/or the Google Assistant built in.

Klipsch
We’ve seen Klipsch announce five new soundbars at the show, which range widely in price and features and throw in Google Assistant and Alexa support. Starting at $299, the cheapest soundbar, the Klipsch Bar 40 is also the smallest of the lineup. At the top end of the range is the $1,599 Klipsch Bar 54A, which gets Dolby Atmos dolloped on as well.

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Google & Lenovo
Google itself hass partnered with Lenovo for the Lenovo Smart Clock, which is essentially Google and Lenovo’s take on the Echo Spot. It’s a tiny little smart display that’s a little more focused on being an alarm clock and less of a hub for your entire home. Lenovo also took the covers off of the Lenovo Smart Tab; a 2-in-1 Android tablet that also doubles up as an Echo Show Mode smart speaker.

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House of Marley
House of Marley, the eco-conscious audio specialist, revealed its first smart speaker at the show – the Get Together Mini comes with the Google Assistant on board and is made of natural bamboo, recyclable aluminum and Marley’s signature Rewind fabric composed of organic cotton, organic hemp, and recycled plastics. It goes on sale in August for $119.

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Smart security

One of the primary reasons to turn your home smart is security. We’ve seen a number of companies make security a priority. Nest and Ring both debuted security systems in the past year, and Nest even went a step further and debuted both a lock and a doorbell.

Netatmo
We’re seeing that trend continue as the competition to be your doorbell intensifies. Netatmo has announced it is launching a smart video doorbell, which will be the first to offer Apple HomeKit integration. The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is getting ahead of Ring and August, which have both promised HomeKit support but still haven’t delivered.

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Ring
Speaking of Ring, the company has a new Door View Camera that turns your peephole into a smart camera. Yes, you can still ring it and all the usual smart doorbell features are there, but it fits nicely on your door rather than next to it. Ring didn’t stop there either, revealing a bunch of smart lighting and smart home sensors, like a smoke and CO2 sensor.

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Arlo
Arlo is expanding from just making smart cameras to making an entire security system. It won’t just send alerts to your phone either, it’ll communicate with other Arlo products to act. So if your window opens, your camera will get a prompt to start recording.

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Yale
Yale has unveiled a brand new non-deadbolt smart lock connected by August, which should be a boon for those of us who want to outfit our garages and side doors with smart locks. August will also power luxury lockmaker Emtek’s new EMPowered Smart Lock, so if you’ve got the cash to get a custom-made smart lock, it’s not possible.

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Smart lighting

General Electric
GE has a massive new portfolio of devices on show in Vegas that work with Google Assistant. The range includes full-color LED bulbs, which also happen to be the first color Made for Google bulbs. There’ll be the standard 60-watt A19 bulbs, BR30 bulbs, and light strips too. The company is also looking to introduce health and security features for C by GE in the future, though it’s unclear what that could be right now. GE also unveiled a smart dimmer switch as well.

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Lutron
Lutron, a big name for high-end smart home installations, revealed the latest addition to its Caséta smart lighting system… albeit with a device that’s not really focused on lighting. A new fan speed control provides wireless access to ceiling fans from anywhere, with simple integrations with existing Caséta scenes and schedules.

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Sengled
Sengled, fast becoming a serious player in the space, announced a new range of smart light bulbs at the show, including the Sengled Smart LED extra-bright 100W replacement bulb, a “first-to-market” according to the company. We’re told that the high light output means consumers can seamlessly swap any 100W light bulb with this smart bulb and not compromise the overall light level. Also revealed were the Sengled Smart LED Multicolor Lightstrip, Sengled Smart Wi-Fi Multicolor A19 bulb and, more interestingly, the Sengled Smart LED with Motion Sensor – a floodlight and motion sensor all-in-one.

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Nanoleaf
Nanoleaf is getting even crazier with its wall panels, introducing a new Hexagon shape. Those six sides allow for even more creative combinations. They’re also touch-enabled, so you’ll be able to play games like Whack-A-Mole, Candy Crush, and Pacman.

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Philips
The big name in smart lighting, Philips has announced a number of new outdoor lights. From a brand new flood light to outdoor weather-resistant motion sensors for your lights. There’s also the slick-looking Hue Econic family, which are series of mounted fixtures for your porch. Let’s not forget the most exciting bit: Philips Hue lights can now sink to Google alarms and night time routines. So they can gently turn off at night, and wake you up with your alarm. Nifty.

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Lifx
Hue’s biggest rival – Lifx – didn’t have any new devices at the show but it did announce a couple of new features to its Tile product; Tile Tap and Tile Fire – the former allowing users to ‘tap’ into any tile produce, the latter for creating the effect of a roaring fire.

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Everything else.

The unsung hero of the show is, without doubt, the updated Instant Pot Smart WiFi pressure cooker, which now supports Google Assistant, meaning you can start cooking or check on the status of your dish without getting your phone out. Hilarious and awesome, I know!

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Kohler
Kohler went all out Alexa at last year’s show and has updated the connected bathroom suite with the new Kohler Numi 2.0 range – which includes the most futuristic toilet you’ve ever seen in your whole life, ever.

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Whirlpool
Back to the kitchen and coming out of W Labs, its innovation incubator, is the Whirlpool Smart Countertop Oven that can identify foods and cook them to perfection using algorithms. Obviously, it can be controlled with Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa too.

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Thank you so much for reading dudes. We plan on reviewing a lot of these when the time comes for them to come up to Canada. In the meantime please help support us and keep the site ad-free by going to our SHOP and maybe you will find something that you like!

Leave a comment below and tell us what you think about CES 2019 or any products we didn’t talk about.

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