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Next-Gen TV's Rock Tech Expo

Televisions steal the (Consumer Electronics) Show in Las Vegas.

Your HDTV is OBSOLETE.

Well…. Not quite yet, but know this: next-generation televisions were the stars of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week in Las Vegas.

Once again, it’s Buzzword Time, but this time there are only two: OLED (pronounced “OH-led”) and 4K (pronounced “4K”).

4K is also called “Ultra Hi-Def” and is all about resolution. Its resolution is – deep breath here – 3840x2160, or four times the resolution of current HD televisions.  You can sit close to the thing and never see a pixel.

While 4K is today’s HD technology on steroids, OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) is a completely new technology, at least for televisions (It is used on smartphones). It has significantly better picture quality than today’s LCD HD’s due to a much higher contrast ratio. (See photo for today’s HD LCD vs. OLED.)

As of now, OLED is considered a surer bet over 4K because it improves video today. With OLED, today’s 1920x1080 video will have greatly improved color reproduction and clarity. While 4K is awesome, there’s nothing to see in 4K yet, either via broadcast or Blu-Ray, and there’s not likely to be soon. Not quite a solution looking for a problem, but close.

Want one, do you? OK. We need to talk. The first commercially-available OLED set will be the 55-inch LG 55EM960V, expected in March. Pricetag? $12,000.

Still with me, Tiger? Can’t wait til March? Not to worry. The good news is that 4K sets are available now. Sony's 84-inch Bravia XBR-84X900 is on sale now for just $25,000, while LG's 84-inch is a comparative steal at a mere $20,000.

Want it all, Big Boy? Of course you do. But I’m afraid you’ll just going to have to wait. Both Sony and Panasonic showed off prototypes of televisions that are both 4K and OLED, and which by all reports are – fanfare, drumroll – the Best. Televisions. Ever. But they’re only prototypes, which means vaporous pricing and availability at best.  :(

But JetsonsWorld had more to offer than mere televisions. Stuff like:

  • Kingston’s 1Terabyte USB Thumb Drive (1TB = 1000 GB)
  • Lenovo’s 27-inch tablet which turns into a table
  • A Sony smartphone submergible in water for 30 minutes
  • An Audi that can park itself in a parking garage
  • Corning Willow Glass that bends like plastic
  • Glasses from which you can make phone calls
  • A motorized skateboard that goes up to 17 mph
  • A wristband that tracks how often and when you wake up at night
  • A faucet that responds to gestures (hot/cold, on/off)
  • A “smart fork” that vibrates if you’re eating too fast

You probably think I’m making up that last one, about the smart fork. Can’t say I blame you. It’s for real, though; Google “HAPIfork.”

And finally, there was this, as Sony was unveiling its aforementioned 4K OLED prototype. Not exactly the optimum time for a PC to spontaneously re-boot.  Go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVbTtONEjtE. 

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