IFA 2018: 8K TV, AI everything, and more trends we expect to see

IFA is right around the corner, and if history is any indication, we’re about to see some seriously awesome tech. We’ve kept our ears to the ground and snooped around to learn what’s coming this year, and one thing is certain: You do not want to miss the news coming from IFA 2018, and Digital Trends has boots on the ground to bring it to you. Here’s a teaser of what to expect over the coming days from Europe’s biggest technology show.

TV

Televisions will probably steal the lion’s share of media spotlights this year, and that’s because this will be the year of 8K TVs. Yes, we’ve seen 8K TVs before, but the news we expect to hear this year is that 8K TVs will finally go on sale in the coming months. Many of you will balk, but we’ve got some pretty compelling reasons why 8K TV is worth getting excited about.

Aside from 8K, we do expect microLED to remain a buzzword, and of course, there should be some OLED surprises in store. We’ll be positioned in the right place at the right time to get you up close and personal with all the new TV hotness, so stay tuned!

Phones

IFA has never been a big show for phones – most brands save their best for Mobile World Congress, held in February – and this year will probably be no different. Samsung’s already released its Galaxy Note 9, but Sony may surprise us with a new flagship, and LG has announced two G7 variants already.

We also know Chinese phone maker ZTE is unveiling the Axon 9, but don’t get too excited since it’s unlikely to make it to the US. We’re hoping to see something new from BlackBerry and maybe HTC. We’ll know for sure by Thursday morning!

Smart home and appliances

If its one thing you can count on at IFA, it’s a glut of smart home devices and smart appliances. This year, we expect to see not just internet connectivity, but A.I. built into just about everything. We also expect Samsung to push its Bixby voice assistant and Smart Things ecosystem, while LG will hopefully show off more of what its ThinkQ A.I. system can do. The trend this show should be interoperability – your fridge talking to your washer, which is talking to your phone, which is talking to your TV, and so on.

Our big question: Will all this “smart” stuff finally become easy to use?

Voice assistant

Alexa! Hello Google! Alexa! Hello Google! ALEXA!  Imagine several buildings chock full of people trying to use voice assistants. It’s going to happen – we’ll see voice control in refrigerators, washers, dryers, TVs, speakers, smart displays, mirrors, doorbells, security cameras, projectors … the list goes on.

Of course, recognizing accents has never been either the Google Assistant’s or Alexa’s forte, so rather than see voice assistants integrated into more devices, let’s see some improvement on the voice recognition end.

Robots overlords

Sony already unveiled the latest edition of its Aibo Robot dog, and we’re sure to see it at the show. But Sony will have competition in Berlin this year, as we expect teems of robots armed with cloud-based artificial intelligence to be found vacuuming floors, playing games, and clinging to people. Yes, LG’s got a wearable robot designed to aid mobility and it looks like its straight out of a movie. We’re going to give it a try and let you know what it’s like.

Computing

Franky, it will be a quiet year for PCs. Digital Trends’ Senior Editor Matt Smith told us most laptop announcements will involve incremental improvements, but no bold upgrades. Dell, Asus, Lenovo, and Acer are all sure to have something to show off, but Nvidia just unleashed a slew of graphics cards, so it’s unlikely we’ll see any movement in the gaming space. Some trends this year that we wouldn’t be surprised to see more of at IFA include premium Chromebooks, Qualcomm-powered 2-in-1s, and laptops refreshed with Intel’s latest processors.

IFA’s press day starts Wednesday morning in Berlin, Germany at 10:00 AM. You can follow our coverage by simply following @digitaltrends on Twitter and Instagram. You can also catch all our video coverage at our YouTube channel.

Product Review

Bigger, louder, smarter: The new Echo Show is better in every way

The pressure was on to make a bigger, better Echo Show device, and Amazon delivered. Featuring a larger screen and better sound, the new Show is a combined smart speaker, TV, and overall entertainment center in one.
Movies & TV

September brings 'The Dragon Prince,' an animated war series, to Netflix

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

How to watch NFL games online, with or without cable

The NFL's 2018 season is here, and we know you don't want to miss a moment of the action. Our comprehensive streaming guide will show you all the best options to watch the games online so you can make the right choice.
Home Theater

Want to save your favorite film? Here's how to fix a scratched DVD or CD

A scratched edition of your favorite DVD is no good, but our guide will show you how to fix a scratched DVD, whether you prefer to repair it using a smattering of peanut butter or Mr. Clean's Magic Eraser.
Product Review

The Sony UBP-X700 brings your 4K TV to life, without draining your savings

If you're after the best possible picture for your 4K TV, you're going to need a disc player. With a compact form factor, extremely easy setup, and great picture and sound quality, the Sony UBP-X700 may be just the ticket.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Smart Home

That's a lotta Alexa. Amazon drops smart subs, plugs, even a microwave

Amazon's hardware announcement likely means a whole bunch of new Amazon Alexa gadgets. From a microwave to stereo equipment, here are our guesses on which devices we'll see, which could total as many as eight.
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.
Home Theater

How to make your TV squeaky clean for not much green

Not sure how to clean the LCD, OLED, or plasma display that's the cornerstone of your living room? You don't need to buy expensive cleaning solutions to clean your TV -- we'll teach you how to do it with simple household items.
Home Theater

Amazon’s horde of new Alexa-powered audio gear includes subwoofer, new amplifier

Amazon's quest to take over the world with its Alexa voice assistant just got a bit closer to realization, as the company has unleashed an army of new audio devices. We've got the low-down on all of them here.
Home Theater

Amazon’s Fire TV Recast promises over-the-air shows, DVR for all your screens

Amazon has set its sights on the cord-cutting crowd with a new over-the-air HD receiver and DVR called the Fire TV Recast. The box, which starts at $229, can record two programs at the same time and stream live content to Fire TV devices.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in October 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for October 2018, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and also ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming…
Movies & TV

'Daredevil' season 3 arrives next month, promises to 'let the devil out'

Season 3 of Daredevil will premiere October 19 on Netflix, so here is everything we know about the next set of adventures featuring Marvel Comics' man without fear before the third season's debut.
Home Theater

If you've got questions about Ultra HD Blu-ray, we've got answers

Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and players are a killer way to beef up your home theater. Here's everything you need to know about one of the most significant advances in home entertainment to arrive in years.