CES brought so much standout TV tech, it was tough to pick a Best of Show winner

Advances in TV technology that were on display at CES 2017 were exciting, astounding, and, in one case, “just what people have been waiting for.”

Digital Trends’ Greg Nibler interviewed Caleb Denison, the site’s entertainment and home theater editor, on all the top new TV tech, as well as what factors led to the Sony Bravia A1E being chosen for the Digital Trends CES 2017 Best of Show Award for Home TVs. Denison said with so much amazing new television technology, especially from the major manufacturers, the Best of Show award decision was extremely difficult. He lost sleep over the decision, but finally selected the Sony Bravia A1E.

Sony Bravia A1E

“I ended up picking the Sony Bravia A1E OLED as my favorite of the show,” Denison said. “First, I was excited to see Sony coming into the OLED market in addition to LG.” Competition always brings prices down and stokes the fires between manufacturers. Sony’s entry into the market stems competition, and consumers win when manufacturers compete, Denison said.

Also, Denison said, the Bravia A1E is simply a stunning TV. Even with the same display panel, processing makes a big difference, and Sony has always had the best processing.

“Sony does it the best,” he said. Denison listed the features behind the Bravia’s great picture, including amazing black levels, super-high brightness, and HDR that’s incredible.

Sony also revised the way you get sound, replacing conventional speakers with a pair of actuators that are built into each side of the screen. The OLED panel’s rigidity makes it a great sound medium.

No pricing is available yet, and no specific release date was announced. Denison expects it will be out in the spring.

LG Wallpaper TV

Denison also talked about LG’s Wallpaper TV W7 series, which he said finished a close second for the Best of Show award. LG took the desire for thinner and thinner flat panels “to the limit. They pulled the OLED panel from the casing, removed the power supply, processing chips, and everything.” The result is a display that’s about one-tenth-of-an-inch thick. It has a stainless steel panel structure and mounts right against the wall using magnets.

“It’s really easy to mount yourself,” Denison said. ‘There’s no bezel, and all the other hardware is in a fairly sizable soundbar. It’s a Dolby ATMOS soundbar with speakers pointing up, bouncing sound off the ceiling for fully immersive sound. It’s got Dolby Vision HDR, HDR10, HDR everything.  Ever since the flat panel came out, I think this is what people wanted.”

Nibler said the LG Wallpaper TV is available for pre-order for $8,000 on Best Busy. Prices will go down by the end of the year, but it will still be an expensive premium TV.

Samsung QLED

Nibler asked about Samsung’s QLED, the other big TV innovation that caught people’s attention at CES, saying the internet is abuzz about it and Digital Trends’ video on QLED is going off the rails.

Denison explained that two years ago, Samsung launched SUHD TV as a premium brand. This year, it announced QLED, a further development in quantum dot television panels introduced with SUHD. Samsung changed the nature of the nanocrystal semiconductors with a metallic element that increases the effective bandwidth, resulting in super brightness without washing out colors, which is a game-changer for HDR. It also improves off-axis viewing somewhat and raises black levels a bit. Denison said he’ll know more after a full lab review at Digital Trends headquarters. He said gamers will love QLED, with its super-black levels and low lag times, which make it great for HDR gaming on the PlayStation PS4 Pro and Xbox One S.

Panasonic OLED

Denison mentioned that Panasonic received an honorable mention for its plans to bring an OLED display to the U.S. market. He said Panasonic, like Sony, always has great processing and is well-beloved by Hollywood. That will make for a total of three OLED manufacturers — Panasonic, Sony, and LG — after LG has been the only one for years. Denison acknowledged that many people love LED/LCD, and it’s not going away soon. OLED will remain the premium display.

TV content

Denison also spoke about television content, specifically streaming content. He mentioned Sling TV, PlayStation View, DirecTV Now, and Hulu. Denison spoke with a Hulu vice president, and while he can’t reveal the details, he said Hulu is planning on blurring the lines between on-demand and live-streamed content by adding a degree of personalization and recommendation. The new Hulu service is about to go into beta, according to Denison. He’s not sure when it will debut, but when it does, it will definite be a player.

Check out Digitsl Trends’ comprehensive coverage of CES 2017 at DigitalTrends.com/ces/.

Home Theater

Select YouTube TV subscribers are getting a summer of Showtime for free

If you're a long-time YouTube TV subscriber, you may be in luck: The service is giving free access to Showtime until September 5, 2019, according to reports. Unlike other free trials, it does not become a paid plan on expiry.
Deals

The best 4K smart TV deals for June 2019: Samsung, LG, and Vizio

A good 4K smart TV is the only way to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. If you're looking to take your home entertainment to the next level, then we've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

HDMI ARC and eARC: What they are, and how they can simplify your home theater

HDMI ARC is one of the coolest TV features at your disposal. But if you're like most folks, you have no idea how it works, if you even know what it is at all. Here's our primer on HDMI ARC, as well as the next-generation technology, eARC.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Home Theater

QLED and OLED may have similar names, but they're totally different tech

The names may look almost identical, but OLED and QLED are two entirely different beasts. In our QLED vs. OLED battle, we dissect the differences between these dueling TV technologies and help determine which might be best for you.
Movies & TV

Stranger Things season 3 gets some new photos and an official synopsis

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season, premiering in July 2019.
Deals

You won’t find a better deal on a 55-inch LG 4K TV than this

Another day, another fantastic deal on a 4K TV. This time, we're looking at a 55-inch LG 6-Series, which has had its price hacked from $500 down to $350 — and that's a deal that's not to be missed.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods — we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our favorites, with all the features you want.
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2019, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR and much more.
Movies & TV

Will Smith’s best movies ranked, from Bad Boys to Ali to Hitch

A ranking of Hollywood actor Will Smith's best movies to date. From his early roles during the Fresh Prince days to his Oscar-baiting dramas, Smith has played all kinds of characters in a wide array of beloved films.
Home Theater

What is Dolby Atmos Music, and how can you experience it?

Dolby Atmos is a surround sound format that creates immersive, 3D soundtracks to make movies come alive. But the same technology is also being adopted for music creation, and it's a game-changer. Here's everything you need to know.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (June 2019)

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

Who needs sunshine? Stay inside and watch the best movies on Netflix instead

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Deals

Amazon drops prices on Bose and Plantronics wireless noise-canceling headphones

Earlier this week, Dell dropped the price of Bose's QuietComfort 35 II noise-canceling wireless headphones. Amazon has now matched Dell's price, dropping the price of its stock down to $299.