HDMI 2.1 and Filmmaker Mode are some of those that will make an impact in 2020

Like every year, this edition of CES has acted as a first contact with the televisions that brands will place in stores during 2020. We would have liked all manufacturers to offer us much more details about the devices they are working on , but the information that brands such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic or Hisense, among others, have shared with us, allows us to point with reasonable certainty what we are going to find when these companies launch their new televisions.

Some of these trends have taken shape with some intensity during 2019, so it is not at all risky to accept that this year they will be definitively consolidated. Two good examples are HDMI 2.1, a standard that most brands partially implemented (only LG offered us a full implementation of the standard), and artificial intelligence, which came in force last year and promises to establish itself as an important part of image processing, especially if we stick to signal scaling and high-frequency noise reduction. But other trends have “stood up” for the first time in this edition of CES. Do you review them with us?

HDMI 2.1: gamers’ dream will come true this year

Although during CES it has not had as much presence as we expected, mainly due to how concise the brands have been in their presentations and not to anything else, the HDMI 2.1 standard has appeared enough to confirm that this will be your year. And it is great news. It is for moviegoers because the jump from 18 Gbps of HDMI 2.0 to 48 Gbps of HDMI 2.1 can have a beneficial impact on resolution, cadence and color subsampling during the transport of the video signal from sources. external to the TV.

HDMI transfer speed has gone from 18 Gbps in iteration 2.0 to a whopping 48 Gbps in revision 2.1

But, above all, it is great news for gamers, who will finally be able to enjoy such attractive features as ALLM (low latency automatic mode), VRR (variable refresh rate) or QFT (fast frame transport), among others. in a wide range of televisions. In this usage scenario it is almost as if HDMI 2.1 were capable of transforming a television into a gaming monitor. Some brands, such as Samsung, Sony, Philips or Panasonic, have already implemented some of these features in their 2019 TVs, but only LG introduced the full HDMI 2.1 standard in many of his proposals last year. If you want to know precisely what HDMI 2.1 is and why it is so worthwhile, I suggest you take a look at the article that I link right here.

Filmmaker Mode: this is how directors want us to see their films

No more no less. The purpose of this technology is to get our televisions to reproduce cinematic content while preserving exactly the director’s original vision. And to achieve this it not only automatically disables all video post-processing; it also acts on image parameters to preserve the original aspect ratio, frame rate, color, contrast, and sharpness.

The brands that have confirmed their endorsement of Filmmaker Mode at the moment are LG, Panasonic, VIZIO (which is little known in Europe but very popular in the United States), Samsung and Philips, although possibly in the future other companies will join. If you want to know in more detail what this innovation consists of, which film directors have been involved in it and what impact it may have on our experience, you can consult the article in which we explain it in depth.

Environment optimization: televisions adapt better to our spaces

Another of the innovations that several brands, such as Sony or Samsung, have introduced in the televisions that they will place in stores during 2020 is the optimization of the environment. This technology requires the installation of several sensors in televisions that are capable of identifying not only the ambient brightness, but also the proximity of the walls and the presence of nearby objects to act on the adjustment parameters of the image and sound. Its purpose is optimize TV performance and allow him to give us the best of himself whatever the room in which we have placed him. We are already looking forward to testing this innovation to see how it works.

Some brands reduce the frames to the minimum expression

Over the past few years we’ve seen most brands go to great lengths to reduce the thickness of their TV bezels, but what we’ve seen this year at CES goes one step further. This trend is present in the proposals of LG, Philips, Panasonic and Sony, but Samsung and Hisense are the brands that seem to have done the most. The first of these has presented the Q950TS model, which will be its “flagship” with 8K resolution this year, and which has frames with a thickness of only 2.3 mm. Thanks to this panel occupies 99% from the surface of the front of the TV.

Hisense has also briefly shown its XD9G dual-panel LCD TV, which, like Samsung’s model, it has tiny frames, although we do not yet know its exact measurement. It is likely that when the coming out of this year’s televisions comes both these two brands and the others will present more models with almost non-existent frames. We will keep track of them and keep you informed promptly.

AI takes hold as an important part of image processing

It is not easy for users to identify to what extent the artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that television manufacturers claim to be introducing in their devices affect image quality. But some brands, especially LG and Samsung, go out of their way to explain in their product introductions that AI is a cornerstone on your devices. According to these brands, they use it to improve scaling precision, fine-tune high-frequency noise removal, minimize contour enhancement, and in general, to fine-tune many other parameters that have a direct impact on image quality. AI is present in a more or less resounding way in the televisions that have arrived in stores during 2019, and everything seems to indicate that it will be even more so in the devices that will land in our homes this year.

OLED will remain high-end, but the 48 “will help democratize this technology

LG Display is the largest manufacturer of large format OLED panels on the planet, and for this reason it is the panel supplier not only for LG Electronics, but also for Sony, Panasonic, Philips or Loewe, among other brands. Until now, the smallest OLED panels manufactured by LG for televisions had a size of 55 inches, but the South Korean company confirmed a few days before this edition of CES began what has long been an open secret: it already has ready the first 48-inch OLED panels.

LG itself has revealed at the Las Vegas fair that its first OLED televisions with a panel of this size will arrive in stores in the coming months. But it is not the only one that will bet on devices with an organic panel of a more restrained size. Sony has also confirmed that it is producing 48-inch OLED TVs, and other brands that buy the panels from LG Display are likely to follow suit. Everything that contributes to democratize this technology it’s welcome, especially if, as expected, 48-inch OLED TVs hit stores at a lower price than the larger versions.

8K gains support, but still has a long way to go

During 2019, the brand that has committed itself with the most intensity to 8K resolution has been Samsung. In fact, it is the manufacturer with the most 8K televisions in stores today. Other companies, such as Sony or LG, also have models with this resolution, but they have arrived later than Samsung and with significantly higher prices. In any case, during the year that we have just started this trend is going to change.

And it is precisely Sony and LG that have announced at CES that during 2020 they will bet more strongly on the 8K ecosystem. And, in addition, they will do it with models designed to be attractive to the general public, and not only with very expensive solutions. Competition with Samsung in the 8K resolution field looks set to intensify. And it is good news, although some users think that this resolution still has a lot to prove, especially if we stick to televisions below 75 inches, sizes in which it is not at all clear that what this resolution provides really offers us added value compared to 4K UHD.