On September 3, a brave crew of tech writers from Reviewed.com will once again make an overseas voyage to cover IFA Berlin in all its high-tech glory.
While there will be exciting product announcements and breaking deals in all kinds of categories, TVs and related home theater products are traditionally one of the hottest categories at this show. Here's what to expect.
OLED's Time to Shine?
Ridiculously expensive cutting-edge TVs made a vivid impression at the 2013 show, and we're on the lookout for similar high-pixel glitz at this year's expo.
We don't know anything for sure, but we wouldn't be surprised to see more OLED fanfare this September—and hopefully some options priced within reach of mere mortals.
On the whole, we expect to see TVs that are simply bigger, more beautiful, and higher-res than ever before. And since manufacturers have already been testing the limits of traditional form factors over the last year, we wouldn't be shocked to see some more bending, curving TVs either.
UHD Is Ready for Primetime
Everyone is excited about 4K video, but so far 4K TVs haven't had much traction with consumers. It's been a struggle to find anything to watch at native resolution, and prices on the televisions themselves have been far from the sweet spot for mainstream sales.
Indeed, we expect to see big, beautiful, and very expensive UHD sets from both Sony and Panasonic at IFA 2014—maybe even some 8K prototypes. But they could surprise us and bring out some more affordable 4K options, as well. Perhaps more importantly, matching content will also be thick on the ground.
Just this week, Samsung announced that its UHD smart TVs will get Amazon Instant Video content in 4K starting this October. That's on top of existing 4K streaming from Netflix, and similar deals that have been struck with Comcast and DirecTV. For its part, LG is bringing 4K Netflix streaming to its WebOS powered UHD TVs, and Vizio is doing the same for its 4K sets.
It's safe to expect that 4K video—and streaming in particular—will be a big deal at IFA this year, with more partnerships likely to follow.
The Sounds of Innovation
As usual, we'll have a keen ear out for exciting audio news, too.
All year long, we've tracked a growing high-resolution audio trend. IFA could be just the right stage for some high-profile announcements in this category—just in time for the holidays.
The Power of Productivity
Home theater solutions won't get all of the spotlight, of course.
3D printers are sure to greet us around every corner. They're looking more and more like regular household appliances with every passing year. One can only hope the prices will come down as their usefulness climbs.
The same goes for hybrid laptops, which we hope will eventually blossom into practical two-in-one devices that people actually need. With big shots like Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, and others showing their wares at IFA, we're hoping to see faster, thinner, more innovative multipurpose computing devices.
Be sure to check back over the next week for all the news on cool new gadgets, drool-worthy TVs, and unexpected surprises at IFA 2014!