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The TVs of CES: What a data-driven analysis tells us about 4K, display sizes, and more

Ben Taylor | Jan. 19, 2015
Let's push past the razzle-dazzle of marketing speak, and tease out what real-life spec information can tell us about TV industry trends.

Predictably, Samsung was the curviest of the bunch, doubling-down on its flagship curved U8500 television from CES 2014 with a 2015 show floor filled with bendy, twisty displays. By our count, well over half of Samsung's space featured a device with some sort of curve.

Not to be outdone, Sony emphasized thinness, another unsurprising move, given the petite pedigree of Sony's Xperia phone and tablet lines. Their most hyped TV? The Sony XBR-65X900C, featuring a depth dimension thinner than an iPhone 6.

Finally, LG countered with the 77EG9900, a TV boasting a thin design, curved screen, and the ability to adjust to a flat style on the fly. Even if the constantly adjusting display set was a little gimmicky, the whole concept was undeniably cool.

All that said, we don't feel entirely confident about the longevity of curved TVs. We do expect TVs to keep getting thinner and lighter, but we'll have to wait another year or two to see if the curved, razor-thin display is here to stay.

Smart will soon be default
With Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go humming along, TV manufacturers are responding to the likes of Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV with much more enthusiasm. Of all the show floor TVs we tracked, we confirmed that at least 79 percent come with Smart TV features out of the box. In the end, that number is likely to be even higher, but a few of the high-concept models don't have full spec and feature lists ready to go.

Add in the fact that Dish's Sling TV--a $20 monthly streaming service for live channels like ESPN, CNN, and Disney--won the Best of CES award, and 2015 figures to be a particularly bad omen for cable providers. Even if customers are slow to cut the cord, a new 50-inch, 4K set with a curved screen and a built-in Netflix app may be all the convincing they need.


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