What to Expect at CES 2013 Posted on December 29, 2012 By Art Feierman The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) begins January 8th in Las Vegas. This blog discusses a few products that are known to be scheduled for introduction at CES as well and some speculation of what else we may see coming from the projector manufacturers (and a few others) known to be exhibiting at CES. Below is sampling of exhibitors listed for CES 2013 that may be introducing new video projectors or other noteworthy home theater oriented video products: Note: The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has officially endorsed the terminology “Ultra High Definition” for 4K video displays and sources. BenQ No pre-show announcements have been released by BenQ, but perhaps they will announce a replacement for the now year old W7000 projector (just speculation). LG Based on a pre-CES press announcement, LG is set to introduce a new laser based short throw projector designed to fill an included 100 inch (diagonal) screen from just 22 inches away. This new 1080p projector model is called “HectoTM”. The Hecto projector includes a digital tuner and built-in speakers. It also has three HDMI inputs and uses a laser light source rated with a 25,000 hour life. LG Hecto Projector While LG will be sure to also be promoting their 4K resolution LCD/LED flat panel Ultra High Definition (UHD) TVs (announced at CEDIA Expo 2012 back in September), word is that they (and perhaps also Samsung) are having serious manufacturing issues with the OLED display panels intended for use in the 55 inch OLED HDTVs they first announce a year ago at CES 2012. Mitsubishi Mitsubishi introduced two new DLP projectors (i.e., HC7900DW and HC8000) at the Sept. 2012 CEDIA Expo and it is doubtful they will be introducing any other new models at CES. However an announcement for a new LCoS (SXRD) projector (i.e., as a successor to the now discontinued HC9000D) or perhaps another DLP model, while unlikely, cannot be ruled out. As a side note, it appears the days for consumer Rear Projection TVs (RPTVs) are at an end as Mitsubishi, the last remaining RPTV manufacture, will be ceasing production of RPTVs. This is being reported by CEPro, where they have reported that Max Wasinger, long-time exec with Mitsubishi, said “We are in the midst of an orderly exit from the DLP TV business. MEVSA will now focus on B-to-B (projectors, display wall, printers, digital signage, monitors, etc.) and the home theater projector business.” Optoma So far there are no pre-show announces from Optoma, but perhaps replacements for one or more of Optoma’s current DLP projector models (e.g., HD33, HD8300) will be unveiled at CES (just speculation). Sony Although many people expected Sony to announce a replacement for their flagship 1080p projector (i.e., model VPL-VW95ES) at the CEDIA Expo, Sony only announced a new entry 3D model (VPL-HW50ES) that replaced last year’s VPL-HW30. Although there is no official pre-CES information from Sony, perhaps a replacement for the VPL-VW95 projector will be unveiled. Other speculation is Sony may introduce a new projector that falls price-wise into Sony’s projector lineup above the current VPL-VW95ES and below their only 4K consumer model (i.e., VPL-VW1000). It is virtually certain Sony will be showing their 4K flat panel Ultra High Definition (UHD) TVs (announced at CEDIA Expo 2012 back in September) and their 4K video player (discussed in my previous blog) that is provided on loan to those consumers that purchase their new 55 inch UHD TV. Also Sony may have an announcement about a 4K video source for owners of their 4K projector and perhaps there will be some information about plans for the development of an industry standard for next generation of Blu-ray players and discs supporting 4K video (just speculation). Note that some other manufacturers showing new 4K UHD TVs at CES may also be providing information about industry plans for such a 4K upgrade to Blu-ray. Westinghouse Westinghouse has already indicated they will be introducing an new 110 inch LCD/LED 4K UHD TV at CES. Westinghouse is also expected to have 4K UHD TV models in smaller sizes of 50 inches, 55 inches and 65 inches. The 110 inch model is rumored to be using a LCD panel manufactured by TCL in China and other TV manufactures, including TCL itself, are expected to also introduce 110 inch UHD models at CES using this same LCD 4K panel. Wolf Cinema Wolf Cinema has been marketing high-end home theater projectors based on JVC supplied light engines/electronics. While there has been no pre-show announcments from Wolf, they may introduce new models based on the latest JVC designs (just speculation). __________________________________________ My next blog (January 2013) will discuss some of the new video products actually introduced at CES 2013.