DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group held its annual CES party for home entertainment executives at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas on Jan. 7. The event drew a wide range of guests, including home video presidents from the major studios and leading consumer electronics executives such as John Taylor of LG Electronics.
LAS VEGAS — CES 2020 opened Jan.7 with innovation and concepts once again overshadowing the show’s legacy consumer electronics.
This year’s CES features more than 4,400 exhibiting companies, including 1,200 startups.
A press release from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which produces the annual event, touts the show’s focus on “the latest transformative technologies, including 5G, artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, digital health and more.”
CES 2020 runs through Jan. 10.
“The innovation on display this week at CES embodies the drive and passion that fuels our industry and furthers economic growth on a global scale,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the CTA, in a statement. “The products and technologies launching this week will inspire, connect and change lives for the better.”
Prior to the CES exhibit show floor opening, there were a number of pre-show events Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, including Media Days, CTA’s 2020 Tech Trends to Watch presentation, CES Unveiled Las Vegas, conference programming at the ARIA and keynotes from Samsung and Daimler.
Samsung Consumer Electronics President and CEO H.S. Kim, delivering the first CES 2020 keynote, focused on the “Age of Experience,” a decade of human-centric innovation that combines hardware and software to create personalized experiences to make life more convenient, enjoyable and meaningful. His talk highlighted the company’s latest advances in intelligent robotics, AI, 5G and edge computing. “In the Age of Experience, we need to re-think the space we have to accommodate our diverse and evolving lifestyles,” said Kim.
CTA’s Steve Koenig and Lesley Rohrbaugh presented 2020 Tech Trends to Watch on Jan. 5 and provided some sales projections. The soaring popularity of streaming services along with 5G connectivity and artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled devices will drive revenue growth for the U.S. consumer tech industry to a record $422 billion in retail revenues in 2020 — nearly 4% growth over last year, according to CTA estimates.
Also on Jan. 5, the annual CES Unveiled events featured more than 220 exhibiting companies, including 98 startups from Eureka Park, the startup hub at CES 2020.
CES Media Days featured two days of preshow press events from CES exhibitors, including major brands and emerging startups. Twenty-nine companies announced products, including several that showed off home entertainment-related products.
- HDMI announced its Ultra High Speed HDMI certification program that assures support for all HDMI 2.1 features, including 8K.
- Hisense talked up a dual-cell XD9G LCD TV that layers two liquid crystal modules, one on top of the other, inside a single cabinet.
- LG Electronics unveiled new OLED (LG Signature OLED 8K) and LCD (LG 8K NanoCell) TV models.
- Panasonic previewed its flagship HZ2000 OLED TV with support for the UHD Alliance’s Filmmaker Mode.
- And the UHD Alliance announced two additional television partners for its Filmmaker Mode initiative, Samsung and Phillips, along with further support from Hollywood guilds and others (see related story).
Three Hollywood guilds, the Film Foundation, consumer electronics companies Samsung and Philips (TP Vision, Europe), and Kaleidescape have joined others in support of Filmmaker Mode, the UHD Alliance announced at CES Jan. 6.
The guilds include the Director’s Guild of America, the American Society of Cinematographers and the International Cinematographers Guild. The CE companies join LG Electronics, Panasonic and Vizio, which announced support for the program in August. Also in August, several high-profile directors and Hollywood studios hailed Filmmaker Mode, which brings a more cinematic viewing experience to the home by turning off motion smoothing on the TV, among other setting adjustments.
“[Filmmaker Mode] sets the television in a way that maintains filmmaker intent,” said Warner’s Michael Zink, UHD Alliance chairman, at the press conference.
“Preserving intent is an important part of our creative rights work,” said director and co-chair of the DGA creative rights committee Christopher Nolan in a statement.
“Most people today are watching classic films at home,” said director Martin Scorsese, founder and chair of the Film Foundation, in a statement. “With Filmmaker Mode, different works will be presented accurately as they were created and designed by the filmmaker. Filmmaker Mode is a long overdue and welcome innovation.”
The Film Foundation is a film preservation and education organization.
“The ASC’s mission has always centered around advancing the art and science of cinematography,” said Kees van Oostrum, president of the American Society of Cinematographers, in a statement. “Filmmaking is a true art-form and Filmmaker Mode allows that artwork to be enjoyed as envisioned by the artist not just in the theater, but in the home.”
With the addition of more CE companies, “we really do have that strong worldwide presence,” said UHD Alliance president Mike Fidler.
Tim Alessi, senior director, product marketing, LG Electronics, who announced the company’s support for Filmmaker Mode earlier in the day, also appeared at the UHD press conference. “We will include it in every new 4K and 8K TV that we introduce in 2020,” he said, adding LG would “aggressively promote it at retail.”
“We want to help the consumer watch all the great movies on a great TV without having to give it a second thought,” he said.
Panasonic’s Makoto Morise also showed up at the UHD event and noted that the company’s 2020 OLED HD 2000 series will support Filmmaker Mode, an announcement also made earlier at the Panasonic press conference. More models will be added, he said.
Ken Lowe, co-founder and VP, Vizio, also appeared at the event. Vizio will use the automatic feature that engages Filmmaker Mode, “but customers may also activate it manually as well,” he said.