CNET's TV reviewers talk the most notable screens of CES 2014From curved LEDs to 120-inch behemoths to Chinese brands with Roku built in, our experts pick apart latest and greatest TVs that will appear this year.
-Hello everybody, welcome back to CNET's live coverage here from International CES 2014. I'm Brian Cooley and with me are Katz and Ty, Ty Pendlebury, David Katzmaier, our CNET TV experts. And you guys must love CES because no matter what they say, this show is about TVs. -Oh yeah. It's a TV show just like this. -It's a TV show. Get it? We're here to round up the top five television stories or the actual television device stories of the show. So far with the point now, we can say this is the definitive list, right? -Pretty much. -Okay, absolutely. So, let's do it and I think you've heard a lot about these TVs. As we go along, we're gonna try and demystify some of the technology as well 'cause there are some terms that are getting bended around that maybe aren't fully understood. So, we'll learn it a little bit or we're gone over this as well. Let's start with the Samsung U9000. What's notable about this guy? -Well, this is Samsung's real push into curved TV. They're coming out with two series of curved TVs, the U9000 and that should be the 4K1, the Ultra High Definition 1. It's curved, you know, what else can you say. I mean, it's really easy to describe. It's really easy when you have it on your wall. They go, "You know what? I've got a new TV and this is very different." The one curved TV I got a chance to play around with was their OLED from last year. That TV's curve really didn't impress me. It seemed like the images are a little bit distorted. I haven't spent enough time to really sit down and watch one of these curved TVs for an extended period of time. They say it's really immersive, a little bit like an IMAX with their curved screens. -Yeah. -But to me, it seems like, you know, a tiny bit gimmicky. I'm not gonna say that right yet 'cause I haven't spent too much time with them, but my initial impression is yeah. -The problem with curved TVs is that they really design for one person. You got to be a bit of a jerk if you own-- if you have a family and you buy curved TV. -Yeah. -Because you got to suit with the apex. You got the best picture-- -You got to be right the apex that thing, right? -Yeah. -Because if you have over to one side, the near edge is gonna get really distorted, right? -Yeah, very much so. I mean, you're truly off angle at that point. -Yeah. The curve isn't that extreme, but you'll notice the distortion even more when you're off angle and that's, you know, -Yeah. -it's just the nature of it. -I had a question about curve. One observation, the video we just saw of those curved TVs those are realistic sizes, 60s and 70-inch range. This is the giant 105. Everyone's heard about it. -Yeah. -That's a different story. But the thing I noticed is the curvature seemed to be more interesting on the 21:9 ratio, that big boy they ruled out. Then, I really thought like I was immersed. Do you think ratio will make curve more important? The problem with that TV is that not many content is available in 29 X 9. -Yeah. -It's all 16 X 9 or 4 X 3. So, if you're watching, you know, normal cable programming, you're gonna have there and all of that's going to be plus size. -We're going back to the litter box on the side. -Right. -Yeah. Yeah. That's a good viewing. -Or you expanding it and stretching it and if you wanna stretch it and play around with it, then you're looking at a curved stretch, distorted, you know, cropped images. -A curved stretch, distorted 4K. -Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. -It still looks great, though. -Okay. Now, the other thing about that is, you know, everyone's-- they're buying TVs now, LED, LCD largely 'cause they're so thin. We love how they just kinda stick on the wall. -Yeah. -Now, we're getting TVs that are 6 or 8 inches effectively deep because they're curved. Is that a weird reversal of consumer taste? -Yeah, I think so. I mean, it does mount on the wall. That's one thing that Samsung favored. They are shipping wall-mount kits for all the curved TVs this year. -Okay. -That's new, right? -Yeah. So, you can actually put these things right on the wall and when it-- when you walk into a room, it has a curved TV on the wall. That's pretty impressive on itself. -Yeah. -But, you know, dÃ©cor wise, unless you put it in the corner or something, and it's gonna stick out a lot more than flat TV and I can imagine some people are maybe a little bit sensitive about the dÃ©cor opting for the non-curved UHD and, of course, Samsung has it covered with that too. -Well, that gives us to the next one, the bendable TV. -Yeah. Well, of course. -So, here you have the both ways. -Yeah. -Do we want it both ways? -We want it flat. -You got to have this-- I haven't actually seen it in person, but it's got a motor and so it actually cost like this. -You heard it on the screen now so people can watch it in the audience there. -Yeah. -There is the side coming out, kind of an accordion on the side, the kind that it can make it tidy. -Yeah, that was me with the remote control just-- It was addicting, bend, unbend, bend, unbend, bend, unbend. But I didn't break. You know, I did it through-- -I was gonna say, I can't [unk] that motor breaks. I don't know. I hope that's covered by the warranty, you know. Maybe, you got a thousand bends, you know, and then that's it. -I hope it's in home service, though. -Yeah. But one of the-- -But no one attract that thing out. -No. -So what it essentially does if it goes from jerk mode to family mode? -Right. Single person watching to family watching, but you can-- The weird thing about this TV it's not an OLED TV. I thought when I first saw it that it was gonna be OLED, which is the standard's curved thing at OLED phones that occur. -It's known to be a flexed friendly technology. -This is an LED/LCD, so Samsung's engineered with something to make, you know, you're making the screen bend, you make the backlight bend, you're making the frame around the edges bend. It's pretty phenomenal sort of the technology. The crazy thing, what do we find out later-- early today? -So, it's coming the second half of this year. -It's real? -Yeah. -It's a real product. -This is not a concept. This TV is actually coming out according to Samsung. -It will be incredibly expensive. They haven't announced pricing yet, but-- -Any guess? -I would say 60 to 70 thousand. -Tens of thousands of dollars. -Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. -Good. -It's 85 inches UHD, if that makes a difference, but really just call it bendy. -All right. As good as they may it is, it's clearly not the world's best TV 'cause Vizio just told us what that is. -Absolutely. And now we know we can-- everybody can it write down it's the world's best TV. -We can all go home now. We got the world's best TV 'cause Vizio says it's ours. -My job is done. -What is this one, the RS120? -Yes. So, the 120 stands for the size. This is the largest TV at CES that I've seen anyway. A 120-inch diagonal. It's Vizio. They've-- Again, Vizio says they are coming out with this television. They hit all the-- all the great things that a TV reviewer like me really wants to see. It's a full-array local dimming with 384 zones. It can actually hit the Rec 2020 color gamut, which means that it's got much wider color than other TVs out there and it's actually part of the 4K standard, this Rec 2020. No other TV I've ever seen and no manufacturers claiming to come close to this. So, it will give you really punchy colors and they can do that by actually having white and red LED behind the screen. So, it's a really kind of phenomenal engineering thing that they've done here. -So, this is interesting because this TV-- Is this an LED? -Yes. -It is. -It's an LED/LCD and it's not curved. -No. -They have eschewed the two biggest sort of hot button things. -Right. -And kind of gone serious in performance, right? -Yeah. -I mean, sorry. Full-array local dimming is our favorite, you know, kind of technology for LED/LCD to make it look good. -Yeah. -Again, not quite as good as plasma. There are some issues with LED/LCD with blooming and things like that. -Yeah. -But theoretically especially when you have 384 zones, this can look phenomenal. What brings this-- this brings to mind for me is the old Sharp Elite TV from a couple of years ago, which bought the Kuro name, the Kuro Elite name and that was a great TV and it was a similar sort of technology. A lot of local dimming zones, a lot of money thrown at this thing. This thing is not gonna be cheap. That's a 65-inch version II. You know, I don't know how much is gonna be for the 120, but one's for sure they put a lot of RND into this TV and it seems like it could be a really good television. -Vizio has told themselves that their focus this year is picture quality and I wanna educate public about what local dimming is and how it makes the picture darker and brighter as well. -Yeah. -Basically just improving contrast of-- day. -So [unk] of there with the screen pixels trying to fight a backlight all the time-- -Yeah. -when they wanna show black or dark. -That's right. Absolutely. The backlight will dim in parts of the screen and supposed to be dark and bright in parts of the screen and supposed to be to be bright. The end result is great contrast, and Ty you reviewed the E series from last year. -The A series is embedded this year. They've come out with a new model of that. You're going to see entry level. -That's A series of who's line? That's a Vizio as well? -That's a Vizio. Okay. So, you're gonna seen entry level local dimming from Vizio, which no one else is doing. Yeah. -Okay. So affordable with your favorite illumination technology. -Yeah. I mean it could be really a good television, which is great 'cause plasma just ended so we wanna get something to talk about. -Yeah. What's interesting here is that so much of this that makes a TV great is the subtler, harder to explain stuff. -Yeah. -Yeah. -You guys had to pull this out in every review and say, "Look, they're the things that are really great or not tangible or gimmicky." -Yeah. They're measured in subtle degrees of contrast, color, and light management. -Yeah. -Yeah. -And they cost money to do right and so, you know, a lot of times it cost more. -Yeah. -But you know, they aren't necessarily-- they don't necessarily pop on the show floor, you know. -No. They differently do the opposite of that. They'll pop in your home. They want to pop up it on the floor. So, you have to be on guard for us to review. All right, let's move away from the panels that displays themselves to the guts of the-- of two TVs. One from Hisense and one from TCL to up and coming upstart Chinese manufacturers who wanna be the next Samsung and LG, if you will historically. And they've integrated Roku into a television. Why is that a big deal versus just having it on a cable? -We love home theater. Reviewer Matt Moskovciak basically loves Roku. You've got a thousand different set-top boxes you can use. -Yeah. -You got Apple. You've got Roku. You know, these all those, but essentially the reason the Roku is the best is because it's got the most services. You know, it's got, like everyone else, Netflix, but it's also got HBO GO, which not many others have. -Nobody else except Samsung. -You've got Hulu. I think you've also got Spotify as well, so it's a whole different bunch of-- -There's Channel story you can go into when they're goes on and on. -Oh yeah. -Yeah. -And it's got PBS. My kids at home love PBS Kids. They were like turn on Roku daddy so you can work-- -And you love that. There was Nickelodeon. -Oh, it's great and it keeps going, you know. -Watching something good. -It's beautiful. -How many folks have a Roku box? I'm just curious. -I love the thing. That's a better film. -Oh, it's a fair number. Yeah, okay. -Yeah. -Apple TV? -Apple is very good. -A Chromecast. Oh, interesting mix that we've got. -Yeah. -I don't see any TVs with Apple TV in them at the show though, but-- -Yes. -One of the nice things about the Roku is it updates all the time. These guys have been sending out software updates over the last couple of years. The boxes just keep getting better and better. One of the things about Smart TVs is that they don't do much to upgrade their OS as once they sell you a Smart TV, you're kinda stuck with that operating system. It looks kinda old in a couple of years. -That's-- And they haven't done a great job. No manufacturer, if I'm reading your reviews right, has done a great job with interface on a native Smart TV. -Yeah. -Some are good, some are, you know, not so great, but nobody's nailed it really-- the simplicity of Roku is what we really like. -It's so simple. It's so simple. -Yeah. -Okay, our last product on our list here is not a TV, but a projector and, you know, one of the things about projectors you're gonna put them away from the wall and things can't get in the way. You know, people are walking in for projectors or what have you. It's hard to move around the living room while the thing is working. So, Sony says push that thing up against the wall with small projectors, you end up with an image that big. What is this one doing? -Well, this-- it's similar-- it's called the short throw projectors, so again you can get a 147-inch image from a projector that's right near the wall. This thing is basically a piece of furniture. It looks like a little curdensa there. The projector kinda pops up in the middle, but on the sides you can store your equipment and that sort of stuff. LG actually came out with a product like this last year and we thought it was really cool as well, but it's a new kind of television. I mean, it gives you a projector without having to have, you know, again all of that stuff and walk in front of its ceiling and that sort of stuff. This is a lot more expensive than LGs. It's gonna be $30,000 to $40,000. Definitely one of those concept high-end pieces-- -Damn. -Because I love it. -UHD 4K resolution, that sort of thing. I mean Sony has done some great things with design. I don't think this is an exception. It's a great looking little product. -It looks gorgeous. -Yeah. -And they have great projectors. I mean the Sony has exciting projectors we reviewed. They have been really, really good. -What is interesting about this is that they're sort of deconstructed rear-projection TVs. -Yeah. -So at the same time, the Mitsubishi-- -A lot of them. -Yeah, LG and Sony get into them. -Yeah, it's a short distance so you're not worried about getting in front of anything. -Yeah. -It's a huge screen size, well not in this case to have a good value per square inch, but that's rear-projection always did. -Yeah. -But this one is actually furniture. It's got a place to put stuff. -Absolutely. It's a totally hidden television. You don't have to pay-- I mean compared to buying something that brings up your TV from the floor, I'm sure it's lots of bargain. -And one of the things the benefits it has versus rear-projection TV. So, you don't have that viewing angle; whereas, with rear-projection because it's all-- -Oh, were RPs bad that way? -Yeah. Yeah, you couldn't watch them from the side, but this one obviously it's on the wall, it's a projector, you can watch them anywhere in the-- -But there are pixels that are weird. You're just actually moving around. It's light on the wall. -Yeah. -See, I love projectors. I've always felt-- You guys have projectors or just TVs on the wall? -Yeah, we used projectors at home. You know, I don't have enough room right now, but you know that's a dream, but in the office we actually started viewing the projectors last year. They've been really popular. We'll do movie nights at the office. That's fun. -Yeah. -But we stacked to a few projectors on top of each other and project them onto the screen. We can compare these things fine. -Okay. Don't you wanna go to movie night at the CNET TV lab? I wanna go to movie night at the CNET TV lab. -Next time Brian. -That's the best night-- Okay, last thing, let's join hands gentlemen. -All right. -One take a hand. -Here we go. -All right. -Join us hold hands with the tech aficionado with you. Everybody come on. Everyone grab the hands. This is not weird. Bow your heads. Oh Lord, we will miss you Panasonic plasmas. You've been our favorite for many years on a tremendous value. You forsook us, but we'll forgive you. Amen. -Amen. -Amen. -The end of our favorite TV, right? -Yeah, I know. -Yeah. -It's too bad. This show is the official now and they're not coming out with any plasmas Panasonic. -That's it. -Samsung says they will. -Yeah. Maybe. -Okay, they're keeping the plasma flag raised. -For at least another few months. -The only company who has actually said they're coming out with one is LG. -Right. -But they haven't even shown them on the show floor, so-- -Yeah, it's gone. -It's dodgy. Plasmas got a dodgy future. -Which is sad. And Panasonic said in their press conference that they're gonna make LCD that looks as good as plasma, whatever that means. -Yeah. -Why would risk engineers something to be as good as, but more expensive. I don't understand that, you know. -I guess people are allergic plasma because of the-- I guess the burning problems that-- -Yeah, because it has this thing of being the old technology. -Yeah. -It's not the exciting shiny object. -Yeah. -Yeah. Tell that to someone with a plasma in their home who goes, "I've got this thing and I'm watching. It looks pretty danger to me. It might be old." -These are plasma guys. -This one is great. -Yeah. Oh yeah. -Okay, I love telling that Inside Story. You go to our CNET TV experts' homes and what do they buy with their money. Plasma, right? -Plasma. -Yeah. -OLED. It will be OLED, but give it three or four years. -Yeah. That's affordable. -Yeah. Yeah. -Absolutely. All right folks, thanks guys. -Thank you. -David Katzmaier, Ty Pendlebury our TV experts. You know where to find their content at cnet.com, the television reviews right there. These guys are the best. They know what the real world and what's really going on and what matters and what doesn't. Don't get fool by shiny objects on the TV itself. Get that picture quality. Okay, still lots more to come from here today including Scott Stein and Bridget Carey are gonna demonstrate the best of new wearable tech that's been on Fire here CES. And at the top of next hour, a first at the CNET live stage here at CES for the very first time, our CNET and Espanol editors will be here talking all about the show in Spanish. It's about time. And to wrap the day, I'll be back here end of day 5:00 p.m. Pacific with Brian Tong and Donald Bell to put it all in perspective on CES In Depth. Stay tune. Continuing coverage from CES 2014 on CNET.com.