By Stuart Tickle, MD of AWE Europe
Similar to the in-person CES, I spent my last formal day at the show visiting the other exhibitors on my shortlist. It wasn’t the same in terms of casually browsing around key areas of interest, but just like the in-person show, there was some wheat amongst the chaff:
ATSC – NEXTGEN TV
This is US only for now, but the Advanced Television Systems Committee says they are defining the future of TV with ATSC 3.0 next-gen broadcast standards. ATSC is an international non-profit, developing voluntary standards for digital TV, representing the broadcast, broadcast equipment, motion picture, consumer electronics, computer, cable, satellite and semiconductor industries.
NEXTGEN TV (sometimes called ATSC 3.0) is the third generation of digital TV technology and a giant technological step forward for TV viewers. When combined with an internet connection, NEXTGEN TV can merge broadcast TV with content from broadband sources. Look for the NEXTGEN TV logo marketed with television sets made by LG, Sony and Samsung.
Example benefits include watching broadcast TV, listening to a different audio track (e.g., home and away sports commentary options), combined with social channels/data/driver tracker.
It’s very much like what people are doing now via TV + mobile + tablet but built into the TV. I can see this driving bigger TV screens even further to enable sufficient viewing space for all the windows.
Products are needed, but they say getting content creators excited is important. Broadcasters need to get on board and then manufacturers will follow.
CNET & PARKS ASSOCIATES
I then attended a presentation titled, The Next Big Thing: Home as the new Headquarters, VOD presented by Brian Cooley.
Here is a summary of a very good panel session, summarised as follows:
It took a pandemic to make our homes the centre of work, education, shopping, entertainment and health and fitness — not just a retreat. Much of this new home-centrism will stick, while some will unbend to the way it was. We’ve seen a glimpse of what technology can do to enhance the at-home experience — will it be enough to keep a house as headquarters?
Tele-Health including an upturn in remote consultations is good, but a lack of connected health devices means this is really just remote consultations rather than the future pro-active intervention potential afforded by connected devices.
Smart Home has continued to grow including the peace of mind that comes from security devices, video doorbells, cameras and locks are all growing segments. Using security cameras is also internal health monitoring of elderly loved ones.
5G is targeted as a home technology, not just mobile. The “cost per Gigabyte” is much lower. Home security will be a good example of Wi-Fi/5G hybrid. Smart Home products in the future should go straight to the cloud, not via Wi-Fi, which is a pain point. In the future, every light switch could be an activity sensor and every smart speaker could be a “tone of voice” monitor. Whether people want that is another matter!
My final stop on the way out was the Pioneer booth, and I was shocked at what I found. Nothing about residential AV at all, or anything concrete, just a transformation statement:
“By 2030, one company will be the key to a sustainable society of evolved mobility – Pioneer”
Their President/CEO says, “Pioneer aims to become a solutions company creating the future of mobility experiences”.
Possibly a smart move if they can pull it off, but I can’t help but feel sad. How times have changed since my early days in the industry where they led the way with home AV and then Plasma TV. It is a reminder that all companies have to remain relevant to their customer, keep pushing and innovating, and if the worst happens then be prepared to tack if you have to.
Time to Leave
With that, I left the live event and headed back to the hotel to pick up my case and head to the airport, or in real life, shut down my laptop. I leave feeling this was time well spent and have gained a lot of information, but obviously, it is not the same as an in-person event and I have really just been subjected to all the marketing messaging with no “proof”. Here’s looking forward to CES 2022, hopefully in-person.