2016 is officially in the past so let’s talk about what’s in store for smart home and in-home audio video technology for 2017! First, let’s talk about a few of the most popular technology arrivals in 2016 and then dive into what’s in store for this year.
New developments in 4K Ultra HD
Arriving on the market at the beginning of 2016, 4K Ultra HD players saw a healthy buzz and made their way into many home theaters across the country. Samsung was the first, debuting the UBD-K8500 at the front end of the year. Closely following was the Phillips BDP 7501 and even more recently, the affordable Microsoft Xbox One S (which also doubles as a gaming console).
For 2017, Sony has already stated they will release a new player ,UDP-X1000ES, which means other major competitors will be following suit. Obviously, there is a market for the 4K Ultra HD disc but is it here to stay?
Most home theater enthusiasts know that it’s hard to match the picture quality of a physical disc, however, will they value convenience or quality? That question may be difficult to answer, with streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime at an all-time high (and only growing) is there a future where we will go completely disc-less? Only time will tell.
The next big thing, wallpaper TVs.
One of the biggest reveals at the 2017 CES convention was the LG Signature OLED W TV. This is one of the first televisions to have a design that’s so light and thin, it looks as if it’s part of the wall. Consumers are asking, but where are the connections located? How it works is there is a small cable that runs to a sound bar below, where the sound emits from and all of your standard connections can be found. A truly spectacular achievement in TV technology, this will pave the way for more manufactures to hop on the wallpaper TV train. Along with its OLED display, producing perfect black colors and 4K content the LG W is something for audio video enthusiasts to keep their eyes on in the future.
While LG is the only company to have a ‘wallpaper’ TV on the current market, there have been talks of other manufacturers gearing up for their own lines.
LG has no set release date or price, but be sure to check back here for updates and other audio video news and updates.
Are voice control platforms here to stay or a gimmick?
Voice control devices (such as Amazon’s Alexa) were a hot seller this past holiday season. According to Amazon, millions of Alexa-enabled devices such as the Echo Dot and Echo were sold. This tells us consumers are interested in voice controlled devices for their home. Devices like Amazon’s Echo are also making their way into home theaters as a control option for 2017.
Amazon is in the forefront by striking deals with smart home/multi room technology control platforms such as Control4, Crestron and Logitech’s Harmony. The real question is whether users will want a voice system controlling everything in their homes. Not only will this technology control home theater systems and whole house audio, it can also control lighting, temperature, and security systems.
With other tech giants, such as Google (Google Home) hopping on this bandwagon, it’s safe to say this tech has a bright future ahead.
Smart home and home theater technology is one of the fastest evolving markets around these days. With new options, models and platforms being released every other week it is difficult to stay on top of all the information that I released. For all the recent AV news and updates on the existing technology check back with our blog for weekly updates.
If you are thinking about your next audio video installation project or just have a question about anything home theater don’t hesitate to call Kirk at South Shore Audio Video Installation at (617) 283-9932 or fill out the contact form on this page!