Has Ultra HD TV Reached the Mainstream?

Has Ultra HD TV Reached the Mainstream?

Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist, said more than 800,000 Ultra HD TVs are expected to be sold by year's end.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

The Shape of Things to Come

The Shape of Things to Come

CES Unveiled offers a teaser of some of the devices that will be on display in January at International CES.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Not An Illusion

Not An Illusion

The AIR2 Bluetooth speaker from Axxess CE does indeed levitate and rotate above its base.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Beyond the Bleeding Edge

Beyond the Bleeding Edge

The screen on Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge phablet makes room in the right margin for message alerts.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Getting More Out of Play

Getting More Out of Play

Smart soccer balls from Adidas work with the miCoach app to help athletes improve their skills.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Pretty Penny for a Pretty Picture

Pretty Penny for a Pretty Picture

This 4k OLED Ultra HD television from LG Electronics has a 77-inch curved screen---and a $24,999 price tag.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Perfecting the Jump Shot

Perfecting the Jump Shot

The 94Fifty basketball from InfoMotion Sports Technologies includes a sensor for tracking the arc of shots, backspin, and other action on the court.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

A Smarter Rubber Duckie

A Smarter Rubber Duckie

Edwin the Duck is a smart toy from Pi Labs that works with an app for bath time, story time, and bedtime.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Traditional Look, New Age Watch

Traditional Look, New Age Watch

LG's G Watch R includes a heart rate sensor, barometer, and uses an OLED display.

photo by João-Pierre S. Ruth

Xconomy New York — 

This week, the Consumer Electronics Association offered up a mild, though positive forecast for the winter holidays—as far as anticipated sales are concerned.

At the CES Unveiled New York show, the trade group talked up the quiet gains being made across the consumer electronics scene. The event is one of the annual preambles to January’s International CES conference in Las Vegas.

Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist and senior director of research, said consumer credit growth in 2014 had been slow, just under 1 percent on a year-to-year basis. In the last two to three months, however, that accelerated to about three percent, he said.

“Consumers are showing a willingness to go out, spend more, and take on some of that credit,” DuBravac said. Furthermore, banks seem more willing to extend credit, he said, counting both sentiments as positives for the approaching holidays.

He reiterated CEA’s forecast of 2.5 percent growth in consumer electronics spending for the coming holiday period, as compared to the just under 1 percent growth rate for last year’s holidays.

Consumers appear to be warming to the 4k Ultra HD television format, the next step up from HD, according to DuBravac. (See slideshow above for one of LG’s 4k televisions.) This is the highest resolution available commercially for television viewing and has been typically the province of early adopters with deep pockets. For all of 2013, about 77,000 of these new-generation televisions were sold, DuBravac said.

With the introduction of more screen sizes and different levels of pricing, the public seems to be taking more interest in 4k televisions (even if content at that resolution is scarce). In July, CEA forecast sales of 800,000 of those units for the year, and DuBravac said the industry is on track to hit that mark.

3D printing and wearable devices are growing and gaining attention, he added. But there was little surprise in the perennial tech gifts expected on most people’s wish lists: tablets, notebooks, TVs, smartphones, and video game consoles. “These five products essentially drive the overall consumer electronics industry,” DuBravac said. “They represent over half of total industry revenue for the entire year.”