The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is one of the biggest events in the consumer tech world. Each year in January, thousands and thousands of tech fans and pundits gather to view showcases of new gear, gadgets, cool ideas and concept products.
At this year's CES, the big names of TV manufacturers came out with some of the most groundbreaking sets we've seen. And mind you, they're not proof-of-concept products nor brilliant prototypes - these TVs will be available to the public soon.
Samsung has its new and improved Quantum Dot QLED technology that emits the best brightness and black levels on an LCD ever while LG revealed a 2.57-mm thin OLED TV.
Not to be left behind, Sony, the Japanese electronics giant, unveiled its own innovative TV technology at CES 2017 as well.
Sony's CES cutting edge product? A speakerless OLED TV that emits audio from its screen itself.
Sony's new A1E series 4K HDR OLED TVs eliminates the need for around-the-bezel speakers (which don't sound that good on modern flatscreens anyway) and moved the sound source to the screen itself.
Dubbed Acoustic Surface technology, the A1E TVs uses two transducers located behind the screen to produce 3D "soundscaping." This allows the pairing of the position of the objects on the screen with the audio, giving the illusion that images are producing their own sound.
This opens up a new area of immersive possibilities. A sound, for example, could follow the movement of a spaceship as it zips across the screen or dialog that sounds like it's coming straight out of an actor's mouth.
Amazingly, because of OLED technology, these TVs remain extremely thin even with these new "soundscaping" components packed in them.
What about the picture?
Although the sound source is the main breakthrough with the Sony A1E series TVs, they also produce the amazing picture quality we expect from a premium OLED 4K HDR set - 8 million self-lit pixels, enhanced color and perfect black levels.
The A1E sets are also equipped with Sonys's 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme. This new processor is said to be 40 percent faster than Sony's HDR processor from last year and can upscale all content to near 4K HDR quality. It also supports Dolby Vision, Dolby's new HDR format.
Android TV will power the A1E sets, giving access to the thousands of smart TV apps this ecosystem brings. Additionally, these TVs will integrate with the Google Home virtual assistant speaker for voice control and smart home functions.
The Sony AiE series sets will come in 77-inch, 65-inch, and 55-inch variants. There is no official mention of the price or availability but Sony said they are coming soon and expect these sets to ship later this year.
What new groundbreaking TV sets are you excited for at this year's CES? Drop us a comment below!