CES 2013 highlights – ATEME comments on the latest technology seen at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas

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ATEME visited CES 2013 in Las Vegas, last week. CES is the largest Consumer Electronics Show in the world where more than 150,000 visitors attend every year searching for innovative devices that will be available in retail stores in the short term.

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Between gadgets of all kinds, video is still the big star of the show. Most of the consumer electronic giants from the audio and video industry were concentrated in the Central Hall, by far the most crowded in the Las Vegas convention centre.

And following the recent trend, video capabilities is spread in all sort of devices – from the “old school” LCD / Plasma TV devices, smartphones and tablets (with un countless number of models and manufacturers) to the surprising glasses, watches and refrigerators where video is also supported. Video is definitively everywhere.

And if the number and types and models of devices with video capabilities are exponentially changing and growing, the screen (also known as “glass”) is not staying behind. If LED was revolutionary a few years ago, now it gives hands to LCD and Plasma in the legacy team – OLED was the big name in the screen topic of CES 2013. They are thicker, lighter and with great specs like brightness, contrast and response time – but it is also not new. The innovations presented at CES were the OLED big screens (56”) and the curved displays. “First” and “Biggest” were common words in most of OLED demos.

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But, if CES 2013 had to be summarized in one word, that world would be 4K (Ultra-HDTV) – easily! Ultra-HDTV was the most mentioned term in the central hall, with a premium spot in most of the video-industry booths, from TV manufacturers to technology / chipset developers.

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Besides the obvious applications of incredible video quality in huge screens (from 55”
to 110”), 4K was also seen in tablets, with screens as small as 20”.

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And CES was not only about devices and gadgets. HEVC, the new codec standard that is about to be launched, was also present in some of the video industry booth. In all of the demos, a comparison with the existing H.264 compression was demonstrated, in parallel with a brief explanation of the new codec.

Visiting CES helps us to understand how the Consumer Electronics will drive the audio and video professional industry in the short and long term. CES 2013 made very clear that the complexity of video processing is growing since the content will be consumed live and offline in all different kind of devices using traditional distribution technologies like terrestrial, cable and DTH, as well as new trends like OTT streaming and VoD – all at the same time, but in different sizes, resolutions bitrates and screen technologies. The only point of convergence is the consumer expectation: pristine video quality and great experience.

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This trend places encoding and transcoding solutions at the heart of the new era, where the “original” content will be processed to address the multiple formats and screens available today, and increasing everyday – and the result of this process will reflect in the experience and perception of quality the end user.

ATEME is proud to be a leading video compression solution provider to the broadcast and telecom industries with solutions to address from the conventional video applications to solutions for the new era, represented in CES 2013 by Multi-screen and 4K applications.