CES 2019: Why TV is getting better and cheaper, and who won the smart TV war in Vegas

Every year at CES we see smart TV gets cheaper and better at a mind-boggling speed. Companies achieve that by using data collected from users to leverage a cheaper price tag.

It shouldn’t be anyone’s surprise in the era of IoT you are not the only one who’s watching. We already leaped so much into the future from the Nielsen TV rating era. The data a smart TV can collect will make the Nielsen rating look like a children’s play.

With more connectivity comes better collectibility. A smart TV can upload what you watch, how long you watch it, what games you play, and what apps you use to make a purchase rigorously to the cloud.

The more your TV integrates into your home ecosystem, the more data it can collect. In recent years, data has become the biggest commodity in the tech world.

Smart TV is what the smartphone revolution use to be, and it’s even better. Most people update their smartphones every 3 years, while the average life span for a TV set is 7 years. That’s 7 years of guaranteed data marketing agencies would kill for.

We are still far from any forms of regulation. The consumers enjoy the cheaper price, the better user experience, while U.S. Senators are still trying to figure out how Facebook makes money.

TCL, the second largest TV brands, said, no one buys a TV just for a TV as a part of their product launch at CES 2019.

The Chinese company does not shy away from collecting user’s data, and hungry for more.

Who won the TV War at CES 2019

Apple

For people in the TV business, 2019 is the year of 8k resolution, voice assistant, and better smart home integration. However, it was Apple, who was absent at CES, made the biggest splash in Las Vegas.

Apple is notoriously stingy when it comes to sharing its eco-system with other hardware companies. This year Apple not only shared its HomePod but also let its nemesis, Samsung, add Apple’s prized media service, iTunes to its smart TV.

LG

If we have to pick a winner for this year’s TV war, LG would be the go-to choice. Two of LG’s biggest releases are the 65 inches consumer ready OLED rollable TV, and the 88 inches 8k resolution LED TV.

LG said it will release the rollable TV by the end of 2019, but the company hasn’t set a price on it. Our guess is, it will cost more than $12,000, and here is why. The amount of OLED material used building the TV alone costs more than $3,000.

The manufacturing won’t be cheap either. LG has to develop a different process that requires incredible precision to make sure the “rolling” motion won’t damage the screen.

The mechanic of the rolling TV is more complicated than it looks. The screen does not roll together like a regular scroll. When the screen rolls into the box, the manufacturer left room in between the back of the screen and the face of the screen.

Aside from LG’s operation system, LG is one of the few companies that could integrate its devices into the Apple Ecosystem. It would support Apple Airplay 2 and home kit, which means you would be able to control your TV through Apple HomePod and Siri. LG would integrate Alexa into their system as well.

Samsung

The biggest surprise at CES media day is Apple gave Samsung an iTunes store.

Samsung also showed how we could approach buying a TV with a completely different attitude. The MicroLED technology lets you build your TV modularly. That means you can buy a small TV, and continue to add pieces to make it bigger over the years.

Here is Samsung’s 219-inch “the wall.”

Samsung also has the biggest 8k TV at CES. The Q900 QLED has a 98-inch screen. For us regular folks the 65-inch Q900 would be available for pre-order for $5,000.

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