CES 2014 is almost here. Soon, Las Vegas will be crammed with the consumer electronics that will define how we live, work, and play next year and beyond. Rumors are already surfacing that wearable fitness devices and curved TVs are the hot ticket this year, but what about the digital video front?
Well, before you hit the show floor and soak in all that sweet tech, make sure you’re around for…
Marissa Mayer’s Keynote
As the CEO, president, and director of Yahoo, Mayer made some tremendous deals in the digital video space in 2013. Under her guidance, Yahoo has gradually developed a massive video team built from acquired (then dissolved) startups like OnTheAir, a Google Hangout-style conference app that Mayer picked up last year. Although Mayer’s keynote session will likely cover more than her digital video efforts, the CEO will almost certainly have insights to share regarding the booming online video market and Yahoo’s growing role within it.
The 2014 IAWTV Awards
Put on by the International Academy of Web Television, the award ceremony takes place every year to celebrate those making exceptional original online programming. Almost 100 shows are nominated across 35 categories, including CW Seed’s “Husbands,” which received 10 nominations this year. The IAWTV Awards takes place on January 7 between New Media Expo (NMX) and CES. The award show is produced in partnership with NMX.
Now that you have Mayer’s keynote and the IAWTV Awards out of the way, why not hear about the future of multi-screen viewing at…
Multi-Screen Universe: TV, Tablets, Broadband, Smartphones and IPTV — Strategies for ConnectedTV Technology & Content (North Hall N258)
While this panel has a host of influential and prolific names in digital video and connected tech, one speaker to watch is Francisco Varela, global director of platform partnerships at YouTube. Over the past year, YouTube has made significant gains in multi-screen viewing. From Chromecast integration to Smart TV functionality, YouTube is quickly becoming a truly anywhere, anytime platform. Additional speakers include, Jeff Demain, research strategy and business development director at Intel Lab and Tim Hanlon, founder and CEO of The Vertere Group.
By now you’ve seen a few great panels and heard some amazing speakers, but CES wouldn’t be CES without the latest consumer electronics on display. For those in the digital video community, make sure you swing by the appropriate display to take a look at…
Samsung Smart TVs
Already, Samsung is slated to be one of the biggest names (as it typically is) at CES this year. In addition to rolling out the rumored Galaxy S5, Samsung has stated that it will focus on Smart TV technology at CES. Specifically, Samsung will showcase the voice recognition software and “finger gesture” capabilities within its new Smart TV models. This, of course, is just another step Samsung is taking to own the living room with advanced UI and TVs connected to almost every streaming video platform.
(Affordable) Ultra HD TVs
With Netflix and Hulu rolling out select originals in 4K Ultra HD, consumers are going to want to pick up a TV capable of withstanding that level of resolution. Unfortunately, the last time we heard from Sony, the tech company was rolling out an 84-inch 4K-ready TV at the bargain price of $25,000. At CES this year, brands like Sony and Samsung are expected to begin taking orders for more cost effective UHD TVs. However, if subtly isn’t your thing, Samsung will also be showcasing a 110-inch UHD TV valued at $142,000.
LG’s webOS-powered TV
One year after purchasing webOS, LG is now rolling out a TV set equipped with a 2.2GHz dual-core processor with 1.5GB of RAM. The smart TV operating system is expected to offer consumers a better alternative to third-party streaming devices like Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast.
Netflix Ultra HD-Ready Tech
After announcing the ability to stream Ultra HD video, Netflix CPO Neil Hunt teased the fact that the streaming service has several deals in place that will allow 4K video to run through embedded players via Ultra HD TVs. Those participating manufacturers are expected to reveal themselves at this year’s CES.
Netflix isn’t the only streaming service with 4K video on the mind; YouTube is showing off its Ultra HD wares at CES as well. Using a new open-source codec, VP9, YouTube will run a 4K streaming videos at the LG, Panasonic, and Sony booths in order to show off the codec alternative to the current 4K standard: H.265. VP9 will alleged cut the bandwidth needs of 4K video in half and eliminate buffering.
Now that you’ve sampled this year’s biggest video tech, it’s time to hit the panels again. Your first stop is…
The Power of YouTube: Unlocking the Power of Programming, Premium Content and Advertising (North Hall N258)
While the name alone is enough to prove interesting, this panel will feature an incredible roster of speakers, including Michael Chiang, SVP, strategy and operations at Defy Media; Margaret Laney, CMO, AwesomenessTV; and several more. Some of digital videos’ top business strategist will be present at The Power of YouTube, so make sure you don’t miss it.
Original Video Programming: Streaming and Live Broadband: The Video Explosion
This panel is all about original web programming. Whether it’s on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, or Amazon, “Digital Hollywood” will be the main topic of conversation for this panel. Panelists include: Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, SVP of multi-platform programming, FOX; David Beebe, founder, David Beebe Projects; and Nathan Brown, GM of video and Complex TV, Complex Media; and more.
By now you should have every piece of digital video tech and news handled at CES 2014. Of course, this is just a small sampling of what has already been teased for this year’s show. With exhibitors like Roku, Comcast, YuMe, and more, expect to see dozens of additional announcements and unveilings on the show floor.