CES 2024 review: glass half empty and glass half full…

A few weeks after the closing of the CES show in Las Vegas (January 12), the time has come for AVcesar to take stock of this edition for audio-video products. First remark, 2024 appears to be a good year for the Tech show that appeared in 1967 in New York. Undoubtedly, this is the best CES since 2020 (not difficult, some already claim) with a number of technological previews, however often the work of other sectors (see below). A year of trompe-l'oeil, therefore, if we look more closely at our centers of interest. Explanations.

After the Covid-19 health crisis and its multiple echoes during the last editions of the CES show in Las Vegas, it was not certain that the big technological meeting in January would still be a reality in 2024, or even that it becomes interesting again in terms of announcements and news. Indeed, the list is long of trade fairs of the same order that were once essential which have not resisted successive confinements, the disorganization of the electronics sector and the new orientation of certain brands, media and visitors, to make the deadlock on this type of demonstration. The latest to expire is none other than E3 (Entertainment Electronic Expo, video game show) which definitively passed its death sentence, after several years of vagueness, last month.

CES Highlander in Las Vegas ££££ But the great strength of CES is to bring together innovation in all its forms. Long linked to consumer electronics, most often to image and sound, it is now also flourishing, or even more so, within the automotive sector, mobility, the IT world... For those accustomed to American show (we did the counting, the AVcesar editorial team covered its 35th CES in Las Vegas this year…), the last few years have looked like a happy mess in terms of exhibitors and products presented. A trend already present at the beginning of the 90s but which has significantly increased since the end of the 2010s. To the point that we can today criticize the CES in Las Vegas for the lack of a clearly defined mission. But it is undoubtedly this diversity in the Tech markets, this very cacophony or completeness it depends, which allows the CES to go through the years more or less valiantly. Without it, he might have disappeared too. So much for the glass half full...

Now let's look at the glass half empty. One thing is obvious at the CES show: the audio-video tech sector has become sad. If you attended the audio-video brands' press conferences on Monday January 8, the day before the show opened, you know that we were really bored. Except for TCL, whose scriptwriting effort must be commended for its announcements and its desire to give rhythm to the speeches of its speakers, the others were as insipid and monotonous as possible. Too long, shot-shot, declaimed in a monotone voice (Hisense...), the enthusiasm, excitement and interest of yesteryear are no longer relevant.

As proof, except for the specialized press and other passionate influencers/YouTubers, media treatment reduced to the strict minimum. While ten years ago the show still generated numerous daily reports on the two biggest television news of the day, TF1 and France 2, plus countless columns on news channels and related shows, it is no longer the case. Having watched the CES news in the major media, we were more than disappointed by its coverage. In addition, CES almost disappears from broadcasts, social networks and websites as soon as its doors close...

LG, big winner of CES 2024 with the Oled T, but for whom? ££££ All the journalists on site will tell you, the LG stand with its wall of screens made up of 15 transparent 77'' Oled TVs mounted on rails was undoubtedly the most impressive at CES 2024. Once again , with the staging of Oled diffusers, LG was able to capture the attention of visitors. Namely, the Oled T with its removable black cover at the back, which deploys for use in television mode, was already on the brand's stand in 2023, diagonally 55'' (140 cm) it is true and not 77'' (196 cm). And we always wonder who this kind of screen is intended for. The “wow” effect is there but who will buy it? The question remains…

For the rest, the LG audio-video range strongly resembled that of 2023, modulo the expected incremental developments (Alpha 11 evolution of Alpha 9, WebOS 24 evolution of WebOS 23, bright peak of LG G4/M4 Oled TVs at 3,000 nits compared to 2,100 nits, wireless soundbar in 2024…).

Samsung, Oled TVs arrive a year late£££ £ Samsung's situation is different. If many of the new features presented here also relate to the “normal” evolution of the audio-video range (sound bars and QLED and Neo QLED Ultra HD 4K/8K TVs), the manufacturer has finally unveiled to the world numerous complementary Oled TVs in in terms of screen sizes to the 55'', 65'' and 77'' QD Oled panels on sale for two years. The Samsung Oled TV range now includes 42'', 48'' and 83'' specimens, and some 55'', 65'' and 77'' undoubtedly (see our news Samsung TQ77S89C, TV White Oled 77'' (196 cm) approaching and Samsung TQ83S90C, White Oled TV 83'' (211 cm) available in the USA...), White Oled obedience (from LG Display therefore). Expected in 2024, their presentation is good news even if some of these references had already seen the light of day in a selection of countries around the world in 2023. Likewise, the transparent Micro LED screen unveiled by Samsung was a real novelty (see . our news (UPDATE) CES 24 > Samsung Micro LED transparent TV 211'' (536 cm)).

More generally, transparent TVs have been regularly exhibited by brands at international trade shows for years chandeliers without ever generating strong interest from consumers, aware that the quality of the images displayed cannot compete with that of a real television.

TCL, bis repetitae££££ For once, the TCL stand offered few discoveries at CES 2024 for us European journalists. The enormous and still very impressive 115X955 TV (115'', 292 cm) had already been presented at the IFA show in Berlin last September and the TV series announced concerned almost exclusively the American range and not the one which will see the light of day on the old continent. Likewise, the technological demonstration spaces included prototypes almost all already known, the Chinese screen manufacturer CSOT (owned by TCL) having taken advantage of its DTC 2023 conference (Global Display Tech-Ecosystem Conference 2023) which was held on December 10 in China in Wuhan to preview various applications of Ink-Jet Printed Oled technology present at CES 2024: 14'' laptop, 31'' monitor curved horizontally and vertically (see our CES 24 news > TV Oled TCL (Ink-Jet Printed RGB): 55''/65'' in 2025, 77''/85''/98'' in 2026?), or 8K 65'' TV already presented at CES 2023 and at the DTC 2021 conference (see our TCL news: 8K 65'' Oled TV + 75'' Micro LED prototype TV) or at the Display Week trade show in May.

Hisense, the good student ££££ Hisense, despite a soporific press conference, was rather successful at its CES in Las Vegas. Certainly, on the one hand we will have to wait to know more about the TV series presented in order to know if they will concern Europe, and on the other hand the 110'' TV was already on the brand's stand at the IFA show of Berlin 2023. But the additional information on the latter was interesting and augurs the best while the announcement of the Laser TV Ultra Slim 4K is really to be welcomed. If the quality is there, this is a product that could convince consumers to adopt the concept of the ultra-short throw video projector more massively. We must also welcome the manufacturer's announcements about its new technical projection screens and the Laser TV Dynamic Light Steering prototype developed in partnership with Barco (see our CES 24 news > Laser TV Hisense Dynamic Light Steering, light peak at 2 000 nits), technologies to which we will return later in our columns. For the rest, Laser TV 8K and Canvas TV were repeats of Berlin, and even CES 2023 for the Laser TV 8K. Let's not talk about the Rollable Laser TV which shows the end of its rollable screen every two years without ever seeing the light of day in stores.

Panasonic and Sony, the Japanese (almost) absent£££ £ As in 2023, Japanese manufacturers did not shine at CES. Once again Sony skipped the Las Vegas show by not officially presenting a single audio-video product, the brand preferring to unveil its new products later in the year. For its part, Panasonic unveiled almost “subliminally” its Oled Z95A and Z93A TV series, descendants of the MZ2000 model year 2023. In fact, you should not miss the few minutes devoted to the brand's TVs in the middle of a press conference. very general. Fortunately, the TVs were accessible at the end of the conference.

You can see it, for the audiovideo sector, if the CES in Las Vegas 2024 turns out to be the best vintage since 2020, i.e. the period pre-Covid, it is still a question of tempering our enthusiasm: the expansion of the Samsung Oled TV range expected in 2023 began last summer in the United States, no real news from TCL for us Europeans, interesting announcements from Hisense (Laser TV Ultra Slim) but also repeats (Rollable Laser TV, Laser TV 8K), transparent Oled and Micro LED screens whose usefulness for the general public still remains, years after the presentation of the concept , to demonstrate without mentioning the prices... In short, a mixed result for this 2024 event, of which we will however remember the few technological firsts, a harbinger, we hope, of new momentum for the CES. See you in 2025.

Click on the following link to find out more about the products and announcements mentioned in this news: CES 2024, discover all the new products live from Las Vegas