Picking Winners

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And the envelope please ... Welcome to the annual CES Wrap-up issue, including the 2017 TWICE Picks Awards in which we honor what we consider the Best of CES.

This is our third Picks Award program and, not surprisingly, our biggest ever. More nominees, more award winners, more innovation.

The Picks program is not something we take lightly, even though it is a massive undertaking against the backdrop of covering the largest trade show in the world.

We have one main goal: to weed through the thousands of products on display at CES and identify those we feel have a real chance at moving the sales needle at retail.

This year’s nominees and winners were stronger than ever, and the sheer volume of innovative and disruptive technology is inspiring and overwhelming.

TWICE Picks winners benefit from the added exposure a win gives, plus the opportunity to use TWICE Picks Winner branding on product packaging and marketing materials.

The retailers and distributors who read us benefit from the curation of a staff who collectively has a few hundred CES appearances under its belt.

Sometimes perspective is everything.

Congratulations to all the winners and all the nominees. You can get up close and personal with all them starting on and throughout the rest of the issue.

TV is dead, long live TV!

I can’t remember when the din started but at some point in the last decade I started hearing a whole lot of chatter about how the death knell is tolling for the TV business. I think it started to get critical mass around the time 3D TVs first came to market, with a collective yawn in response from the average consumer who had just survived the worst recession since the 1930s and who did not see a compelling reason to replace the perfectly good HDTV that he had recently purchased just so he could watch “Minions” float at him in space in 3D.

So when 4K reached the market there was a palpable fear that maybe this would be overblown too.

And there were plenty of reasons to worry. There was little to no native 4K content and its hard to sell a TV that has twice as good a picture than an HD set but only HD content to watch on it.

Then in 2016, wide color gamut and high-dynamic-range sets (excuse the pun) put on a show at CES. It became clear to many consumers that even up-scaling HD content was a vast sensory improvement over their present TVs. Anecdotally and statistically, 4K set sales showed healthy growth for the year.

Fast forward to CES 2017 and while thinner, brighter, less-expensive 4K screens were everywhere, the real news came on the content side, where the streaming and distribution of 4K content proliferated.

Hollywood is all in, the major OTT streaming services are all in and the consumers want to be all in. But ... there is one major impediment: the broadcasters who really don’t want to completely replace their studio technologies at great expense a mere decade after doing the same for HD.

But until the average consumer can watch a Super Bowl, or the Oscars, or the Olympics in 4K, 4K will not flourish. Let’s hope 2017 is the year the broadcasters sign on to the improvement.


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