Earlier this year, we saw a lot of new products at CES 2016 The Best of CES 2016:6 Amazing Products Coming Soon The Best of CES 2016:6 Amazing Products Coming Soon CES 2016 featured thousands of amazing products, prototypes, and demos Here there are some awesome ones you might have missed that you can expect to see released soon! Read More However, we also saw several other revelations that showed us where home entertainment is headed.
So if you have your own home entertainment center, or plan to install one sometime this year, you'll want to pay close attention. Not that you have to buy these ideas, but they are trending for a reason and you should try to take advantage of them to the best of your ability.
The first commercially available 4K camera came out in 2003, but the technology didn't really hit consumers' radars until 2010, when YouTube started supporting 4K uploads. Still, we've often recommended against buying 4K devices. Should you buy a 4K / Ultra HD TV? Should You Buy a 4K/Ultra HD TV? About a decade ago, manufacturers began selling what is now widely known as an HDTV. But now HD is old news, so the industry has decided to push another new technology; Ultra HD, also known... Read More
If you're not really sure what 4K is, it's just another term for 2160p resolution. It has twice the horizontal and vertical resolution of 1080p HD, so you'll also hear 4K called Ultra HD 4K. They all mean the same thing:a screen that can display at least 3840 x 2160 pixels.
Back in 2015, we said 4K TVs were a waste of money. Why buying a 4K TV right now is a waste of money Why buying a 4K TV right now is a waste of money with an obvious price difference between the new generation of 4K TVs and older models Full HD:do you really need 4K? ? We think not, and here's why. Read more . In 2016, we're saying that 4K might finally be worth considering. Services like Netflix and YouTube are moving towards it. What can you really watch on a 4k TV? What can you really watch on a 4k TV? 4K TVs were definitely a great gift this past Christmas, but what can you watch on one? Read More Upscaling:How does it work and is it worth it? What is scaling up? How does it work? And is it all that it seems to be? Read more.
By the end of 2016, 4K will be a common media standard.
Speaking of Ultra HD 4K, it was announced in 2014 that future versions of Blu-ray Discs would support resolutions up to 4K at speeds up to 60 frames per second. Now it's finally happening:the first Ultra HD Blu-ray discs were released in March 2016.
What's so good about this? The resolution and frame rate are nice, but the real features are the extra features like larger storage capacities (up to 100GB), an improved video codec, a wider color gamut, and support for high dynamic range.
To cut a long story short, it will pave the way for better video and audio quality. The downside is that you'll need a Blu-ray player that supports it and a TV that can display it, which means a hit to your wallet to upgrade your devices.
In the '90s and 2000s, plasma TVs were the "big thing" in home entertainment, but they've since fallen out of favor. In 2016, OLED TVs will be the spiritual successor to those plasma TVs, primarily because OLED technology provides the truest colors available today 8 Common Terms You Need to Know Before You Buy Your Next TV 8 Common Terms You Need to Know Before You Buy Your Next TV shopping for your next TV When you're out shopping for a new TV, you may be a little confused by the many options available, all the features they have, and the jargon you need to get into. Read more.
Of course, you'll still be able to buy other types of TVs, but CES 2016 proved that the picture quality of a high-end OLED simply can't be beat by regular LCD and LED screens. Do you want the best? It is OLED or bust.
Not only that, but starting in 2016, all of the best TVs will support High Dynamic Range (HDR), which simply means you can display brighter whites and darker blacks at the same time, and that means better contrast, colors more complete and improved image quality in general.
One of the worst things about buying a TV is that there are so many specs to agonize over TV Buying Guide:How To Choose The Right TV For Your Living Room TV Buying Guide:How To Choose The Right TV For Your living room. There's a lot more to buying a TV than what's on a spec sheet. By the end of this guide, you'll know exactly how to choose the right TV. Read More It gets cloudier depending on what you are using the TV for. Choosing an HDTV for Gaming:Specs Matter Most Choosing an HDTV for Gaming:Specs Matter Most The HDTV you buy is for gaming, and it affects more than just picture quality. Read more.
For example, in recent years, consumers have often been confused about the difference between HD Ready and Full HD. What is the difference between HD Ready and Full HD? What is the difference between HD Ready and Full HD? Manufacturers of televisions and computer monitors can be a cunning bunch, using different acronyms to hide hardware capabilities. Well, worry no more. We have explained what HD Ready really means. Read more . It gets worse when you realize that the terms mean something different in the US compared to Europe.
Fortunately, the UHD Alliance has created the Ultra HD Premium standard, which is a set of guidelines that must be met before a TV can be stamped "Ultra HD good" - and that means TV purchases shouldn't be so painful in 2016.
A smart device is any device that supports Internet connectivity (for example, smartphones and smart watches are just phones and watches that can connect to the Internet). In 2016, smart home devices will become more popular and this trend will extend to home entertainment.
Fully smart homes are still in the infant stage, of course, but look for products like the Sonos PLAYBAR Wireless TV Speaker, the Philips Hue Smart Lighting Starter Kit, and the Roku Streaming Media Player 4. Combine them with services like IFTTT and you can end up doing cool things..
That said, you should never buy a smart TV 5 reasons why you shouldn't buy a smart TV 5 reasons why you shouldn't buy a smart TV a smart TV would not be a smart thing. This is why. Read More TVs just don't benefit from being smart like other devices do.
Interested? Start with one of these big name smart home brands. 9 Big-name smart home brands with products you can trust. 9 Big-name smart home brands with products you can trust. The modern world is moving towards all kinds of smart home automation, and the longer you hold out, the harder it will be when the day of conversion comes. Read more . Also, look out for future patches for Windows 10, which will soon let you control your smart home with Cortana How Windows 10 IoT will soon let you manage your home How Windows 10 IoT will soon let you manage your home Thanks to a new By partnering with Samsung and Microsoft, soon you'll be able to manage your home appliances from your Windows 10 computer. Here's what your future smart home will look like. Read more.
Speaking of smart devices like the Roku, expect to see improvements in streaming media devices The 8 Best Devices to Stream Movies to Your TV The 8 Best Devices to Stream Movies to Your TV There are several ways to stream media to your TV and decide which one to use. right path for you can be overwhelming. Let us help you explore what is currently available. Read More But more than that, expect to see a lot of new content coming from streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube.
You Don't Believe Me Netflix Is Releasing At Least 13 New Original Series 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Watch In 2016 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Watch In 2016 Narcos and Master of None, but 2016 is set to be Netflix's most exciting year to date. Read More We saw the first batch so, well, you don't have to. Here's what we thought... Read More and Man in the High Castle .
This all makes sense when you realize that users are ditching cable en masse. Streaming is destroying cable TV and these 3 stats prove it. Streaming is destroying cable TV and these 3 stats prove it. Online streaming services are overcoming the demons. , and other forms of television. Here are some mind-boggling stats to prove it. Read More And while there are some technical issues you may have to overcome How to Watch Everything on Netflix No Matter Where You Live How to Watch Everything on Netflix No Matter Where You Live We explore why Netflix content differs from country to country and how you can watch Everything on Netflix regardless. Read More
Ever since the Oculus Rift dev kits shipped, the hype for VR has grown exponentially. Seriously, the Oculus Rift is amazing. How the Oculus Rift works and why you need it. How the Oculus Rift works and why you need it. Why is there so much excitement about the Oculus Rift? Because it is a technological marvel. Here's how it works and why you'll love it. Read More the crazy uses it's been put to. Check out these awesome Oculus Rift demos from around the world. Read More don't get excited, nothing will.
What's more exciting is that Oculus Rift is no longer the only player Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive vs. Playstation VR:What should you buy? Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive vs. Playstation VR:What should you buy? Virtual reality is just around the corner and there are three systems to choose from. Here's what you need to know to make a smart and informed decision. Read more . You have competitors like the HTC Vive and Playstation VR for full experiences, but you also have Google Cardboard as a cheap alternative. Meet Google's Next-Generation Virtual Reality Platform Meet Google's Next-Generation Virtual Reality Platform Read More .
2015 will always be known as the year VR was born, and there's nowhere to go but from here. Why Virtual Reality Technology Will Take Your Breath Away In 5 Years Why Virtual Reality Technology Will Take Your Breath Away In 5 Years The Future Of Virtual Reality Includes Head, Eye And Expression Tracking, Simulated Touch And much more. These amazing technologies will be available to you in 5 years or less. Read more . VR gaming is the most obvious application, but VR movies and VR "hangouts" aren't out of the realm of possibility either.
Some of these developments will be truly amazing, especially once manufacturers, content producers, and consumers embrace these new features and standards for what they are:the next step in home entertainment.
To be clear, we're not necessarily saying that you need to be an early adopter, which is often a bad idea. 5 Reasons Being An Early Trainer Is A Bad Idea 5 Reasons Being An Early Adopter Is A Bad Idea Are you the kind of person who pre-orders new tech gadgets as soon as they're available? So you are an early adopter. Is there a drawback? Let's find out. Read More Knowing about these innovations now could help you make better decisions next year or so.
Which of these trends are you most excited about? Which ones do you think will fail? Are there any other trends that we missed that we think will be huge in 2016? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!