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Today’s Show:

Predictions for 2015

Time for the HT Guys to look into our crystal ball and try and predict the HDTV and Home Theater landscape for 2015. Our crystal ball is never as clears as a good HDTV but we give it a shot nonetheless. And no gimmies this year since we can’t even get those right!

Ara’s Predictions

There will be a 65 inch production OLED TV for less than $5,000

Look for LG and Samsung to continue to push OLED technology. They’ll finally figure out that no one wants a curved model and produce a 65 inch flat panel OLED. Bonus prediction – It will be LG that makes this prediction a win for me!

There will be a production Quantum Dot TV available for sale

This is my hedge against the OLED prediction totally failing. We saw the first quantum dot TVs at CES about three years ago. LG is pushing forward with the technology. It produces higher yields than OLED and better pictures than current LEDs so this is a no brainer technology to pursue.

Apple will open up the AppleTV to developers

After seeing the potential of the FireTV from Amazon, Apple will realize the AppleTV is falling behind the competition. Look for a new model (AppleTV 4) with game support that will use iPhones and iPads as controllers. By the way, the 4 in AppleTV 4 stands for 4K. I can dream can’t I??

Apple to stream 4K movies and television programming

If you are going to dream might as well dream big! What good is a new set top box capable of 4K content if you don’t have 4K content. Sure they will support Netflix 4K streams but the real deal will be buying and renting movies and TV shows from iTunes in 4K.

Sonos to debut a dedicated 7.1 home theater system

One of the main reasons people don’t have full surround systems is the need to string speaker wire everyplace. Sure the front is easy enough but why should you have to string wire when you can have freedom to place speakers wherever you want. Sonos has the best sounding wireless solution we have heard to date. So why not make a complete 7.1 system without the need of speaker wires? It would be easy to setup with almost no configuration required. When your aren’t watching movies you could repurpose the speakers for music without the need of turning on an amplifier. Now if we can only do something about those pesky power cords!

Braden’s Predictions

At least 5 major studio movie releases will be available online concurrent with cinema release

With “The Interview” now out there as a pilot for what is possible, Sony will do it again at least once, and other major studios will try their hand at it as well. Theater owners will threaten not to run the movie(s), but if the studios choose wisely, theater owners will be forced to run them because they’d stand to lose too much in ticket sales if they didn’t.

Curved televisions will go away

Nobody really gets it. Manufacturers seem to be the only ones that understand the value in the curved screen. Realizing there’s no demand for it, manufacturers will make them disappear.  This means we’ll be on the hunt for another gimmick to boost television sales. Look for 4k to try to fill that gap. But it’ll still be a bit niche, so look for something else as well. Automation integration in your smart TV? Could this be the year of home automation?

Live television streaming won’t be coming to your town

Did an Aereo 180 on this prediction, but none of the big players in streaming set top boxes: Apple, Google, Microsoft or Amazon, will add live TV streaming to their box. Despite rumors, it ain’t happening this year. Aereo showed that there’s no way around the retransmission fees, and there’s no way a streaming provider would get premium channels for less than the others pay, so there would be no cost advantage to the consumer. And in most markets streaming would be inferior quality to Cable or Satellite, so it’s a lose-lose for consumers.

80” Televisions for under $2000

The biggest TVs on the consumer market right now, at reasonable prices, are a few models at 84, 85 and 90 inches. But there are a bunch of options at 80” from all the major manufacturers. The lowest price for an 80” at Amazon is a Vizio model for $2999. Costco has a Sharp 80” for $2499. Manufacturers may see that the next round of upgrades could be driven simply by larger screen sizes. Everyone has an HDTV, but it is somewhere between 40 and 60 inches, and they know they can go bigger. If the price is right, they will. So that price will drop to under $2000 at some point this year. Maybe Black Friday, maybe for another event, but it’ll drop.

Amazon to release a full length motion picture

In an attempt to leapfrog Netflix, Amazon will beat them to the punch with the first original full length motion picture, with all of the production value of a major studio release. They’ve already roped in stars like John Goodman and Jeffrey Tambor for their original TV shows. They’ll get a big name and a good script for their movie. We’ll see a huge PR blast with it, and it’s availability on the Fire TV and Fire Phone, just to show Netflix that two can play in the streaming game.

Posted by The HT Guys, January 2, 2015 2:25 AM

About The HT Guys

The HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.

Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.

ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.

Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.