When it comes to using CES (News - Alert) to predict what kind of technology is really going to catch on in any given year, the conference can be a little hit or miss. This is especially true when it comes to the next big thing in televisions. The most famous case of CES showcasing something well before its time was the HDTV, which debuted in Las Vegas in 1998.
It wasn't until 2002 or 2003 that HD sets had a real presence in the market. 3D TV is another tech that was introduced several years ago, but has still had problems really catching on. So will this year's CES be any better at predicting what televisions will catch on in 2012?
So far there has been quite a bit of talk about the smart TV. This particular television is one that can not only link up with the Internet, but also has an actual tablet or computer operating system. Yesterday, Lenovo unveiled such a device which is running on Android's (News - Alert) Ice Cream Sandwich. While the truly tech savvy will likely drool over this kind of TV, the average consumer might actually shy away from such a high tech unit simply because they don't understand all that it can do.
One kind of television that has gotten quite a bit more mention and that could have a little more “main street” appeal is the kind that runs with an OLED display. Of course, the big problem with these televisions is that they will be incredibly costly, meaning they may not be in a whole lot of living rooms yet.
The televisions that seem like they will be in living rooms on a large scale in 2012 are those that allow more interactivity and more social add-ons. Samsung (News - Alert) introduced the ES8000 LED this week that will feature the ability to change the channel and adjust the volume through voice controls, just in case you're too lazy to look for the remote.
More companies are also becoming aware of the amount of social networking going on while watching television. Panasonic, for one introduced a “Smart Viera” television that would allow users to see their Facebook friends statuses pop up on the bottom of the screen. There is also a picture-in-picture function which can be used to Skype (News - Alert) while watching your favorite program. It is hard to tell just where the television market will go in 2012, but one thing is for sure, is that there are enough models for almost anyone to find the one they like.
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Edited by Jennifer Russell