Best of CES 2024
Going to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is like looking for a needle in a haystack when it comes to finding media technologies among the 4000+ consumer electronics exhibitors at the 11 official venues in Las Vegas. When I attended CES 2024 last week, the word “consumer” in the trade show title should have been the hint that this might not exactly be the optimal location to look for professional streaming solutions. In the interest of research, I walked 32 miles in four days (including 1 day where the most I did was walk from one meeting room to another on the Aria-Cosmos-Vadra five-star hotel hospitality suite circuit).
TV of the Future
One of the biggest attention getters on the show floor went to LG’s Signature TV for their 77" UHD transparent OLED screen. They had a matrix of monitors which continually had an audience in front of them watching as the TV toggled from transparent to opaque. Being able to look through a TV takes a bit of getting used to. The set has what the company is calling “motorized contrast enhancement technology [which] selectively displays essential elements, enhancing transparency and the 3D effect.” This dual viewing experience transitions to black screen or transparent when needed. If you don’t want to always have a large screen hovering over your living room, this could by your new TV because the chameleon properties really are something else.
Neuroid won a CES Innovation Award this year for their technology, which uses Generative AI to create 3D and 4D motion for Roblox creators. Users can input text descriptions to have various motions created. There’s also an asset store with editable model movements including climb, dance, fall, idle, jump, kick, run, sport, stunt, and walk. Each action can be bought on an a la carte basis. For example, “Sit down and chat” costs $1. My search showed 24 movements per each of the 874 pages, with prices up to $3 per. This is the perfect tool to easily and affordably create content.
Cinfo is a company I found after the conference on the CES app. They have a Gen AI TV production product called tiivii. Their pitch: “95% of sports and cultural events are never broadcasted due to high costs of production. tiivii is the solution: an affordable system …[to] broadcast all kinds of events. Thanks to Artificial Intelligence, the cameras follow the action and make camera changes on their own. You can also manage the production yourself using our cloud-based Studio.”
A minimum studio software demo account for one hour of production is 75 euros. You can add voice-overs, graphics, transitions, replays, PiP, simultaneous distribution to multiple publishing points, and advertising. RTSP and SRT support for use on a laptop or mobile device.
Are you feeling 2D in a 3D world? The Arti AR product is a platform for creating 3D graphics for video (or presentation) with no hardware of design skills needed. They have a library of elements which can be customized, and they offer a free 14-day trial. Their pitch: “We combine your live video with 3D cloud rendering to create a live, mixed-reality scene for more engaging webinars, zoom calls, sales or training videos.”
AR/XR glass manufacturer Jorjin makes the lenses for their product as well as selling the lenses to other glassware manufacturers. The company’s new product is the J8L AR Glasses. These glasses allow for what they call optical see-through plus AR/XR viewing in a 1080p resolution. It takes some get to to use this type of product. The speakers and mikes are on both sides of the glasses. There’s no way you can test the audio function in a room of thousands of people, so I’d say the quality on that is TBD. Also at their display was samples of glass styles which could be manufactured in a variety of styles.
Take Me to Your Robot
At the German technology pavilion, I found startup Wheel.me with a product that, while not being marketed for the media industry, would easily find a couple of use cases in our ecosystem. This Genius 2 product is a four-wheel autonomous platform made in Norway that can make anything into a mobile device. Imagine using a platform made of four Rumbas which are programmed to work within a certain area either to carry around camera gear or allow for remote camera transport to follow someone around.
V-Nova had a display at a press-only event showing off their new PresenZ format and MPEG-5 LCEVC. The company calls this the first photorealistic volumetric movie format that allows 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) and immersive cinematic experiences using lower-bitrate encoding. The demo, presented on a VR headset, showed a stunning 3D dinosaur fight. In fact, if I had to choose between the transparent TV and this, I’d happily watch content created with their codec. Their tech is focused on supporting mass market adoption by streaming wirelessly to headsets. The ability to move around without getting disoriented and beautifully sharp detail made the experience very realistic, if being in the middle of a VR experience is your kind of thing. Even if it’s not, the cloud-rendered compression looked great in the demo (this is not a technical evaluation, just an observation).
Their marketing pitch: “The cloud rendered scene can be compressed using V-Nova point-cloud compression and streamed with LCEVC. This provides a game-changing upgrade to the XR video and gaming experience by simultaneously increasing resolution and quality whilst reducing the required bandwidth.”
Livery pitches itself as an interactive video cloud to provide interactivity to livestreams for iOS, Android, and Web apps. They are using ULL-CMAF and claim 1–3 second glass-to-glass latency. They provide the ability to add countdown, live reaction, chat, polls, voting, leaderboard, announcements, ratings, product info, social sharing, prediction, Q & A, presenter view, themes, and mobile UI according to their own explainer video. Their website has many explainer videos, but weirdly, there was no audio, so it seems their strength is really in non-verbal communication.
Multi-Camera Social Streaming
CameriFI Live caught my eye because they’re promising to connect DSLRs, camcorders, drones and more with their all-in-one livestreaming app. The app provides control of multiple types of devices from an iOS or Android device. A 30-day free trial provides a tool for high-quality livestreaming broadcast. An external camera connection with HDMI-to-UVC converter is required. The app supports RTMP and SRT output, plus overlay support for images, text, audio, and chat. Maximum resolution, amount of devices, memory required, battery life, and many more of those pesky technical questions are not answered on their website, so buyer beware, but realistically, it’s free, so what do you have to lose?
Dynamic Video Creation
Infuse Video is being pitched as a video developer SaaS platform for building real-time personalized video. Content can be stitched together based on asset chunks or text instructions. The result is the ability to create custom content or find that interesting segment within a longer video clip, build themed content, create clips in alternative languages, or create personalized content based on first-party data including location, device, time of day, QR code, or third-party data. Production is either via no code or API.
I was one of the many CES judges for the content and entertainment category. Here are some of the winners in my area for media tech:
ZenScreen Fold OLED, Asus – first 17.3" foldable monitor. 1.1 Kg. DisplayHDR True Black 500 certification. 2 USB C and mini HDMI ports
PIXELL, 4BY4 – AI solution for video quality optimizes noise pattern, color, sharpness and resolution to emulate human vision, trained on hi-res video. Pitch: lower bitrate, better quality
BluOS 4.0 – App provides wireless multi-room audio management and streaming to any BluOS-enabled system
Audio CU – Wireless speaker solution controlling up to 32 channels and delivering Dolby Atmos
AI Xperience, Imki – Immersive 3D audio for large-scale venues without headsets
LG Content recommendations – Personalization for different users based on voice ID
Veeps All Access – Subscription service providing hundreds of live and on-demand concerts and performances of top artists
DTS Play-Fi – Home theater wireless transmission of 12-channel sound.
TiVo OS - OS for TV manufacturers. Their pitch: leveraging content relationships for a content-first approach, with premium global and regional content and TiVo+ channels.
Companies and Suppliers Mentioned