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CES 2013: What We're Watching

Every New Year brings with it scores of traditions, from resolutions, fireworks and champagne toasts to the Times Square ball, "Auld Lang Syne" and midnight smooches. Perhaps not quite as time honored or widely anticipated, this time of year also heraldsCES_crowd2.jpg prognostications of what the big stories and technologies coming out of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) will be.

At Akamai, where so much of what we do touches the daily lives of consumers around the world, we're as interested in what's going on at CES professionally as we are personally. We're not just helping content owners deliver the best streaming video services, we're enjoying them at home and on the go thanks to our TV Everywhere solutions, for example. With that in mind, members of our digital media marketing and engineering teams took a few minutes to share what they'll be keeping an eye on during next week's confab in Las Vegas.

Kurt Michel, Director of Product Marketing, Sola Media Solutions
  • 4K TVs, or Ultra HD. Since content still can't be sourced from broadcast, it has to be served over the top. It's still fairly early, but it will be interesting to see how this and the related explosion in bandwidth plays out.
  • OLED display quality. This is awesome, high-quality video that can be displayed in a thinner form factor that's actually cheaper over the long term.
  • Any video technology on flexible media.
Will Law, Principal Architect, Media Engineering
  • The rise of HEVC demos, particularly side-by-side comparisons against AVC High and highlighting sports applications.
  • Companion apps for mobile devices that complement the primary TV viewing experience, along with innovative ways to sync and augment the content. Also expect to see the rise of mobile apps as the new TV remotes.
  • Support for MPEG DASH natively in TV sets (such as Samsung, Philips, LG) and also by encoders.
  • A plethora of OTT streaming devices with ever-decreasing form factors similar to Roku's Streaming Stick.
Troy Snyder, Vice President of Ecosystem/Executive Producer
  • Upgraded integrated iPhone 5 case/beer opener (I outgrew my iPhone 4S version).
  • "Back to 2D" glasses to make these 3D kids watchable.
  • Anything with Snooki on it.
Frank Childs, Director of Product Marketing, Aura Network Solutions
How large communications service providers (CSPs) extend their video initiatives into the online over-the-top world. They all are extending their reach beyond the set-top and home. They are large content aggregators, and for that matter, revenue streams for content producers.  Some, like Comcast, are content producers themselves through affiliates. We are going to see more network operators evolve to look like large IP-video content distributors.

In addition to meeting with customers and partners at The Venetian during CES, Akamai is participating on three conference panels. Will Law is speaking on the TV Connect at CES SuperSession taking place Jan. 8th. On Jan. 9th, Chief Strategist Kris Alexander is speaking on the Digital Hollywood Inventing TV 2.0 panel as well as presenting a keynote as part of the DCIA's Content in the Cloud Conference.

Keep an eye on this space for regular updates from in and around CES next week.

Chris Nicholson is a senior public relations manager at Akamai.

1 Comment

Best thing to start this New Year.