The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest tech conventions in the world. This year, over 170,000 people descended on the Las Vegas Convention Center to see the tech that’s new and coming soon. I had the opportunity to spend a week at the show, scouring the show floor for the latest tech for cord cutters. I saw everything from the Sideclick, a thoughtful universal remote that snaps onto your Roku, Fire TV or Apple TV and that lets you control your TV to washing machines that automatically reorder your laundry detergent when you’re running low.
If there was one product that stood out to me at CES (and granted, I may have been wearing my cord cutter blinders) it was Smart TVs.
Smart TVs are coming from every corner; Sony, Samsung, LG, Panasonic, TCL and even older names like RCA are jumping on the bandwagon. Most surprising / pleasing to me was the fact that many Smart TV companies are ditching their own operating systems and partnering up with established services like Roku, Google, and Firefox to power the smart part of their smart TVs.
Let’s take a look at the two hottest categories for Smart TVs at CES:
TVs with the Roku interface built in have been around for a couple of years already. 2016 looks like the year they will really take off, though. With a new Roku-powered 4K TV coming this year and an HDR TV expected around the end of the year, Roku TVs were everywhere at CES.
So why are Roku TVs great? Roku has long been a leader in the streaming set top box market. Now they are aiming to be the leader of Smart TVs by offering thousands of apps, the biggest line up of 4K content, and the largest line up of streaming video apps on the market.
If your priority on Smart TV is content, especially 4K content, no one offers more than Roku.
Google’s Android TVs were a high-profile product at CES. Big names like Sony to smaller brands like RCA are rushing to join the movement of making Smart TVs with Android TV built in. You may remember, Google used to sell Google TV but now Android TV is their newest Smart TV and streaming set top box software.
While Google may have only recently added Android TV, manufactures are more dedicated than ever to supporting Android TVs. The Android TV was on more Smart TVs than any other OS we saw at CES so Android TV is definitely the one to watch in 2016. No pun intended.
So why get an Android TV? Android TVs have a powerful operating system built right into your TV. Sony’s version of Android TV is particularly exceptional as they have added an interface layer over live TV to make switching between over the air TV and streaming apps as simple as possible.
With an increasing number of Android apps becoming available for Android TV, the options for cord cutters are rapidly growing.
While at CES, we saw a lot of amazing smart tech but what really stood out most for us were the range of Smart TVs for cord cutters from manufacturers old and new. Because they are just as powerful as streaming set top boxes, Smart TVs can be a great option and a possible gateway for cord cutting newbies.