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Podcast #720: Home Theater Predictions for 2016

Time for the HT Guys to look into our crystal ball and try and predict the HDTV and Home Theater landscape for 2016. Our crystal ball is never as clears as a good HDTV but we give it a shot nonetheless.

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Predictions for 2016

Time for the HT Guys to look into our crystal ball and try and predict the HDTV and Home Theater landscape for 2016. Our crystal ball is never as clears as a good HDTV but we give it a shot nonetheless.



Competitor to was the first into this market but they won’t be the last. Look for one of the major cable or sat providers (or even Apple) to offer competitor to And if it's Apple look for local channels as a bonus.  


UHD Blu-ray player will be available for less than $500

This one is simply a shot in the dark. Rumor has it that the first UHD Blu-ray players will go for more than $1,000. But lack of demand and memories of the whole Blu-ray/HD-DVD debacle will drive prices down. But don’t expect to see this until Black Friday.


There will be a 100 inch 4K UHD with HDR and wide color gamut for less than $10,000

This is my shoot for the moon prediction. If this comes true, I may never upgrade my projector and opt for this solution instead! But realistically, this has about a 10% chance of coming to pass. But I like to dream!


Samsung will re-enter the OLED market

This is kind of a gimmie. Samsung did have an OLED (KN55S9CAFXZA) but we haven’t seen anything commercially available since. With the success of LG’s OLED TVs Samsung won’t be able to stay out of the market. We’ll have a good idea if this is correct next week at CES.


Apple to stream Hi-Res Audio

With so many music streaming platforms out there Apple will look for a way to differentiate itself. It already has the Mastered for iTunes program. Why not Apple Hi-Resolution? Also, look for more radio stations like Beats 1 in the higher resolution audio.   



HDTV and VR mashup

With the popularity of the Oculus Rift and the Growing investment by other firms such as Microsoft and their HoloLens, someone will produce video content that takes full advantage of the immersive experience of Virtual Reality. There are apps that allow you to watch movies on the Oculus Rift, but nothing (that I know of at least) that has been produced to provide a native 3D experience within a VR headset. probably nature footage, but it’ll happen.


Somebody *will* get into the live TV streaming game, but still no locals

Amazon, Apple, Google or Sony - one of them will offer native television streaming from their platform to match the service offering of SlingTV. So you’ll either get an iTV app on your Apple TV, or a TV app on your FireTV, you get the picture. Once you pay your fee, you get access to everything on TV right now for a select set of cable channels. And maybe, if you’re lucky, a national feed from the major broadcasters.


80” Televisions for under $2000

This is a carry-forward from last year; I think I was just one year too early. Both OLED and 4K will push prices down for 1080p TVs. Wanting to capitalize on the desire for a larger screen, Manufacturers will push prices down for the big 1080p sets to get them flying off the shelves. So the price for a starter series 80” TV will drop to under $2000 at some point this year. Maybe Black Friday, maybe for another event, but it’ll drop.


Lightbulb speakers for Surround Sound

The best way to get the height channel experience from sound formats like Dolby Atmos it to actually have them in the ceiling. The up-firing speakers that bounce sound off the ceiling are cool, just not quite as precise. It isn’t always easy to cut holes and run wires to add speakers to your ceiling. Somebody will create a box, either an add-on for your amp, or built into the receiver itself, that lets you send audio from specific surround channels to specific bluetooth devices. Bluetooth light bulbs are a perfect fit.


Proliferation of Home Automation Glue Platforms/Hubs

Apple is already working on making HomeKit the central hub that glues all your automation devices together, but it won't be the only one. Google will release one, maybe based on Nest/Thread, maybe not. Others will want into the game as well. The underlying idea? Any device, one platform. Buy any smart bulbs, locks, sensors, gadgets you want, regardless of the underlying protocol: Insteon, Z-Wave, ZigBee, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. and plug them into your home. They become part of the system as if they all spoke the same language. Google Translate for Automation devices.




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