Each year at this time of year we do a show where we discuss what we are thankful for. There are the obvious things to be thankful for like our families, especially our wives who put up with our home theater obsessions. And of course we are thankful for you, the listener/reader of our show. So as is tradition over the last many Thanksgivings, on today's show we give you our list of consumer electronics things we are thankful for.
1) Wireless - Seems like everything is going wireless these days. But for me the big draw is wireless audio. Whether it is surround speakers or subwoofers it's is much easier to place speakers throughout the house in a way that is pleasing to the aesthetics committee.
2) Bigger Screens - Back in 2010 I installed a projector and 100 inch screen in my media room. At that time it cost me about $10K for a beautiful 1080p image. But the drawback was that it didn’t really work during daytime hours. Fast forward to today and I can get an 85 inch 4K UHD TV for less than $5K and it will usable during daytime hours. Yes I am giving up 15 inches but being able to watch football in daylight more than offsets the loss in screen size.
3) Netflix/Amazon/Hulu - This makes my list almost every year but this year it's for a couple of reasons. First they produce great content and that alone usually is enough to make this list. The second, and main, reason for making this year’s list is that they are at the forefront of creating 4K UHD content with HDR. Now you really have a reason to buy a 4K UHD TV this year!!
4) Samsung and LG - The competition between these two companies advances technology and keeps prices low. LG is banking on OLED and Samsung is banking on anything but OLED. I am really rooting for Micro LED to be a cheaper OLED and the competition from Micro LED to force OLED prices down. Either way, there will be a new TV in my future!
1) OLED - I don’t own an OLED, but I like the cut of its jib. We’ve gone through a slew of failed attempts to get us all to upgrade our televisions, things like 3D, curved screens, the list goes on. OLED is a reason to upgrade that is actually worth it. The picture quality is unmatched. And on top of that, it pushes all the manufacturers to come up with new innovations to find technologies that rival OLED picture quality. So whether you’re buying OLED or not, TVs are getting better for all of us.
2) SlingTV - I used SlingTV one time, for the two week trial, to get an emergency sporting event when cable went out in one of my rooms at home. I’m not so much thankful for SlingTV itself as a service, but more for the category of service providers it spawned, like DirecTV Now, Playstation Vue, Hulu Live, YouTube TV, etc. I’ve used a few of them and love the ease of use, availability and no contracts. If we can get Internet provider diversity with fiber or 5G or whatever, we might actually swing the balance of power for TV over to the consumer.
3) Roku - I really love my Roku TVs. They are so, completely simple, easy to use, and they perform really well. And they just work. You don’t need a remote, you can use your phone. You don’t need a soundbar, you can use the new Roku wireless speakers - you just hang it on the wall, plug it in, and you’re set. And Roku is neutral, so they’ll list everyone’s apps. Everyone whos is good and sharing and plays nice with others, or course.
4) Costco - Costco really paved the way in the “huge TVs for great prices” category. That category has been jumped on by Amazon and others, but Costco continues to be a contender in the group. In fact, I’m seriously considering picking up an 85 or 86 inch TV on Black Friday for that magical $2500 price point, and Costco is one of the stores on my list of potential places to go - or websites to visit at least.