Last weekend, over 250,000 people descended on Berlin for IFA 2017, Europe’s biggest tech show. Here are some of the products that caught our eye at the event. Whilst the technology used is a bit pricy now, over time these are the ways you might be watching (and listening) to Freeview on in the future.
Philips 9 Series OLED TV
Alongside its first ever Quantum Dot TV, which comes with the ability to project colours onto the wall behind it, Philips used IFA 2017 to launch its new flagship OLED TV. Available to buy early next year at a price tbc, this is the company’s third OLED series and it comes with a range of improvements on previous models. One of the key features is the soundbar, which offers six channels of sound. Not a fan of an external sound system? The soundbar can be easily removed and you can rely on the set’s rear-located Triple Ring speaker. In terms of image quality, what really makes the 9 Series stand out is the P5 Picture Perfect Engine, a single chip responsible for cleaning up image sources, enhancing sharpness, boosting colour, upping contrast, and smoothing out motion.
Panasonic, Sony and LG 77-inch OLED TVs
Philips’ 65-inch screen not enough for you? Panasonic, Sony and LG all launched 77-inch screens at the show. With their 4K OLED A1 TV, Sony have done away with the conventional speakers at the bottom or side of the screen in favour of Acoustic Surface sound technology, in which the panel itself vibrates and generates sound. Panasonic are also improving your sonic experience with their new EZ1000 model, which features a Technics-tuned ‘soundblade’ rated at 70 watts. Meanwhile, LG are focusing on image quality for their 2017 OLED TVs, which will introduce the HDR Effect: a video processing mode that will improve the brightness and contrast of non-HDR content in order to provide more appealing images. Expect to part with upwards of £20k if you want to immerse yourself in the 77-inch experience from any of these companies.
Sharp 8K AQUOS Series
Still getting to grips with 4K TVs? Well you’ve got until March to figure it out before Sharp double up to 8K. While there’s no info yet on how much the sets will cost, the 70-inch screens will include four HDMI input ports, some of which will support 2K (HD) and 4K outputs as well as allowing for scaling-up to 8K resolution. Reports from IFA praised the realistic detail provided by the 8K resolution, particularly the colour and sharp details. Watch out for more on 8K TVs in the run up to the Tokyo Olympics.
Sharp 60-inch roll-up LCD TV
8K wasn’t the only big announcement from Sharp – there was also the world-first, 60-inch full HD roll type screen. While this type of screen is currently focused on the advertising market, you can bet it won’t be long before they start replacing flat screens in homes across the world.
Panasonic GA10 smart speaker
Smart speakers are tipped to be the hot gift this Christmas, which is why it is a shame the this new model launched at IFA by Panasonic is not due until 2018. At an expected price point of £200, the GA10 comes with the increasingly ubiquitous inclusion of Google Assistant. The speaker’s 8cm woofer and 20mm soft dome tweeter promise an immersive playback experience. The GA10 can also be used as a multi-room speaker thanks to its Bluetooth and Chromecast Audio capabilities.
Sony LF-S50G smart speaker
Want to get a new speaker on your Christmas list? Then the Sony LF-S50G might be the one for you. Launching in November at a cost of around £200, this 360-degree speaker also comes with Google Assistant, as well as an LED panel integrated into the side of the speaker. The LF-S50G boasts gesture as well as voice control, and the speaker’s WiFi support means you can control other connected gadgets, like TVs and lights.
More interested in what’s coming out of your speakers? Deezer announced the rebranding of its Elite service as Deezer HiFi, which will offer lossless-quality audio – something you can’t get yet on Spotify or Apple Music. Available for a subscription cost of £19.99 per month, the service will soon be available on Chromecast Audio or any wireless speaker with Chromecast or Google Assistant built-in, after previously only being available on Sonos.