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CES 2014 brings SmartTV to showcase its future growth

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Streaming videos on a tablet or smartphone are better than paying for a larger TV, which has led to a drop in sales. That is about to change and SmartTV will be in the spotlight at CES 2014 in Las Vegas opening officially tomorrow, according to the N.Y. Times today.

Electronics manufacturers, though, are not losing hope and they will show how they intend to attract more customers. In many cases, it will be by offering so-called smart TVs that can connect to the Internet and run apps.

‘Consumers are telling us they’re more interested in connected’ televisions, said Benjamin Arnold, an analyst at the NPD Group, the research firm.

For example, at the show, Roku, the manufacturer known for making set-top boxes that include Netflix streaming, will announce designs for integrating its streaming media service directly into television sets. Two Chinese manufacturers, Hisense and TCL, will make the first products based on the designs. Roku, which is based in Saratoga, Calif., will show six television set models at the CES show with its service built in, said Anthony Wood, the company’s chief executive.

Roku is in a key position to win in SmartTV because of its resources to make smart televisions with a broad selection of content, partly because many media companies do not want to create versions of their apps for all the different smart TVs on the market. By contrast, there are already more than 1,200 apps available for Roku, including HBO Go, Netflix, Vudu and others, he said.

‘Our strategy is to be the dominant platform on the big screen,’ Mr. Wood said in an interview.

Samsung with its own impressive showcase wing at the show, Samsung, the No. 1 TV manufacturer in the world, is also bullish about Internet-connected TVs. This year more than 75 percent of Samsung TVs will be smart TVs, said Joe Stinziano, an executive vice president for home entertainment at Samsung Electronics America. Samsung previewed their new 77-inch curved OLED Ultra HD TV yesterday at a pre-CES party, reports NBCNews.

Manufacturers took a wrong turn when they misread the consumer’s wants, according to James L. McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research.

‘They were wrong,’ he said. ‘Turns out the reason people watch video is much more emotional and psychological.’

Mr. McQuivey pointed to the huge growth in mobile video consumption and video services like YouTube to show how consumers are gravitating to services with lower-quality pictures than conventional television.

Apple, the No. 1 seller of tablets and the second-largest smartphone maker in the world, already has an audience. Video consumption on tablets and smartphones has been one of the most popular reasons to buy the devices. Nearly a third of tablet users in the United States are watching full-length television programming on the devices at least once a week, according to Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors, a unit of the media consulting firm Frank N. Magid Associates.

“The tablet is a bloody TV,” Mr. Vorhaus said.

For more information about CES 2014, please view the Author's suggested list of articles and the video atop this article for the latest 77-inch curved OLED Ultra HD TV presented by both LG and Samsung along with a 105 inch screen from each at CES 2014.

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