Audio and video trends 2018

Here are some audio and video trends for 2018.

Buying headphones in 2018 is going to be a fragmented mess because of a silent goodbye to the 3.5mm audio plug, Majority of new headphones introduced at CES were wireless and there are several different wireless systems. Bluetooth audio has historically sacrificed sound quality for convenience relative to a wired connection. However, there are a couple of standards now that promise “better-than-CD” audio quality. For wired connections where we once had the solid reliability of a 3.5mm analog connector working with any jack shaped to receive it, there’s now a divergence of digital alternatives:Lightning, USB-C, and Sony’s 4.4mm Pentaconn connector.

Voice, connectivity and AI took center stage at the Consumer Electronics Show. Alexa Skills and the Voice Experience is really getting off. With over 15 million Amazon Echo devices shipped and 244 million projected by 2022 it is expected to take lead with Google Home Assistant and Apple Homepod with Siri following. Also Google Assistant was mentioned a lot in CES. Google Sold 6.75 Million ‘Google Home’ Devices In the Last 80 Days. ‘Language assistants  were a big topic at this year’s CES. More and more manufacturers like JBL and Creative are integrating smart helpers into their WLAN speakers. Alexa support comes to 2018 TVs from Sony, Hisense and LG. Google launches smart displays with JBL, Lenovo, LG and Sony. There will be also other competitors aiming to this market, for exampleChina’s Google,” shouted out most loudly for voice. Microsoft’s Cortana had a crappy CES so it seems that Amazon Alexa will soon arrive on Windows PCs (HP, ASUS, Acer and others). Introducing Single-Chip Solutions for Building Alexa-Enabled Products.Sony launches a bunch of new headphones and adds Google Assistant functionality to the line.

Binaural, ambisonic, spatial, surround, 3D will be talked about. The most accessible exhibitions of this technology are in Youtube VR and Facebook 360, where users can interact with 360º videos that contain spatial audio. AR/VR was hot topic at CES 2018.

Sound bars are popular for compact home theater setups. Traditional home cinema systems with AV receivers and large speaker arsenals are only used by film and sound enthusiasts who sacrifice space in the living room for this purpose.

People listen to four hours of audio content every day. Streaming platforms like Spotify take a big bit of that. Streaming accounts for 41% of music consumption was the 2017’s most jaw dropping statistic. People will also listen a lot of music from YouTube.

Acoustics-based NFC is being pushed to market as it requires only a microphone and speaker, eliminating tags and chips. Chirp and LISNR are two emerging companies facilitating soundwave communication.

Wireless headphones and speakers become more common. Portable loudspeakers without cables are more popular than ever with music listeners. Most popular connection technology is Bluetooth.More and more manufacturers are breaking away from the cable and are showing new models and updates of completely wireless in-ear headphones at the CES 2018.

There is a bit of nostalgia involved: Several traditional technology tries to make come-back in 2018. The traditionalists among the music lovers continue to use records, so new record players keep coming. Cassette tapes making a comeback thanks to young, independent artists. Artists like Justin Bieber, Eminem and Metallica have all put out material on tape recently as a recent blockbuster film “Guardians of the Galaxy” put a hero center stage with a Sony Walkman. Tube amplifiers are back for traditionalist audiophiles that think that tubes can make your music to sound better.

4K video resolution is hot and 8K going to be pushed to market. TV has progressed to the 4K ultra-high-definition stage with its 3,840 × 2,160 pixel resolution. LG Display has made a 65-inch rollable 4K OLED TV. LG displayed 8K OLED TV at CES. Samsung has technology scales the image resolution to a 8K with AI. LG, Panasonic, and TCL put the spotlight on the chips that do the video processing: For the foreseeable future, any advances in image quality will be coming from these chips, not from the displays themselves.

Welcome ATSC 3.0 in USA: In November, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued new rules that will let TV broadcasters adopt the next-generation wireless TV standard designated ATSC 3.0. This new standard defines the specifications for ultra-high-definition (UHD) or 4K over-the-air (OTA) digital TV. But over-the-air is minority in USA as roughly 75% of households pay for their TV reception for cable or satellite distribution.

Home theater headsets have come a long way. AR/VR is hot. Oculus partners with Xiaomi to launch the Oculus Go and Mi VR Standalone.

Wired peripherals and electronics are still a major part of the market. Cabling for AV systems will have new features:  a new HDMI standard and how active cables will provide both power and video to consumer devices.

3D cameras are hot. HP’s Z 3D Camera puts Sprout’s scanning power on your PC. Intel’s new cameras add human-like 3D vision to any machine.

When almost all AV products are pushing more and more features, it seems that almost Everything is too complicated for an average Joe.




  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cisco selling video business unit

    Permira Funds has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cisco’s (NASDAQ:CSCO) Service Provider Video Software Solutions (SPVSS) business. Following the close of the transaction, Permira Funds plans to create a new, rebranded company focused on developing and delivering video solutions for the pay TV industry.

    The new company will encompass Cisco’s Infinite Video Platform, cloud digital video recording, video processing, video security, video middleware, and services groups. Dr. Abe Peled, former chairman and CEO of NDS and adviser to Permira Funds, will serve as chairman of the new company. The sale of the Cisco SPVSS business has been approved by Cisco’s board of directors.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cord cutting bad globally, but worst in the U.S.: IHS Markit

    If you’re a U.S. cable operator unhappy with the cord-cutting within your subscriber base, IHS Markit (NASDAQ: INFO) would like you to know that it’s not just you. A new report from the market research firm indicates that 14 markets around the world saw a drop in pay TV subscriptions last year. Of course, the effect was worst in the U.S. – but you may have felt a bit better for a few seconds, right?

    In addition to service providers in the United States, pay TV suppliers in Brazil, Mexico, Hong Kong, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Israel, Venezuela and Ireland saw cord cutting and other factors decrease their subscriber numbers in 2017, according to IHS Markit. “The cord-cutting woes of pay TV companies in the U.S. have been well publicized,” said Ted Hall, director of research and analysis for TV and video at IHS Markit. “Although the rest of the world has been broadly resisting the trend, other markets have also experienced pay TV subscription losses.”

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Consumer audio: Is accurate sound overrated?–Is-accurate-sound-overrated–

    The author of CNET’s The Audiophiliac blog recently asked, “Who wants perfectly accurate sound?” His answer? Most headphone and speaker buyers prefer less accurate sound reproduction.

    This may be the case (although he doesn’t supply any real evidence to support this assertion). If so, so be it. However he doesn’t stop there. He goes on to suggest that “accuracy” – in this case apparently represented by frequency response – is somehow not an important design criterion for a consumer audio product, and that, in fact, “truly accurate products don’t sell.”

    This all ties in with the typical audiophile view that designing audio equipment is more of an art than a science. In fact, many audiophiles dismiss the idea of measurements altogether, and shudder at the thought of audio equipment being designed by mere engineers relying on measurements.
    Instead, according to audiophile orthodoxy, the “best” audio equipment is designed only by audio designers with “great ears,” because they “know what good sound sounds like.”

    Needless to say, most people making this claim – including “The Audiophiliac” – have little or no technical background. So it’s not surprising to see similar such comments in his latest article, including “measurements have little to do with the sound of music” and “the real goal of a hi-fi is to play music and not test tones.”

    Of course such “audiofool” notions are easily refuted.

    One of the underlying points the author uses to support his “accuracy isn’t all that important” argument is that if all high-end headphones and speakers were designed primarily for “accuracy” they would all sound very similar. But, he says, they’re “not even close.”

    And finally there is the notion that somehow audio “accuracy” implies a certain sound quality. In fact it implies the opposite – a lack of coloration. A more accurate product will be more “transparent” in reproducing the original source. If a product designed for accuracy doesn’t “sound good,” then where does the “blame” lie – with the product itself, the source material, or the listener’s biases?

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HDMI Over…The HUMAN BODY?!

    This device can transit HDMI over any wire up to 2 miles away!…or through water…or nerds.

    Seems like a useless product to me. Even if you need to send a HDMI signal 2 miles. Even using Ethernet seems like a bad idea to me. Say your Ethernet wire cost 5 cents per foot at two miles your looking at ~$528.00, another $300 for the transmitter, the receiver. and then the time and work needed to trench / run a 2 mile long cable. So total cost of over $800+ not counting the work for the 2 mile wire run.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CMOS Image Sensor Sales Stay on Record-Breaking Pace

    Embedded imaging applications in cars, security, machine vision, medical, virtual reality, and other new uses will offset slow growth in camera phones, says new report.

    CMOS image sensors continue to take marketshare from charge-coupled devices (CCDs) as embedded digital-imaging capabilities expand into a wider range of systems and new end-use applications, says the 2018 O-S-D Report. With the smartphone market maturing, sales growth in CMOS image sensors slowed to 6% in 2016, but strong demand in other imaging applications played a major factor in boosting revenues by 19% to $12.5 billion last year. Sales of CCD and other image sensor technologies fell 2% in 2017 to about $1.6 billion after rising 5% in 2016, according to the new IC Insights report.

    Overall, CMOS image sensors grabbed 89% of total image sensor sales in 2017 compared to 74% in 2012 and 54% in 2007. Unit shipments of CMOS imaging devices represented 81% of total image sensors sold in 2017 compared to 64% in 2012 and 63% in 2007. New CMOS designs keep improving for a variety of light levels (including near darkness at night), high-speed imaging, and greater resolution as well as integrating more functions for specific applications, such as security video cameras, machine vision in robots and cars, human recognition, hand-gesture interfaces, virtual/augmented reality, and medical systems.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Impossibly Huge Depth of Focus in Microscope Photographs

    Sometimes, less is more. Sometimes, more is more. There is a type of person who believes that if enough photos of the same subject are taken, one of them will shine above the rest as a gleaming example of what is possible with a phone camera and a steady hand. Other people know how to frame a picture before hitting the shutter button. In some cases, the best method may be snapping a handful of photos to get one good one, not by chance, but by design.

    [The Thought Emporium]’s video, also below the break, is about getting crisp pictures from a DSLR camera and a microscope using focus stacking, sometimes called image stacking. The premise is to take a series of photos that each have a different part of the subject in focus.

    Focus Stacking: The Secret to Beautiful Photos

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Multi Room HDMI – Wireless, HDMI over IP, Powerlines, HDMI over Ethernet

    Hi, this video shows various different way to get HDMI working in a different room or multiple rooms in your property. It is ideal if you want to watch your Virgin Media or Sky Box in other rooms without paying for extra boxes.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    On Nokia’s campus in Espoo, Chile, today is what is the future of the television. Demonstrating 5G-broadcast technology together with Qualcomm, Nokia, MTV, Elisa, ENENSYS Technologies, Bittium and Yle.

    It is intended in practice to show that the distribution of the TV signal is viable with the 5G technology. 3GPP has defined certain requirements for the distribution of television signal over the 5G network and this entity is standardized by the term enTV (enhanced TV). It is part of 3GPP’s Release 14 definitions.

    EnTV extensions to the Release 14 standard introduce practically to operators a number of radio interface enhancements that can improve coverage across the mobile network and increase network capacity. EnTV broadcasts can also be monitored on devices that do not have a SIM card or subscription contract for content.


  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The current state of Linux video editing 2018

    Linux is a big deal in modern movie-making. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, you can find Linux software that meets your needs.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    This 7.3-gigapixel panorama ‘timelapse’ of London is made from 6,240 D850 pictures

    Photographer Henry Stuart has created a 24-hour panoramic timelapse image of London that combines 6,240 raw photographs to form a picture that contains over 7 billion pixels.

    Captured through a Nikon D850 and AF-S Nikkor 300mm F2.8 lens using a robotic mount by Nikon-owned robotics company Mark Roberts Motion Control (MRMC), the 155° view presents the city in an incredible amount of detail

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Laurel or Yanny explained: why do some people hear a different word?

    Original audio clip comes from and features voice repeating one word – but which one do you hear?

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ernie Smith / Motherboard:
    A history of the music industry’s first efforts at creating music streaming services after Napster and why they failed given the importance of streaming now

    How the Music Industry Messed Up Legal Streaming the First Time Around

    Lessons from the music industry’s initial consumer-hostile reaction to the Napster saga. Going from $16 CDs to unlimited streaming is really hard.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Janko Roettgers / Variety:
    Analysis: Amazon Channels, which resells subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, and others, now accounts for 55% of à la carte direct-to-consumer video subscriptions — Amazon has quietly become a major player in the subscription video sales business: Amazon Channels, the company’s platform …

    New Amazon Channels Data Shows Why Apple Wants to Copy It

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AV systems are only as good as the cables and connectivity between them. AV manufacturers will continue to launch new products requiring increasingly higher performance cable and connectivity to meet system specifications

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NIR sensor enhances night surveillance

    OmniVision’s OS08A20 8 Mpixel near-infrared imaging sensor captures ultra-high–definition video and images under all lighting conditions, even at night. This makes the color CMOS sensor a good choice for professional surveillance systems and body cameras for law enforcement, where accurate object and facial recognition is aided by higher resolution and sensitivity.

    The OS08A20 handles a wide range of resolution formats and frame rates, including 4K2K (3840×2160) in a 16:9 aspect ratio at 60 fps, quad HD (2360×1440) at 60 fps, and full 1080p HD (1920×1080) at 120 fps. It features a 2×2 micron pixel size and a ½ in. optical format.

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Do You Hear “Yanny” or “Laurel”? (SOLVED with SCIENCE)

    Yanny vs. Laurel audio illusion solved! PHEW FINALLY!


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