Audio and video trends for 2019

Here are some audio and video trends for 2019:

The global Hi-Fi Systems market was valued at million US$ in 2018 and is expected to growEISA Awards has selected Hi-Fi product category winners, but I did not see anything really fancy new innovations that would excite me there. The Hi-Fi speaker market has seen considerable consolidation over the years but is expected to grow. The global Hi-Fi speaker system market is highly competitive. Various established international brands, domestic brands and as well as new entrants form a competitive landscape. The market is expected to have higher growth rate as compared to the previous years due to the booming electronic industry globally. It is due to the rising income of individuals globally and increasing affordability of technology products globally. Due to technological adoption and smart gadgets, North America region is showing steady growth in the Hi-Fi speaker system market. On technology standpoint the Hi-Fi market is mainly based on pretty much stabilized technology as class D amplifiers have been on mainstream for many years.

Smart TVs are everywhere. The vast majority of televisions available today are “smart” TVs, with internet connections, ad placement, and streaming services built in. Despite the added functionality, TV prices are lower than ever. Your new smart TV was so affordable because it is collecting and selling your data. It is clear that TV companies are in a cutthroat business, and that companies like Vizio would have to charge higher prices for hardware if they didn’t run content, advertising, and data businesses. Google wants sensors and cameras in every room of your home to watch, analyze, you, patents show.

Streaming services competition stays high. Apple’s embracing the TV industry for the first time: Vizio and LG TVs will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, while Samsung TVs will get an iTunes Movies & TV app, as well as AirPlay 2 support. Google and Amazon are playing are important players on smart speaker markets.

4K video resolution is still as hot as in 2019 – it us becoming mainstream and getting cheaper. Peraso showcases 4K wireless video at CES 2019. LG has produced a market-ready rollable OLED TV. The new 75-inch 4K Micro LED TV announced at CES 2019 proves Samsung is serious about scaling the technology to do battle with OLED. But it seems that even in 1029 “4K” trend remains woefully deficient from a compelling-content-availability standpoint. CES 2019 is already full of weird and wonderful monitors.

But new higher 8K resolution is being pushed to market. The “8K” (resolution) tagline was apparently everywhere at CES this year. Samsung announced a 98-inch 8K TV because why not. LG has come strong to CES 2019 with an 88-inch 8K OLED TV, a 75-inch 8K LED/LCD TV, HDMI 2.1, new auto calibration features, Alexa built in, and many more features. It seems that this ongoing evolution is occurring out of necessity: as a given-size (and -pixel-dense) display becomes a low profit margin commodity, manufacturers need to continually “up-rev” one or both key consumer-attention-grabbing parameters (along with less quantifiable attributes like image quality) in order to remain profitable … assuming they can continue to stimulate sufficient-sized consumer demand in the process. I am not sure if they can stimulate 8K to mass market in next few years.

Wall size TVs are coming. Samsung announced a modular TV at CES. Samsung first showcased this MicroLED TV technology at CES 2018, showcasing how the screens were composed of millions of individual LEDs. Individuals screens could be combined to create massive displays, which the company calls The Wall TV. The wall-sized displays shown in recent years at CES are, in my opinion, quite ridiculous, at least for the masses.


HDMI updates are coming. At present, the HDMI equipment uses the 2.0 standard (adopted in 2013) tht provides support for example for 4K video. HDMI Forum announced a new 2.1 standard already in November 2017, but it just starter showing in CES in January 2019. 8K fiber-optic HDMI cables seen at CES 2019. The 2.1 standard is a big change in technology at the bus bandwidth increases from 18 gigabit to 48 gigabits per second. This enables up to 10K video transmission and up to 120 frames per second.

Bendable displays are really coming to PCs and smart phones. LG’s “rollable” display shown this year neatly showcased the technology’s inherent flexibility while also addressing the question of how to hide a gargantuan display when it’s not in use. Several foldable smart phones have been shown. Chinese company Royole was showing off the FlexPai at CES in Las Vegas.

Micro displays for VR and AR glasses have developed. MicroLED is better looking, more efficient and more versatile than any previous display tech. Now all Samsung, Sony, LG and others have to do is figure out how to manufacture it affordably.Nanoco Technologies and Plessey Semiconductors have partnered to shrink the pixel size of monolithic microLED displays using Nanoco’s cadmium-free quantum-dot (CFQD quantum dots) semiconductor nanoparticle technology. Microchips and organic LEDs that deliver 4K-like high resolution displays a quarter of the size and half the weight of existing virtual reality (VR) headsets have been developed under a European Union project. Marc Andreessen says VR will be “1,000” times bigger than AR even though VR seems to be the popular whipping boy amongst the tech community.

There seems to be no shortage of angst with the current (and unfortunately burgeoning) popularity of usage of the term artificial intelligence (AI). Intelligence has been defined in many ways which makes it hard to get good picture on what is going on. I am still waiting for sensible intelligent AI to do something useful. But the ability for a sufficiently trained deep learning  system to pattern-match images, sound samples, computer viruses, network hacking attempts, and the like is both impressive and effective.

Potential problems related to the coming of self-driving car technologies and cameras are expected. A man at CES in Las Vegas says that a car-mounted lidar permanently damaged the sensor in his new $1,998 Sony a7R II mirrorless camera. Man says CES lidar’s laser was so powerful it wrecked his $1,998 camera because the LIDAR laser power rules ensure lasers are safe for human eyes—but not necessarily for cameras. Is this something that camera and car manufacturers need to figure out together?

2019 Will Be the Year of Open Source from software and even hardware. Open source video player app VLC has now reached 3 billions downloads.

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:

    Cassettes Are Back, and It’s Not About the Music

    The technology may be obsolete, but it’s associated with attractive stories that the streaming generation wants to try on.

    One can explain the recent boom in vinyl record sales in terms that make sense to an audiophile; a vinyl record will often sound more nuanced than music in a compressed digital format. But the growing audio cassette sales don’t lend themselves to such technical explanations: They’re about culture and psychology rather than sound.

    The hissing cassette was never music lovers’ first choice. The only reason these things were popular throughout my childhood and adolescence in the 1970s and ‘80s was their portability: You could play them on a boom box, in a car, on a Walkman when these appeared 40 years ago. The CD killed them off more ruthlessly than it did vinyl records

    And yet the cassette is back. In the U.K., sales were up 112% year on year in the first half of 2019, even if that means only 36,000 cassettes were sold. Sales in the U.S. are growing, too.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    it seems old technology can never quite die if it is still capable of striking an emotional chord and carrying a story.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s the Difference Between RMS and Peak Watts?

    Root mean square (RMS) and peak power ratings are basic power-handling terms. If you’re looking to build a high-performance entertainment system, you should understand exactly what they represent.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Walkman And Cassette Tapes Are Making A Comeback

    The cassette tape was created in the 1960s and became a household staple in the 1980s with the rise of Sony’s Walkman, when music became “on the go.” Now after the digital music revolution, one French company is bringing back the personal audio cassette player—but this time, for the 21st century.

    There is only one company in Europe which still makes cassette tapes
    As reported by Connexion France, the company called Mulann produces magnetic strips for magnetic cards like bank cards and also for audio use, mostly used by professional recording engineers who use analog format to tape film and music.

    In 2016, Mulann created a subsidiary company, Recording The Masters, to take advantage of the huge rise in demand for analog—the company reported an 80% rise in requests. Two years later, in 2018, (after acquiring the rights to use the same tape formulations as the much-loved BASF and AGFA tapes from the German manufacturers of the 1980s), it was able to launch a new improved version called Fox.

    The company says analog is complementary to digital music
    Jean-Luc Renou, the CEO of Mulann group, says the company doesn’t expect to compete with digital music but insists there is room for both to exist

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Commercial T-coil systems for transmitting audio to a hearing aid can cost thousands of dollars. But you can make a DIY version pretty cheaply.

    A little searching online uncovered some brief commentary posted by someone who installs such systems at music festivals. What he described was quite simple—creating a multiturn loop using a multiconductor wire (one for which the total resistance is between 4 and 8 ohms), and attaching it to a 200-watt audio amplifier, just as you would an 8-ohm speaker.

    Before diving into this, I enlisted an older friend (a retired electrical engineer) who wears a T-coil hearing aid to perform an experiment.

    Using that arrangement, I was able to convey audio to the T-coil in his hearing aid with his head about a meter and a half away (on axis) from my coil. This test was tougher than needed to assess requirements, because the magnetic field at my friend’s head was mostly horizontal, and my understanding is that T-coils are positioned to pick up vertical fields.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Billie Eilish Won Multiple Grammys Using Budget Studio Gear, Logic Pro X

    Per Engadget, Ms. Eilish and her older brother (Finneas O’Connell) produced her massively popular album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? with minimal studio gear out of a bedroom studio in their parents’ house. They used equipment that many aspiring artists could afford (about $1,000 worth of Yamaha monitors for instance, and at first a $100 microphone.)

    Billie Eilish proved anyone can access Grammy-winning gear
    “This is for all the kids who make music in their bedrooms.”

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Finneas on Producing Billie Eilish’s Hit Album in his Bedroom

    Finneas O’Connell—Billie Eilish’s co-writer, producer, older brother and an artist in his own right—discusses recording her sonically adventurous debut at their family home

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Now, as cameras, microphones, mixers and editing software get better and more affordable, pretty much anyone can create top-notch material.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    World’s smallest camera is size of a grain of sand
    By Chris George October 23, 2019

    OmniVision OV6948 makes it into Guinness Book of Records and will save lives in the hands of surgeons

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kodak Alaris warns the TSA’s new airport CT scanners can damage undeveloped film

    Kodak Alaris has alerted its customers to the risks of CT scanners being used by the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) to scan carry-on luggage in a number of airports throughout the United States.

    In order to avoid this, Kodak tells photographers to keep their film products in a carry-on bag and to request that TSA agents hand-check the film rather than sending it through the CT scanner. The TSA confirmed to Kodak that its agents are trained in hand-checking movie film, roll film and single-use film cameras.

    The TSA warned Kodak that ‘a limited number of [carry-on] screening checkpoints’ feature X-ray equipment that may damage film. In these cases, the airports have put up warning signs at the checkpoints to warn passengers who may have undeveloped film in their bags. The majority of X-ray screening equipment used for checked baggage rather than carry-on baggage will damage undeveloped film as well, according to the TSA.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Deepfake technology will make you question what’s real | CNBC Reports

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It’s the smallest 6-point lighting kit in the world, with certified and guaranteed color rendition.

    Available in Tungsten, Natural and Daylight CCTs with up to 98.5 TLCI index.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NAMM 2020: Behringer shares details of new 2600 rack synth

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:


    NAMM is happening again, the National Association of Music Merchants, in Anaheim, California this January 16th to 19th. What is NAMM and what’s all the hype about? Let’s just say it’s one of the most exciting weekends in the music industry and for anyone interested in music and gear because the world’s top brands get a chance to show off their latest products and innovation.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New biography of electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos

    From her groundbreaking first album Switched-On Bach (1968) to the unforgettable soundtracks for A Clockwork Orange (1971), The Shining (1980), and Tron (1982), Wendy Carlos is a living legend of electronic music. In March, Oxford University Press will publish Wendy Carlos: A Biography

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why the Super Bowl Is Being Broadcast In Fake 4K

    Fox will broadcast the Super Bowl in 4K and HDR, reports Gizmodo’s senior consumer tech editor. But “the 4K is fake 4K, and, according to Digital Trend’s interview with one of the men producing the Bowl, there’s a good reason for that…”
    The reason is that 4K is still really, really data intensive. A 4K video is often twice the size of a 1080p video. It’s full of twice as much data which means storage drives need to be twice as big. It also means data pipelines need to be bigger, and processors need to be faster. That’s pretty easy to do if you’re handling a single 4K stream. But the Super Bowl broadcast will have to handle data coming from a hundred different sources, from cameras on the field, to drones, to big broadcast cameras pointed at the commentators.

    “When we’re doing a football game that is somewhere north of 100 cameras, there’s no possible way we can do this in 4K,” Michael Drazin, a broadcast engineering consultant working for Fox, told Digital Trends…

    There’s a Reason the Super Bowl Is Being Broadcast in Fake 4K

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    World’s smallest camera is the size of a grain of sand
    By Chris George

    OmniVision OV6948 makes it into Guinness Book of Records and will save lives in the hands of surgeons

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    If Listening To Music Gives You Chills You May Have A Unique Brain

    Do you ever hear a drum beat, a harmony, or a tweak of a guitar string that makes a pleasant chill run up your spine? Well, in that case, you may have a special brain.

    The research, reported last year in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, found that people who get a shiver up their spine have more fibers connecting their auditory cortex to brain areas associated with emotional processing. This lets the two areas communicate better and means that people who get the chills experience intense emotions differently from those who don’t.

    “The idea being that more fibers and increased efficiency between two regions mean that you have more efficient processing between them

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MicroLED displays: the challenges and advantages

    MicroLEDs are part of an emerging display technology that has the potential to replace LCDs and OLEDs in big-screen TVs in the not-too-distant future. MicroLED displays can provide the same perfect black as OLEDs, but without the danger of burn-in, as well as higher brightness than any other display technology. While simple in concept, manufacturing TVs using microLEDs presents some challenges that are just now beginning to be overcome in a meaningful way.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Event-based cameras capture motion better than any other camera, while generating only a small amount of data and burning little power, but also providing only low resolution. This week at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, Paris-based startup Prophesee announced that it used Sony technology to boost resolution and allow the pixels on its chip to detect more than 1 billion events per second.

    Prophesee’s Event-Based Camera Reaches High Resolution

    There’s something inherently inefficient about the way video captures motion today. Cameras capture frame after frame at regular intervals, but most of the pixels in those frames don’t change from one to the other, and whatever is moving in those frames is only captured episodically.

    Event-based cameras work differently; their pixels only react if they detect a change in the amount of light falling on them. They capture motion better than any other camera, while generating only a small amount of data and burning little power.

    The resulting 1280 x 720 HD event-based imager is suitable for a much wider range of applications. “We want to enter the space of smart home cameras and smart infrastructure, [simultaneous localization and mapping] solutions for AR/VR, 3D sensing for drones or industrial robots,” he says.

    Besides the photodiode, each pixel requires circuits to change the diode’s current into a logarithmic voltage and determine if there’s been an increase or decrease in luminosity. It’s that circuitry that Sony’s technology puts on a separate chip that sits behind the pixels and is linked to them by a dense array of copper connections. Previously, the photodiode made up only 25 percent of the area of the pixel, now it’s 77 percent.

    When a pixel detects a change (an event), all that is output is the location of the pixel, the polarity of the change, and a 1-microsecond-resolution time stamp. The imager consumes 32 milliwatts to register 100,000 events per second and ramps up to just 73 milliwatts at 300 million events per second.


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