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Podcast #774: Predictions for 2017

Time for the HT Guys to look into our crystal ball and try and predict the HDTV and Home Theater landscape for 2017. Our crystal ball is never as clears as a good HDTV but we give it a shot nonetheless.

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CES 2017 Winners

Here is just a taste of what  of what CNET, TWICE, and Engadget found noteworthy at this year’s CES. For the full list please follow the links below:




We will focus on home theater and home automation but if there is something really cool we’ll mention it as well.


  • Sony Electronics MDR-1000X
  • Audeze iSINE - The world’s first in ear Magnetic Planar Headphones
  • OSSIC X - This smart headphone auto-calibrates to the listener to enable accurate sound positioning and excellent sound quality. Perfect for movies, music, gaming and virtual reality.

Home Automation: Wireless door locks:

  • BenjiLock - Use your fingertip to unlock a padlock
  • Belkin Wemo Dimmer Switch
  • Kuri - Robot Nanny and roving security camera


  • Smart Remote by Sevenhugs - Smart Remote is the world’s first contextual control system for connected homes. It lets you control everything at home with just one touch. When you point Smart Remote at a device, the screen automatically adapts and you just need one touch to control it. A seamless and intuitive control system.

Video & TVs: Flat-panel TVs - 58 inches and larger:

  • LG 65-inch 4K OLED TV with Advanced Accessibility Technologies (65B7)     
  • Philips 6000 series 86-inch 4K Ultra HD TV with Dolby Vision, Enhanced Color Gamut and NetTV – 86PFL6902
  • Samsung Lifestyle TV - The innovative Samsung Lifestyle TV is a beautiful, always-on, truly smart display that transforms the TV to art, making your home more welcoming and aesthetically pleasing no matter the content on screen.
  • Sony Electronics XBR-Z9D with BMD

Home Audio:

  • SVS SB16-Ultra Subwoofer - Astonishing 16 inch driver with unprecedented eight inch edge-wound voice coil, massive 1,500 watts RMS, 5,000+ watts peak Sledge amplifier and advanced Apple iOS/Android control app make SVS SB16-Ultra the greatest leap forward in subwoofer innovation history.
  • Paradigm Persona 9H - The Persona Series features Paradigm’s most advanced audio technologies, all entirely Crafted in Canada.

Home Theater:

  • Dish AirTV  - AirTV's blend of streaming and over-the-air broadcast television won us over. The Sling TV guide neatly organizes live channels alongside Netflix, Android TV apps and whatever networks you can receive for free with an OTA antenna. Conveniently, there's also voice search built right into the remote. At $130, it's competitively priced too, and it's already available for purchase.
  • Nvidia Shield TV - Nvidia Shield powers up with Amazon, Google Home and improved gaming (hands-on)


Predictions for 2017

Time for the HT Guys to look into our crystal ball and try and predict the HDTV and Home Theater landscape for 2017. Our crystal ball is never as clears as a good HDTV but we give it a shot nonetheless.


DirecTV Now will announce more than 250K Subscribers by year’s end

We have no official number on how many subscribers there are to the satcaster’s IPTV product and there are some missing pieces to the offering. I am betting that DirecTV will add a cloud based DVR and sign deals with local channels to really make this a service that you would make cutting the cord worthwhile.


Networks will allow streaming of their live feeds without the need for a TV subscription

This is the year the networks realize it's about eyeballs! It doesn’t matter whether your viewers receive the signal over the air, through satellite/cable or via the Internet. It's about how many people watch your content. And add to the fact that streaming over IP means you can’t skip commercials and it becomes a no brainer! I can’t believe it hasn’t already happened.


Apple will introduce a competitor to the Echo and Google Home

It wouldn’t be a prediction list from Ara without at least one mention of Apple on it. Apple already has all the pieces required for this type of product. Siri for voice, Homekit for automation,  and the AppleTV for content. The only thing missing is the actual device. Look for that some time in 2017!


Netflix will stream live sports

Granted this is a long shot, but Netflix is looking for content and what better than live sports. This year twitter streamed live NFL games so why not Netflix? Then why not stream live network content and voila! Yet another IP based TV service.


Virtual Reality will arrive thanks to live events

This will be the year that you will be able to experience live events like a concert of sporting event from the comfort of your home. And you will have the best seat in the house!! Virtual reality has come a long way but who wants to watch a movie when the experience is marginally better. But watching a live concert or say the World Series from the best seat in the house. Well that’s pretty cool. You would have a full 360 view of the show and venue. And if done right, they could use Dolby Atmos to give you 360 degree sound experience as well!



Day and Date Movie Streaming

It’s going to happen this year. Either Sean Parker’s ‘The Screening Room’ will finally go live, or someone else will figure out a way to work with theater owners to make this a reality. Could be someone we’ve talked about like Fandango, or possibly even a big theater chain. It happens this year. I hope.


80” Televisions for under $2000

Going to carry-forward yet again. I think I was just two years too early. Both OLED and 4K will push prices down for 1080p TVs. Wanting to capitalize on the desire for a larger screen, Manufacturers will push prices down for the big 1080p sets to get them flying off the shelves. So the price for a starter series 80” TV will drop to under $2000 at some point this year. Maybe Black Friday, maybe for another event, but it’ll drop.


Amazon or Netflix content on Traditional TV

Either Amazon or Netflix will create and produce an original series, be it drama or sitcom, that will air on a traditional broadcast network using traditional weekly distribution. They already have a ton of customers, so they don’t really need the extra advertising, but many of those customers still aren’t tuning to Amazon or Netlix for original content. This will help them make that offering more tangible.


Next Gen TV (ATSC 3.0) equipment available

They’ve already proven ATSC 3.0 by broadcasting it live in 4K using the ATSC 3.0 standard. LG made the antenna and receiver used in that test. Since the FCC won’t give broadcasters a second channel to use for the new format during the transition like it did with 1.0, it’s going to be a hard cutover, so some means of introducing the new technology will be necessary. Everyone will need to have the new tuner before the switch flips, and that could take a couple years to fully roll out.


Surround Sound from a Single Speaker

Sure, we already have sound bars, but this is different. This is one speaker, mounted in your ceiling, that can aim sound in any direction, or all directions. There already relying on, and working to perfect, shifted and reflected sound in technologies like Atmos. Why not use a single source mounted where your ceiling light or ceiling fan used to be, heck maybe even build lights into it, and there you go. Could set the stage for 360 projection down the road.



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