Between The Lines

While tectonic shifts in the tech industry have seen CES and its ilk decrease in relevance over the past decade, some product categories have been less affected by the rise of all-encompassing platforms pushed by software titans. For these forms of consumer electronics, it remains entirely appropriate to be trotted out on a Las Vegas stage with incremental updates every year.

To put it another way, it’s never not going to be fun to go to CES and look at a bunch of awesome screens.

TV manufacturers were out in force this year, as they are every year. LG added Google Assistant and Alexa to its industry-leading OLED sets, and unveiled an 88-inch 8K OLED prototype. Sony added Dolby Vision support to its own OLED and LED TVs, while Panasonic got behind rival dynamic standard HDR10+. Samsung was actually quiet this year in terms of introducing new models, but continued to insist that QLED is a thing. And TCL’s excellent Roku-powered P-Series got a further improved successor in the 6 Series, which may well be the best value 4K TV of 2018.

But while CES is always going to be a major show for conventional TVs, we’re starting to see more interesting developments where TV technologies are moving to other types of displays — and back the other way.

Most notably, CES 2018 marked the first serious rollout of HDR capability to personal computers. Preceded by VESA’s recent launch of a spec for PC monitors called DisplayHDR, manufacturers including LG, Dell, and Viewsonic all launched compatible models. LG had the most compelling conventional monitor of the show by far, with its “5K ultrawide” 34WK95U that makes use of Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, 600-nit HDR, and the same nano-IPS tech used in the company’s LED TV range.

>There’s never been a better time to buy rectangles of pixels

The most impressive implementation of PC HDR at the show, however, came from an unlikely source: Nvidia. The GPU maker unveiled a new hardware spec called Big Format Gaming Displays — BFGD — designed to slot into ultimate PC gaming setups. Manufacturers like Asus, HP, and HP are all producing their own spin on the BFGD, using the same 65-inch 4K 120Hz HDR-capable panel from AUO. The difference between this and a 4K TV is where Nvidia comes in — BFGDs support the company’s G-Sync technology, which syncs the refresh rate of the display directly to the GPU’s output, meaning you get a smooth experience without any stuttering or tearing no matter what framerate your machine is capable of pushing.



Nvidia’s giant 4K gaming displays are a G-Sync dream come true

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The line between TVs and monitors is blurring
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