CEATEC Consumer Electronics Convention in Japan Kicks off with 4K TVs and a Surprise or Two

by on October 7, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – October 7, 2014

The largest consumer electronics and Information Technology convention kicked off on Tuesday of this week in the Chiba Prefecture with a full plethora of major companies in both industries showing off their latest concept or production products and the research they’re working on to come up with even more innovative devices.

The technologies that were put on display in Chiba ranged widely from 4K TVs to wearable electronics to robots.

Most prominent, as far as consumer electronics go, were the displays of some of the latest 4K TVs by major Japanese and even foreign manufacturers who sell on the Japanese market.

The overall market for 4K TV technology is taking off at an astonishing pace but in Japan itself, the future of 4K resolution is even more ambitious than in many overseas markets.

First of all, there are the exploding sales of 4K TVs inside Japan, which are growing as prices for the technology drop steadily. In fact, according to a voice straight from the industry itself, “We are seeing a steady growth in large-size 4K TVs from sales results compared with last year”. These were the words of Tadamichi Atsumi, a team manager in the consumer electronics products section at Sharp Corporation.

In 2014 so far, 4K TV sales on the Japanese market have accounted for a whopping 22% of the overall TV market when it comes to screens of 50 inches or more. This is an increase of 3.8% from 2013 and represents a market penetration well above the worldwide average of 7% for 4K TVs.

Beyond 4K TV sales, Japan is also one of the most far-sighted investors in the future of 4K Today. Both the JSAT national broadcasting corporation and the Japanese government are developing plans for the unveiling of at least a few new 4K broadcast channels and the Japanese government wants to make Ultra HD broadcasting capacity all the way up to 8K Ultra HD levels a part of the national broadcast infrastructure by 2018, two years before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Sharp is just one of the companies displaying 4K TVs at CEATEC, with their own Aquos line of Ultra HD sets being presented.

Panasonic is also on the scene at the trade show with its large booth which the company has dubbed “4K World”. The company, which is also a major player in the Ultra HD TV industry and has recently unveiled a number of new TVs is using CEATEC to display its Viera brand line of sets such as the highly acclaimed AX900 series.

In two interesting twists, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, which until recently was rather silent on the consumer entertainment electronics front is also showcasing its first ever 4K TV sets in the form of its “Real” brand of televisions, which are expected to go on sale at the end of October.

Mitsubishi "Real" 4K TV models

Mitsubishi Corporation’s new 4K TVs are one of the surprises at CEATEC 2014 in Japan

And finally, we have the conspicuous absence of Sony, who is arguably the world leader in the production of Ultra HD TVs. The company didn’t show up to CEATEC despite having attended every year since 2000. This is all the more surprising considering the efforts they’ve put into promoting their own line of Ultra HD technologies at numerous other major events throughout 2014. According to spokespeople working for Sony, the corporation has decided to invest the funds that could have gone to CEATEC on internal structural reforms.

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