User interfaces have become cleaner. Companies including LG Electronics have invested heavily in software such as the new webOS offering. Samsung has gone out on a limb with a stunning new range of Curved TV's that like prior years set the Company apart from its competitors.
Last year Samsung had a $40,000, 85" 4K TV. This year, Curved is the next big thing.
LG also has curved, along with a new range of premium 4K TV's.
Panasonic on the other hand, will shortly release a new range of top end 4K TV's that come with built in dual tuners. The feature allows owners to record a program at home and then watch it on a tablet or smartphone.
But there is a snag. The World Cup is the biggest single sporting event in the world and that means one thing for the TV industry - it presented the biggest opportunity to sell new sets.
The only problem is that Australians could not watch the World Cup in 4K. In fact Australians are being right royally screwed by the free to air TV networks, which don't even put major sporting events to air in Full HD 1080p.
Channel Nine had millions watching the State Of Origin Series downgraded to 720 x 576i because the network is refusing to invest in 1080p bandwidth.
While they shoot the event in 1920 x 1080i, the signal is down converted to 720x576i standard definition.
Even 720p does NOT exist in Australia on commercial channels, despite it being available in a lot of third world Countries.
The only network doing a good job of delivering HD TV is Foxtel who delivers sporting events in HD. SBS is also putting content to air in HD.
When the Nine Network replays an NRL game on GO it is in 1920 x 1080i, but not on its main free to air TV channel.
Ultra High Definition (UHD), or 4K, sets dominated CES 2014. They are now becoming available at reasonably affordable prices.
"We believe that the UHD TV era will unfold this year," a Samsung spokesperson said recently.
There's just one problem - no-one in Australia could actually watch the World Cup in 4K.
LG executives agree. So does Sony, who is on record as saying "The World Cup is a vehicle to introduce our new technologies."
''A new TV format on the market in time for this year's World Cup in Brazil sounds like perfect timing".
Only three matches at this year's World Cup in Brazil were filmed in the format, with Sony handling the production. These will form part of the official World Cup documentary movie, which can be downloaded at some point after the tournament is over.