Variety’s 2014 Breakthrough of the Year Awards – celebrates talents from fields of film, TV, sports, music, comedy, technology, philanthropy, social media, innovators and pioneers; Endgadget Best of CES Awards – Nominees will be voted for based on innovation, quality of design, overall efficiency and market demand. UP Global LIVE Stage – Will feature panels with iconic entrepreneurs, VCs, media and other young companies. 20 speciality awards programs and events will be featured, including Last Gadget Standing. The 2014 CES runs January 7-10 in Las Vegas.
Minnesota Symphony Hassles – Music Director Osmo Vanska left the Minnesota Orchestra in early October, bringing to a sad end arguable the great music-making era in the orchestra’s 110-year history. The musicians vowed to carry on with their own independently-produced concert season. Management locked them out 13 months ago and the latest contract negotiations have collapsed. However, some top guest conductors and major soloists have agreed to join the orchestra in this subscription series, shaping up to feature at least one program each month. Former governor Arne Carlson says “It’s gone way beyond a labor dispute.” Some are wondering if the players shouldn’t form their own organization. Mayor-elect Betsy Hodges has supported the musicians publicly. The citizen’s group Orchestrate Excellence had been meeting with both sides, pushing for an accord. The current conductor is 90-year-old Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, but the negotiation talks have gone nowhere.
LG Shows 77-inch Curved-Screen UHD OLED – LG Electronics has launched a 77-inch UHD OLED curved-screen TV for the U.S. market. The office debut of the “set of the future” will be the January International CES. It has the twice the vertical and horizontal resolution of today’s HDTVs. A LG spokesman said “Consumers’ jaws literally drop when they see it, even more than HDTV.” Last year LG introduced the first 84-inch UHD set in the U.S. He also said that sales will be much higher, based on the additional number of screen sizes and players coming into the market. He said that today’s UHD TVs provide up-scaling “that gives consumers an incredible out-of-the-box experience, in near-4K resolution.” He also said that while good up-scaling is “an elegant near-term solution,” “There is still a need to develop 4K content.” He said many TV shows are already being shot in 4K today and 35mm feature films are relatively easy to convert as well. Also that retailers should show 1080p, up-scaled 4K and native 4K side-by-side so consumers could see the differences.
UHD TV Jumps to Prominence with Consumers – In last than a year UHD TV has gone from being a highly-anticipated technology to a viable and much-desired product. There are almost two dozen UHD TVs on the market and consumer recognition of the new technology is growing. There is a forecast of 57,000 UHD TVs shipping this tyear with adoption quickly ramping up to 450,000 in 2014. A CEA study found that 55% of those surveyed recognized and understood the term Ultra HD, while 64% did the same with Ultra High Definition. But 73% of the consumers asked had never heard of the phrase 4K. [That sounds more like it…Ed.]