Never mind the ballyhoo about ultra-high definition televisions that Samsung, Sony, Sharp, LG, Panasonic and other consumer electronics manufacturers will generate this week at the annual International CES gadget confab in Las Vegas. Only a few consumers have the money and desire to buy one of these beautiful but pricey sets which pack four times as many pixels as a conventional HD television: U.S. consumers will buy just 1.4M ultra-HD sets in 2016, accounting for 5% of all sales, the Consumer Electronics Association projected today. But it looks like the more meaningful announcements for ordinary TV viewers will come this week from companies that want to help them harness their small screens — smartphones and tablets. CEA Senior Analyst Shawn Dubravac says that consumers are becoming “digital omnivores,” adding that “the second screen is now robust.” Dish Network, which likes to use CES to unveil its new technologies, apparently agrees: It’s teasing an announcement tomorrow about “our newest take on mobility.” And this evening it unveiled an iPad app, which will be available this month, that subscribers who have the company’s Hopper DVR can use to help them become more engaged with their TVs. It will alert them to other shows that are hot at the moment — for example it will use Thuuz ratings to identify sports events that are becoming especially exciting. The iPad will serve as a remote control if they want to jump to another channel, or see what else is on. In addition the app it will feed Facebook and Twitter messages about the show that they’re currently viewing.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.