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The future of TV, virtual reality on display at CES 2016

If CES 2016 is anything to go by, the future of how we enjoy home entertainment is here.

From the new wave of High Dynamic Range (HDR) televisions to the arrival of virtual reality, the floor of the consumer electronics and technology trade show in Las Vegas has been filled with examples of how home entertainment is changing. CNET reporter Kara Tsuboi was on hand to take a look at the screens of the future and the new ways people will be viewing them in their living rooms.

The future of TV

When it comes to TV monitors, thin is in. Companies like Sony, Samsung, LG and other manufacturers are slimming down their TV screens even further this year. CNET Senior Editor David Katzmaier notes that latest TV set from LG is merely a tenth of an inch thick, or the about the thickness of four credit cards.

They might be sleek, but what about picture quality? Welcome to the age of HDR. While 4K was the big news in television in recent years, HDR promises an even brighter, crisper image.

"The idea there is you have improved color and you have improved range from black-to-white so the picture can look a lot better," Katzmaier said. "The catch phrase is not just more pixels than 4K but better pixels with HDR."

For consumers who can't wait to get their hands on one, be warned that this technology is still new and expensive. There's also not much content currently being produced in the HDR format ready to be viewed through these screens.

"There's only a few guys putting it out, there's only a handful of movies that can handle it (HDR)," Katzmaier stressed. "So, we're going to see alot of it coming next year, but how good it's going to be, how it translates into the home is going to be really fun to watch."

Virtual reality

There is also a lot of buzz at CES about some much smaller screens: those encased in virtual reality headsets. Headsets like Oculus Rift and HTV Vive are hitting the market later this year.

"People are very interested in trying to figure out how to make this look more interesting, be easier to use, more affordable and have ways to interact and be in places that aren't just about putting it in your face," CNET Senior Editor Scott Stein said of how developers plan on making virtual reality attractive to consumers.

There are various ways companies are hoping to enhance virtual reality further -- some more appealing than others. For those hoping to make it a full-body experience, there are armchairs that move and shake in sync with a movie you're watching through your virtual reality headset.

From video games to video-making, Stein added that the next wave of this technology involves consumers creating their own virtual reality content.

"You're going to see a ton of, do-it-yourself, 360-degree VR cameras that will let you shoot video that will then be seen with VR headsets," he said.

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