LAS VEGAS — Televisions wider than sedans and thinner than a deck of cards will be on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show this week. They will be packed with so many more pixels that individual blades of grass will stand out on a football field, as will every pockmark and wrinkle on celebrities.
Computer screens will be small enough to fit on your wrist and durable enough to be stitched into clothing. And they will come in flexible plastics that can bend and twist.
Electronics makers will showcase these products as they try to play catchup to the breakthroughs by Apple and Google, which have made the tablet and the smartphone must-have wares. But you won't see much of that innovation at the world's largest tech show, where leading Silicon Valley giants rarely introduce new products amid a flood of competing tech news.
Instead, rivals Samsung, Intel, Sony, LG and Microsoft will dominate the tech show-and-tell with a slew of whiz-bang products meant to keep consumers buying new gear.
About 213 million high-definition televisions were expected to have sold globally by the end of 2012. TV makers need to keep consumers coming back, so they are introducing Ultra HD televisions that make the HDTV of five years ago look outdated. Showcased by Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony, these TVs have 8 million pixels — four times the number of previous versions.
Ultra HDTVs are also super jumbo. Westinghouse is expected to unveil a 112-inch TV, and Sony, Samsung and LG will display 84-inch screens. Samsung and LG are going super small, too, with 5.5-inch flexible screens to be used in future e-readers, smartphones and tablets.
Analysts say many of the televisions and multimedia devices at this week's show won't make it to retail shelves. For example, recent pushes for 3-D and Internet-enabled TVs haven't appealed to mainstream consumers.