Steve Winter, Special to wtop.com
LAS VEGAS - In the mid-1990s, Samsung arrived on the global electronics scene.
Having created their first liquid crystal display in 1995 - the element that would later serve as the defining feature of their entire television product line - the South Korean company emerged as a low cost alternative to Panasonic, Philips, Sony and Sharp.
Within years, Samsung made the leap from a low-cost provider of top-quality electronics to its present status a global leader, having generated $280 trillion in worldwide sales in 2010.
Samsung is now the world's largest mobile phone maker by unit sales.
Now from China comes Hisense, and the question bears asking - will Hisense become the next Samsung?
Having launched only last year at CES, Hisense products were shown at one of the consumer electronics show's largest and most prominent locations - the entrance to the Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall.
Hinsense's neighbors were all the big boys - Sony, Panasonic, LG, Sharp Toshiba included.
The Chinese company is showcasing its vast product lines ranging from smart watches and phones to the industry favorite Ultra HD and 4K TV.
Offering dazzling, pristine images with four times the resolution of Ultra HD, 4K renders unparalleled detail.
Translating it into numbers, 4K TV provides 8.3 million pixels vs. HTDV's paltry 2.2 million.
With a full line of new televisions on display, Hisense is clearly playing cat- and-mouse with its bigger brothers while also serving as a true barometer for the industry.
Two years ago, 3-D TV was the key. Every manufacturer started down that road and many introduced products that delivered content without the need for 3-D glasses.
And while Hisense also continues to offer Glass Free 3-D, this year they are introducing their innovative Vidaa Series Smart TV, a Curved UHD TV, a new HD Series UDH/U-LED TV, their H4 Roku TV (which allows for receipt of streamed content) and their H6 Smart TV Series with latest Google TV services powered by Android 4.2.2.
Hisense has also followed a familiar path in which an emerging company manufactures original equipment manufacturers, or OEM,products for larger, more familiar names before ultimately launching their own proprietary line under their own brand.
Many of their competitors started this way and look where they are today.
Are the big boys now looking over their shoulders?
Video by Kenny Fried
Editors Note: Longtime CES attendees Steve Winter and Kenny Fried have been contributing reports from the show. In their day jobs, they are public relations professionals with Sage Communications. During CES they have not been reporting on any of their clients' products or those of direct competitors.
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