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Video Delivery Routes Take on Fresh Forms at CES

The Consumer Electronics Show each year offers a look at the new technologies that will end up in homes — and provide the entertainment industry with new ways to distribute content. Here’s what stood out in Las Vegas last week:

Dish’s Sling TV: Targeting millennials, a demographic that the satcaster says it currently doesn’t reach very well, Dish launched this new over-the-top service. For $20 a month, it offers live TV channels, including ESPN and exclusive content from Maker Studios. More partners are expected to join the venture, and likely will do so sooner if Sling TV catches on with the younger audience.

GoPro Rivals: With GoPro turning into a full-fledged entertainment company, including online distribution, videogame consoles and now smart TVs, other companies are looking to steal some market share, with Sony heavily promoting its ultralight Action Cam, which can now shoot in 4K. Targeted more toward non-pros, HTC introduced its RE, a periscope-like camera that can shoot HD video.

Smarter Smart TVs: In addition to showing off a new line of TVs that are 5mm thick (thinner than the Xperia smartphone), Sony also unveiled its Android-powered smart TV, meant to make searching for shows and buying video content easier (and surely provide the Google Play store with a revenue boost). Samsung TVs now run on the Web-powered Tizen system; Roku powers TVs from Haier, Hisense and Insignia.

Curves are in vogue: The major TV manufacturers showed off new Ultra-HD flatscreens that not only feature crisp visuals but curved screens. Last year, half of the TVs that Samsung sold were curved displays, so it was no surprise it put them in the spotlight at CES, along with an 88-inch screen that can bend at the press of a button. Smartphone-makers also are promoting curves, with LG touting its newest Flex G2 handset.

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