CES is always exciting, surprises always abound, and news is always plentiful. This year’s show did not disappoint on any front by any measure.

As we did last year, the Kannuu team attended CES en masse, and while schedules were filled meeting with customers (present & perspective), partners, industry influentials and friends (old and new), we still did our best to take in latest and greatest CES had to offer.

Our mission, of course, is to spread the video-findability gospel according to Kannuu.  Video search and discovery across services and devices needs saving — and this is the cause Kannuu is committed to. (TV manufacturers would do well to join us — saving search & discovery just might be the key to reviving slumping sales and giving manufacturers a more influential position in the smart TV value chain.)

The sheer ridiculousness of individually searching siloed services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu, Crackle, etc.) and traditional channels pales only in comparison to the frustration of navigating that tortuous, onscreen keyboard.

Universal search using existing remote controls, advanced search & recommendation technology, and ‘aha’ visual prompts that intuit consumer desire is the missing link for making converged TV pay off. Period.

Sure, we’re fanatic about video finability in today’s multi-device, exploding content, rapidly converging world of viewing pleasure. We believe in what we’re doing and have no problem stating our case loudly and clearly: It’s high time for Kannuu!!

To this end, we’ve pulled together a roundup — and provided some perspective — of news stories from CES:

CES 2014 Trends: TV’s Future is Curvy, Smart, and 4K

Samsung unveils bendable TV

Kannuu Take: If smart CE manufacturers like Samsung can bend TV screens for a more stunning display, why can’t some tech wiz at one of these companies seamlessly tie together myriad back end systems & TV OS platforms so that consumers can simply use their remote to quickly and easily search across the growing number of traditional broadcast and new OTT channels to find what they want to watch fast. Universal search is the missing link for making converged TV pay off. The sheer ridiculousness of individually searching siloed services (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Vudu, Crackle, etc.) and traditional channels channel pales only in comparison to the utter foolishness and frustration of navigating that tortuous onscreen keyboard.

TV trends at CES: 4K, curves and smart TVs

Spec Sheet: the curving, flexing, and low-cost 4K TVs of CES 2014

Daily Report: ‘Smart TVs’ in the Spotlight at Consumer Electronics Show

Kannuu Take: Always glad to see the latest & greatest developments in smart TVs at CES. And this year does not disappoint. Some cool curves, stunning 4k visuals, more great content via better integration with IPTV delivery…  Now all that is needed is for someone to resurrect the remote. Simplify searching for video content across services. Consumers most often know what they want to watch, so making it fast, easy and fun to find this content is the key to smart TV success.

LG spills price, release details on its Ultra HD, OLED (flat or curved) and webOS TVs

WebOS lives on to make LG’s smart TVs smarter

Kannuu Take: Fate of webOS seems better than years past. Employing the OS to simplify video viewing experience across devices – particularly LG’s stellar lineup of smartTVs – is definitely a smart move. Add to this LG’s fab magic remote, and we may just have a CE leader in the smartTV space. All that remains is to notch up Magic Remote’s usability with Kannuu — a smart, intuitive, end-to-end solution for quickly finding video content on any device across expanding service offerings using ‘aha’ visual cues.

Roku getting into the smart TV game with Roku TV

It will be just like your Roku set-top box, only in TV form

Kannuu Take: Smart move, Roku. And your simplified remote is quickly becoming the consumers’ favorite. But why, pray tell, would you keep that tortuous keyboard for universal search? In other words — for the non-techie Roku business folks — why absorb the high cost of search fail & bail? Why not leverage the lovable Roku remote for fast & easy findability of video content across services. It’s possible now, as in right now. Roku, meet Kannuu!!

CES 2014: Verizon Debuts its End-to-End Solution

Kannuu Take: Wow! These VDMS execs get it — from the mess that is ‘cobbled together’ solutions to the need for ‘one throat to choke.’ For consumers, this translates directly into the needed (yet amazingly still lacking) ability to quickly find video content across services and devices – with all the back end technological wizardry working seamlessly and invisibly.

Cisco CEO John Chambers: 2014 is the “Inflection Point” for the Internet

Sony To Test Cloud-Based Cable Television

Kannuu Take: Kudos to Sony. More cloud-based offerings from more device manufacturers and service providers means more quality choices for consumers’ viewing pleasure. Ah, there’s the rub. With so much quality video content across so many services, how can consumers quickly and easily find what they want to watch where, when and on what device they want. Alas, Kannuu is here to save your video-viewing days & nights!

2014: The year connected TVs go simple

Kannuu Take: Kannuu is working mightily to make this prophetic vision a reality!

By Todd Viegut, Kannuu CEO

Content is king in today’s video-rich world, but he serves at the pleasure of consumers — a truism all service providers must take to heart if they want to remain relevant.

Video viewership as a whole — traditional, linear programming, VOD, OTT, Web, etc., is on the rise. According to Nielsen, the average American consumes nearly 40 hours of video content each week. ComScore reports 210% growth in online video views between 2009 and 2013 (14.8 billion vs. 46 billion), and according to MRG, continued adoption of smart TVs, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and other connected devices has fueled more than 66 million subscriptions to streaming video on demand services, pushing the market valuation to a whopping $4.7 billion.

Latest findings from the Ooyala Q3 Global Video Index underscore the continued, strong emergence of multi-screen viewing, noting that since January of 2013, the share of tablet and mobile video plays has shot up 74%, and year-over-year mobile tablet video share has grown 133%.

As measurement firms race to play catch up in providing advertisers with a reliable and meaningful, cross-platform metric that ties together video viewing across all platforms — PayTV, IPTV, mobile, tablet, etc., consumers are way ahead, having already embraced ubiquitous connectivity and multi-screen viewing as a way of life. In a typical day, 77% of TV viewers, according to Google, use another device at the same time.

The bottom line: the volume of video views has never been higher, competition for viewers has never been fiercer, and topping all, consumers have never had greater choice when it comes to what, where and how they’ll watch their video content of choice — presenting service providers across the board with an unprecedented Gordian Knot of obstacle and opportunity.

With video content growing exponentially, smart TVs nearing ubiquity, and watching video on mobile devices now an inalienable right, ‘findability’ is key to consumer satisfaction and service provider success. Period.

Consumers crave instant ‘findability,’ yet the wealth of options before them in terms of content, devices and timing makes finding exactly what they want, when and where they want, frustrating beyond belief.

Given the multitude of devices and diversity of back-end systems and technologies, the enormous metadata associated with digital video content — dynamic, persistent, unstructured (social) — and the convergence of traditional broadcast, VOD and IPTV, it is understandable why service providers (new and old) are struggling mightily (and failing miserably) to provide consumers with a video search and discovery solution that, simply put, makes finding exactly what they want to watch amidst this growing array of choice fast, easy and fun.

Constrained input devices, low-powered hardware, dynamic content, and bandwidth limitations further exacerbate the problem.

But complexity should never spill over into the user experience — which is exactly where search and discovery of video content stands today as providers wrestle to retrofit aged systems, mitigate the challenge of big data, apply business rules and search and recommendation algorithms, and hide all of this technological wizardry behind — dare we say — an eloquent user interface that works seamlessly and consistently across all screens.

Content will always be king, to be sure. And we can expect the creation and competition for quality video content to reach a fever pitch in the months and years ahead — which is good, because it’s what consumers want.

Let’s just not forget that in today’s hyper-competitive market, the race for quality video content cannot be cleaved from the consumers’ desire to easily find it.

Whichever service provider offers the best solution for consolidated search and discovery across multiple video services and devices will own the customer — and a healthy cut of all revenue opportunities associated with that privileged relationship.