Modern life is different in so many ways to what our parents, and especially our grandparents, new to be life. Even in the past ten to twenty years, we’ve had an explosion of technology, lifestyle changes and interconnectivity – we’ve lived through the rise of the internet. We’ve lived through a massive recession which has altered how the economy works. We’ve seen innovation come and go, and the way we live our lives has changed accordingly.
However, one thing hasn’t changed since the 50′s. The living room is the TV room. The television is a constant in our lives, as it was in our parent’s lives and our grandparent’s lives. Even with the onslaught of alternatives, televisions remain the main piece of furniture in our living rooms.
Yet, the type of TV certainly has shifted. Gone are the massive monitors that took up half a room, which have all been replaced by sleek designs. We have high definition television, smart TV’s that are powerful like computers, computer gaming and 3D TV. For a technology that operates in the same way to those first television sets decades ago, there sure has been a lot of innovation.
It all must have you wondering what’s in store.
This article will give you a rundown of some of the technologies which are brand new, or so new they are still coming to fruition in the year 2015.
Don’t get high definition confused with High Dynamic Range. One has been with us for a while now, and one is just surfacing on our screens. Televisions with High Dynamic Range are better able to show brightness – meaning darker darks and brighter whites. This makes a huge difference in picture quality. The upgrades from this year are huge in terms of technology – going from 750 to 1000 nits; an increase of one third.
OLED TV’s have crystal-clear pictures. Especially when combined with 4k, which we’ll talk about later. LG lead the way in the manufacture of this type of television, which creates color richness beyond what a normal HDTV can produce. To this point, OLED has not been affordable – but LG seem to have cracked the code of manufacture at an affordable price for consumers, so expect to hear more about this in the near future.
Samsung is putting its back behind Quantum Dots as opposed to LG’s OLED above. This will spark a war – as both technologies are different means of attaining the same thing; better pictures with more richness and quality. The quantum dot type of picture production first appeared in 2013 in a Sony television. The technology definitely works, and definitely produces a high quality picture. The war between Samsung and LG will decide which technology is better – but as consumers, a tech war between these two television giants is good for everyone.
More Smart TV stuff.
Smart TV is one of the technologies of the past few years which have yet to realize its potential. It seems that between computers, internet television and gaming consoles, the Smart TV has yet to find its place in the consumers mind. This year, improvements to television web browsing, gaming and more content providers looking to Smart televisions as platforms of their own will likely shift the balance in the direction of making smart TV’s more of a force.
If you’re into television and technology, you’ll probably already be aware of 4k television. You might even wonder why it’s made our list – after all, 4k television has already been around for a while, and televisions have it built in. Yet, content providers have been lagging behind for some time. Essentially, the technology is there, the content isn’t. This is now changing, with content providers such as Amazon providing more and more 3D content.
Curved and Bendable Screens
So far, Samsung are the only manufacturers to take the curved screen seriously as relevant new technology. Yet, their insistence that curved screens aren’t just a gimmick means that undoubtedly, other manufacturers will want to see if they can grab a piece of the market share. The next year or so will be a deciding factor as to whether curved screens will be the future, or a relic of history.
Just as content providers are starting to catch up with 4k technology, there exists a new technological high point on the horizon: 8k programming.
Phillips have announced that they will have 8k televisions available to the public by 2016, and LG, Samsung and Sharp are at least level with them, if not ahead – having already shown 8k prototypes at various tech shows previously.
In built gaming
One of the most exciting things about smart TV’s that has yet to manifest is their ability to play games. Whilst Smart TV’s have built-in games, they have been completely outclassed by the various offerings from games consoles. However, this year will see the first Smart TV’s with access to PlayStation Now, the online store which lets you download games. You’ll be able to do this for the first time without owning a console. This will make a huge difference in the technology.
Just in case size matters for you, good news: Even bigger screens are on the horizon. Whilst this isn’t a new “feature” per se, the fact that televisions have bigger screens every year, and this trend is continuing, shows that end consumers have the capacity to build their own cinema systems that get ever closer to actual cinemas.
Televisions use a lot of power. They have a relatively huge carbon footprint. So any news about them becoming more energy efficient is to be welcomed. Also, with the range of technologies listed above, television use is going to be ever-more expensive and power-hungry, and so there will be moves by television manufacturers to limit this; after all, the reason plasma televisions never took off was because they couldn’t maintain output at a low power level. With HDR, this will be an area manufacturers need to research.