TVs have been taking the world by storm since they became the primary source of news and entertainment in homes in the 1950s. Just a few decades later, in the 1990s, over 98% of American homes had a TV set. Today, new technology is being invented regularly to raise the bar for in-home entertainment standards.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
This year, brightness is a big deal. In 2014, there were televisions that offered an “amazing” 750 nits of brightness, which was a big step up from the 400 nits most had come to expect. Now, there are many manufactures creating televisions that exceed a thousand. This jump is a big deal in the TV industry and proposes even sharper images for a more life-like experience.
HDR televisions are still a little ways in the future as they are being perfected, but tech gurus are expecting to one day have complete HDR systems on the market. This will mean a change in how shows and movies are filmed in order to take full advantage of the dynamic range these televisions would offer. Basically, by using local dimming technology, an HDR TV would bring out the whites of a picture while keep the blacks as black as possible. In the end, this will result in a dynamic and a truly amazing presentation.
With contrast ratio being one of the most important aspects of picture quality, many are keeping their eyes on Dolby Vision as TV lovers around the world anxiously await the arrival of such life-like televisions.
Also known as “nanocrystals,” quantum dots are tiny particles. When supplied with energy, the dots glow a particular wavelength of color based on their own size. In 2013, Sony experimented with the technology with their W900A television. They used quantum dots and arranged them in a tube. A blue LED light was used to light up the screen, and the blue light also acted as an energizer for the red and green dots, which created a full, rich color spectrum on screen and fantastic picture quality. QD screens far exceed the quality of HD technology.
OLEDs, or “organic light-emitting diodes,” hold the title to producing the highest-quality picture so far on flat-panel displays. But, manufacturers are still in working with the technology and currently, any TV with an OLED display is too expensive for the everyday household. In fact, many TV manufactures have already stated that they will be focusing on 4k LED displays instead as OLEDs have so far proved unreliable and expensive.
This isn’t actually bad news for the industry of TV tech, as 4k displays can actually match the quality of an OLED with proper manufacturing and good settings. Sony and similar brands have announced they will be experimenting with the color gamut of their upcoming makes and will likely be employing QDs or similar means. Their attempts have the goal of solidifying color and making the pictures more dynamic. Many have already introduced their curved-screen TVs to the market, but the advertisements do little to explain the technology, which has many consumers (unaware of the purposes) disliking the idea and misunderstanding the purpose of the new screen shape.
With more experimenting and proper marketing, along with a model introduced at a lower price point, 4k TVs cool well be the new standard for the television industry. Leaders like Samsung have kept their plans under wraps, but from what we’ve seen so far this year, we can only expect an increase in picture quality and better models in the years to come.
With all the talk of new technology this year, there are also some declining trends in the world of television. Most famously, plasma screens are being continuously phased out. At a much slower rate, so are 1080p displays. While the HD trend won’t die overnight, OLEDs, QDs, and other technology will soon be making its way into the consumer marketplace and increase the standard of picture quality.
2015 has already seen a lot of changes and interesting developments in the world of TV tech. We can only expect more to come in the next few months as manufacturers silently compete to be the innovators in the new age of television. While it’s unlikely any OLED screens will come on to the market anytime soon, there’s a good chance that makers like Sony and Samsung will take advantage of quantum dot technology and pioneer television into the new standard of picture quality.