Next Generation TV’s 2015 and beyond

Next Generation TV’s 2015 and beyond
 All the big TV manufacturers were showcasing the latest in television sets technology at this year’s 2015 CES show.  Here are the highlights of the latest and greatest TV technology coming to your 2015

The TV winners for 2015

4K is all the rage

1080p sets will still be out there, but TV makers want you to buy 4K sets, despite a current lack of content and marginal increase in image quality for most viewers. If you’re going to buy a TV in 2015, you will be hard-pressed to find sets that don’t support 4K resolution (3840×2160 pixels).

Consumers are going to have to evaluate whether they want to pay a premium for some of the higher-end display technology, like 4K TV technology. Samsung ssentially abandoning OLED in favor of quantum dot technology by introducing it under the moniker SUHD TV.  Quantum dots are nanomaterials that are designed to absorb light of one color and emit it as another color. By applying of film of this material to the back of the screen, TV manufacturers are able to produce an improved color gamut and saturation at a lower cost than OLED.

It is going to be at least another year or two until manufacturing costs on OLED come down and bring it in to the mainstream. OLED remains the most expensive display technology out there, and while it was at this year’s show, it was primarily LG pushing new OLED sets.

4K video cameras like the Sony 4K Handycam and other professional video cameras on display should gradually ease the current lack of native 4K content.  In order to benefit from the very high resolution of a 4K, there is a need for more content and content creation tools.

tv 2015Curved screens

With Samsung even showing a giant 105″ bendable display most TV makers are pushing curved screens as a premium option, . We believe PC users will have a large interest in curved multi-monitor setup, however we remain skeptical of the value of a curved display to the typical living room viewer.

Smart TV Operating Systems battles

CES 2015 was a bad year for Google’s Android TV operating system, with a number of big manufacturers charting their own course to prevent Google’s dominance in the living room.  TV makers are quietly fighting an OS battle for their TV sets, with a number of manufacturers diverging from Android while others double-down on it.

In the most interesting twist of 2015, Panasonic introduced the first TVs built with the Firefox OS.    Sony re-emphasized their use of Android TV, touting familiarity of Android to smartphone users. Sharp also continues using Android. LG is committed to WebOS. Samsung debuted its new Smart TV OS based on the company’s in-house Linux distribution, Tizen.

short projectorSony short throw projectors

On display in the Sony Life Space UX living room demo area, our favorite TV technology from CES 2015 were the Sony short throw projectors.  Usually a video projector needs to be 6′-8′ away from its screen to project a massive image, meaning you’ve got to mount the projector someone on the ceiling. A short throw projector is able to accomplish the same thing from a couple inches away from the wall from a tiny form factor.

Sony’s demo showed a tiny projector that is able to create a 22″-71″ screen on any wall or even in the shower. The living room version was unbelievable. A modest pedestal just a couple inches from the wall was able to cast a giant 66″-147″ 4K image on the wall.  A ceiling-mounted version in a bedroom was no bigger than a standard light fixture and projected a giant screen right on the ceiling above a bed.

2015 Losers

3D TV is a thing of the past

3D glasses or demos were conspicuously absent from the show floor. We attended all of the press conferences from the major TV manufacturers (Panasonic, Sharp, LG, Sony, Samsung ) and didn’t hear a word about 3D. Given the huge hype that 3D TV got at CES in year’s past, I think it’s fair to say that 3D TV is dead.

What’s on the next horizon

8K teasers

Hovering in all of the major TV manufacturers’ booths were 8K sets (7680 x 4320 pixels). Little was said about these super high resolution sets, other than as exotic display pieces. While TV manufacturers may master the creation of 8K sets, it is hard to imagine the content creation infrastructure catching up to that resolution any time soon, as they are just getting started creating 4K content.

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