The consistent development of television technology over the last three decades has produced some pretty impressive results so far. From the bulky black and white sets of the 1970s to the slimline high definition screens of today, the progress of television technology does not appear to be slowing down. Which means that the televisions of the future could be something we can’t even imagine yet!
With providers such as BT Sports unveiling “ultimate channels” using 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos, television manufacturers are feeling the pressure to keep up with the latest technological trends. We take a look at the future of television technology and where it could end up next.
A few years ago, smart TVs were the exception, not the rule. However, these days they’re the default option when buying a new TV. Smart TVs are now expected to run the highest quality 2-dimensional image possible, which has seen technology shift from the standard 1920 x 1080 high definition pixel resolution to 4K Ultra HD.
This technology uses a display resolution of 3840 x 2160 which provides viewers with four times the detail of standard high definition, but only if the content has been filmed and broadcast at that resolution.
Broadcasters have cottoned on to the fact that these TVs have been on the market for some time and are now filming in 4K Ultra HD where possible. As the price of 4K television sets has decreased, there is less preventing people from buying them.
OLED and QLED
For a while, there were only two choices when it came to television screens – LCD or plasma. However, there are a few more contenders on the horizon. OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diodes) technology and QLED (Quantum Dot LED) displays are the latest developments in screen technology and both strive to ensure that the optimum colours, lighting and contrast are achieved on the screen.
While OLED screens have been on the scene for some time now, the technology has been expensive to produce, making it prohibitively expensive. This looks set to change, however, as manufacturers are working to bring these costs down.
QLED technology utilises quantum dots, which are nanometer-sized particles in television displays that emit brighter, more vibrant colours. This technology is still in the process of being developed, but once it is released, it is set to revolutionise television screens as we know them.
As virtual reality technology appears to be having such an impact on the world of gaming, it is no wonder that many are looking to see the impact that it could have on television. Although it could be argued that VR removes the social aspect of watching television (just picture the whole family with headsets on while watching the same show) there is a lot to be said for the options it offers, such as the streaming of live events as well as 360 filmed interviews and programs.
High Dynamic Range
Where 4K Ultra HD is about the pixel resolution, High Dynamic Range (HDR) focuses on the contrast and colour of the image. This means it enables deeper blacks and whiter whites to appear on the screen along with a wider range of colours. This creates a more vibrant picture and a more life-like experience for the viewer.
From 4K Ultra HD and High Dynamic Range to QLED and Virtual Reality, television screen technology has a myriad of roads open to it. As the technology continually advances and broadcasters work to keep up with the changes, it is anyone’s guess what the TVs of tomorrow could look like.