2020 the TV that most people want to buy is no longer expensive and affordable.
By Chicky Dodgson 2020-02-03 1767 0
But unlike CES in the past, you will find that people actually buy more televisions. At CES exhibition every year, most people are attracted by concept TV, while many important mid-range TVs are often ignored. High-end technology has been declining for years when most people cannot afford it or are impractical. The new HDMI 2.1standard begins to open up a number of features that used to be unique to market segments.
OLED TV is a good example of high-end technology entering the mid-market. Just a few years ago, they were unaffordable for most people, but last year we began to see discounts on LG televisions to the most important $1000 mark, the ceiling for 90 per cent buyers, according to NPD sales data. Even then, OLED televisions will still be available only on larger televisions, which poses another barrier to entry for many families.
However, at the 2020 International Consumer Electronics Show, we saw signs of change. Vizio, which has strength in affordable televisions, announced that it would release the OLED model this year, while Skyworth said it planned to introduce OLED TVs to the US market for the first time. Meanwhile, LG and Sony, which have been making OLED TVs for years, have announced the 48-inch version, which is the first time we have seen a 4K OLED TV with a size less than 55 inches. Prices for the three models have not yet been announced, but all indications are that the technology is providing affordability and accessibility to the mass market.
The HDMI 2.1standard is also emerging at this year's show, not because of its top specifications (such as 4K for 120Hz or 8K for 60Hz), but because it brings new features. Once the console catches the stage, features such as variable refresh rate technology will bring huge benefits to gamers, while other features, such as support for Dynamic HDR, will improve picture quality for TV and movie content.
These features are not entirely new. Variable refresh rate technology has been used on PC displays for several years, and dynamic HDR can be obtained through dynamic metadata contained in the Dolby Horizon (Dolby Vision) and HDR10 + standards. But HDMI 2.1may soon turn it into a basic standardized TV function. In theory, you don't have to make sure that certain models of Samsung TVs are paired with Xbox One or LG TVs, but with game PC with Nvidia to get a variable refresh rate. Instead, you should end up mixing and matching HDMI 2.1devices to make these benefits standard.
That's the theoretical future, and at CES 2020, we see TV makers moving towards it. Vizio said it had upgraded its product line, while LG and Sony had confirmed support for their 8K models. However, we still have a long way to go to fully understand all the features of HDMI 2.1s. TV manufacturers can choose which standard features to support, and many manufacturers are currently doing so. For example, in simplifying the Sony A8H 4K OLED, HDTVTest pointed out that Sony's latest 4K OLED only supports one of the many features of the HDMI 2.1standard: eARC. We still have a long way to go to make the advantages of HDMI 2.1ubiquitous.
In addition to the devices to be launched this year, the CES is also a show. we can see what the TV will look like in a few years' time. Samsung's frameless 8K TV Q950 is a good example. This is not because it has 8K resolution, but because given the development trend of TV design, the idea of a TV with almost no frame seems very desirable and almost inevitable. Not to mention that manufacturers have been very good at almost eliminating the screen borders on smartphones, thus winning the favor of consumers. The most heated discussion about the Samsung frameless 8K TV Q950 is that they want the frameless design to be used on the 4K TV, which seems to bode well for its broader needs.
8K TV made its debut again at this year's exhibition, and it is unclear whether the new resolution is the future of television, but everyone can agree that this is definitely not now. Up to now, the real 8K content more or less does not exist, not to mention widespread popularity into every household. In fact, because LG and Samsung are currently engaged in a small proxy battle over how to accurately measure about 8K of about 30 million pixels, this seems to make us feel like we have taken a step back in the past 12 months.
MicroLED is the ultimate TV technology in the category of "it may be the future, but it's hard to say now." Samsung announced a new size microLED TV this year, but it didn't make as much of a stir at the 2020 International Consumer Electronics Show as it used to. This may have something to do with the fact that this is the third year we have seen The Wall's modular panels in the showroom, the first year since they were actually sold. We know that this technology works, and we know that it can theoretically offer the world's best compromise between OLED and LCD, but Samsung has not yet proved that it can make these televisions and sell them at prices acceptable to ordinary people. I can afford it, not to mention the size that actually fits most families.
Finally, I would like to mention the rolling TV and rotary TV of CES 2020. Rimless, 8K and microLED TVs may one day become mainstream devices, but if the same thing happens, you may be surprised that TVs like Samsung's Sero have a mechanical bracket that rotates the display 90 degrees to better display the various vertical videos that can be seen on Instagram or TikTok.
Despite the limitations of the TV, which is only 43 inches large and provides enough room for rotation, forgetting that it currently retails for 1.95 million won ($1600) in South Korea, consider the length of a typical vertical video. They are made for mobile devices, they are very short, and the idea of watching them comfortably in front of my TV is strange to me. I like creativity, but I don't see the usefulness of design.
In stark contrast, LG's curly TV still feels completely out of reach. LG has renewed its commitment to release its curly TV this year, but keep in mind that it made a similar request last year until it remained completely silent for 12 months. If it does, there are reports that it could cost 60000 dollars, but that doesn't change the consumer perception that it's just a nominal release.
CES is an exhibition of news events and keynote speeches that are almost entirely obsessed with the future of technology. However, in addition to flashy concepts and demonstrations, the high-end history of the television industry is slowly but certainly integrated into its current mainstream products. We will see how much progress manufacturers have made when they start to announce fixed prices for the coming months.
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