Motive: TV technology stays ahead of the curve
by Thomas van der Linde. In the 1950s, the world was rocked by the emergence of the first colour TVs. Now, 60 years later, even more exciting developments are taking place.
We have had a technology movement from CRT TVs to LCD TVs and LED displays, and find ourselves at present with the likes of UHD, HDR and OLED displays. With the advent of OLED and HDR, we are seeing the reinvention of display technology, with accurate depth of colour, and perfect blacks and whites on screen.
From the past to the present
TVs originally started life out as CRT (cathode-ray tube) technology back in the 1930s. Of course, there were advances in image quality and a transition from black-and-white to colour, but CRT technology did not radically change over the years.
By the 2000s, HD (high definition) and LCD (liquid crystal display) had all but replaced CRT. Full-HD resolution quickly became widespread and vast improvements in image quality and advancements in design followed suit. TVs started becoming flatter, slimmer and lighter, with higher resolution support and the ability to connect to many different devices.
Eventually, there was a transition into LED (light-emitting diode) technology, as well as smart functionality and 3D. Currently, we are in era where OLED, UHD and the emergence of HDR displays are changing the landscape.
The future is now
At present, there are emerging technologies that are making their way into current TV technology. One of these technologies is HDR (High Dynamic Range), which is a photographic technique that combines multiple exposures, resulting in brighter photographs with an increased level of detail. This means that the darkest and brightest parts of a scene can be seen more clearly.
For TVs, this means your video image will have the deepest blacks and brightest whites. Colours will also be vastly improved, with richer and deeper saturations, and the overall increase in luminosity is meant to make the TV experience better. The possibilities of combining HDR technology with OLEDs could lead to images with greater clarity, and even an infinite contrast ratio.
Even more so, OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs have been a breakthrough technology. What is different about OLED is that each pixel within a display can generate its own light. This differs from traditional LED and LCD TVs, which require some form of backlight to display an image.
The backlighting found in LED and LCD TVs can’t accurately render blacks as impressively as OLED. There is a noticeable difference in contrast ratios, overall colour accuracy and colour depth between these technologies.
Where we are heading?
All of these technologies are slowly making their way into TVs. Current TV ranges are embracing this evolution head on.
However, the future is with 4K resolution, which is gearing up to take over from 1080p or Full-HD. 4K televisions, also known as Ultra HD or UHD TVs, display a horizontal resolution in the 4000 pixel range. This effectively means that they have four times the resolution of standard HD.
Just as we witnessed the shift from NTSC and PAL to HD, the gradual progression into UHD will happen. At this moment in time, there is a shortage of 4K content, but this is changing as broadcasters create more native UHD content.
The trend in display technology is for increasingly higher resolutions. Soon OLED TVs will support 4K as a standard with HDR functionality.
On top of this, with current prices dropping for UHD TVs, the future is definitely now. Technologies such as 4K, OLED and UHD are only the beginning — today’s TV technology is staying well ahead of the curve.
Thomas van der Linde is the general manager of marketing at LG Electronics South Africa. He is responsible for building the LG Brand leadership across all business units within the organisation and across targeted premium audiences and channels.
“Motive” is a by-invitation-only column on MarkLives.com. Contributors are picked by the editors but generally don’t form part of our regular columnist lineup, unless the topic is off-column.
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