The Future of TV Technology

Oct 25

The Future of TV Technology

In recent years we’ve seen great leaps forward in both the size of our televisions and the picture quality. CRT TVs have been replaced with super-slim LED sets and HD and 3D viewing is common in most households these days. So what’s the future of TV technology and what can we expect next?

Japanese broadcaster Nippon Housou Kyoukai (NHK) is currently at the forefront of TV technology and recently showcased prototypes of Super Hi-Vision televisions they expect we’ll be watching in years to come. They showed us units displaying breathtaking resolution on huge screens. The current top end TVs really do pale in comparison to these so let’s look at the technology they use.

Super Hi-Vision, sometimes called Ultra HDTV, is NHK’s advanced 7680 x 4320 high definition TV format. To put things into perspective, a current Full HD 1080p screen would cover only a sixteenth of a Super Hi-Vision screen. The format was demonstrated by NHK on the world’s biggest plasma TV from Panasonic, measuring a collossal 145 inches. The quality is similar to sitting in the cinema and 22.2 multichannel surround sound makes you think that you’re actually there. Also on display was Sharp’s 85 inch LCD panel which is a slightly more practical size for a home television. Saying that, I suppose it all depends on the size of your room!

You might be sufficiently happy with your current TV so, apart from increased size and resolution, what other benefits will Super Hi-Vision offer? NHK showed a touchscreen interface allowing you to remotely zoom, pinch and pan around the screen. Zooming in on an image 16x will give the same picture clarity as a 1080p TV. When you’re watching a sports event you’ll be able to zoom in and track an individual player as easily as finding a petrol station on Google Maps.

NHK and the BBC collaborated during the London Olympics and showed the Olympics in Super Hi-Vision in theatres in London, Glasgow and Bradford. Similar screenings were also shown in Washington DC, Tokyo and Fukushima.

With OLED TVs still in their early stages, it appears that Super Hi-Vision is going to rapidly follow in its footsteps. All in all, it’s looking like a bright future for viewers.

David Ingram is a technology writer with a passion for big screen TV’s and pocket sized gadgets. His latest purchase was the Sony KDL-40EX653, and he’s currently investigating which tablet to add to his collection next.