Latest TV sales figures show the consumer is interested in always larger and better equipped TVs. In the first half year of 2017, 58% of all TVs* sold worldwide were smart. Last year, the share was at 50%. Smart TVs allow the seamless connection between live TV and any content on demand, and the consumer can watch his or her desired content whenever he or she wants. Picture quality of TVs has improved strongly. UHD/4K allows more details by a higher resolution, better contrast levels are produced by HDR (High Dynamic Range) and more colours become visible by a Wider Colour Gamut (WCG). 29% of all TVs sold in 2017 were capable of UHD resolution and their share will grow further. Premium LED TVs allow very high brightness levels, while OLED TV can produce pure black. Both produce a picture quality that is coming closer to reality. 43-inch is currently the average TV size worldwide and it’s constantly growing. In 2015, the value was just at 40-inch. *Excluding North America
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State of Play
The consumer TV market is still dominated by traditional LCD TVs with LED illumination, but displays using self-emissive OLED technology are increasingly common, especially in at sizes 55-inch and above. Good news for consumers is that as the number of OLED-supporting brands is growing, so is the choice of sets available, with competing styles, processing skills and smart talents. At the same time, developments in panel design and LED backlighting mean LCD is up to the challenge.
Innovations to look for at IFA
This HDR (high dynamic range) format has been approved by the Digital Video Broadcasting steering group, paving the way for a future of over-the-air HDR broadcasts. A benefit of Hybrid Log-Gamma (also known as HLG) is its backwards-compatibility with non-HDR TVs, and its potential for live broadcasts, particularly sports. While many manufacturers have been able to add HLG support to previous TV ranges through firmware updates, this year such functionality will be present out-of-the-box.
Sound quality remains a key factor for TV buyers, as does design, so manufacturers are seeking to boost the former without affecting the latter. One solution, seen in Sony’s A1 Bravia TVs, is using the panel as a speaker itself and hiding a bass driver in the stand. Meanwhile, TVs from LG and Panasonic feature external sound-bars for improved sonic performance. 3D sound format Dolby Atmos, now adopted by TV and games industries as well as Hollywood, provides even greater scope for manufacturers to push the sound envelope.
THE BIGGER THE BETTER
Screen sizes have grown larger to make use of the sharper, clearer pictures of 4K content, with flagship 42-inch TVs of ten years ago looking insignificant compared to today’s mega-screens. This growth trend shows no sign of slowing down. 65-inch has become the sweet spot not only for premium ranges but more affordable ‘step-down’ lines too. Look out for vision-filling sets as large as 88in, such as Samsung’s Q9 QLED model.
Innovating @ IFA
HISENSE UNVEILS FLAGSHIP ULED DESIGN
Chinese brand Hisense has heralded the launch of its NU8700 series of ULED TV, which the company says is the epitome of art meeting function. The frame, bezel and back are constructed from aluminium to form an exterior that’s thin and which Hisense says will instantly become the centrepiece of any room. Hisense add that the built-in tweeter, midrange and internal subwoofer boxes are coupled with audio calibration technology from Dolby Digital, dbx-tv and DTS making for exceptional audio delivery.
HALL 6.2 / STAND 202
PHILIPS 55PUS9002 OLED TV
This OLED TV features Philips exclusive Ambilight technology and P5 Picture Processing Engine is “a journey that goes far beyond the detail of the screen”. Built with European premium craftsmanship, the Philips 9002 OLED TV offers exceptional 4K Ultra HD resolution and picture perfection with the P5 processing engine. According to the manufacturer it’s a “better TV experience that bringing the whole room to life”. Winner of the EISA BEST BUY OLED TV 2017 – 2018 Award. »
HALL 22 / STAND 101
As HDR content from disc, streaming, gaming or broadcast TV becomes more widespread, TVs are set to get brighter, in conjunction with wider colour technologies, to deliver optimum picture quality. And, while 4K is here to stay, 8K resolution displays at screen sizes 65-inch and above are destined to hit the market as we build towards the 2020 Olympics, already earmarked for 8K broadcasting in its host country, Japan.