s the TV, as we know it, dead? The last few years has seen more people ditching their televisions in favour of a bigger monitor than ever before. With movie and TV downloads (legal or otherwise), streamed video content from a host of online players and a raft of catch-up services, some have speculated that it's the thin end of the wedge for the goggle box.
At the same time, we've since seen the Internet come to our TVs, widgets on our big screens and the arrival of 3D from the cinema as well, giving people a reason to stay put on the sofa. So what's the real story here and what will be the lie of the lounge in 5 years' time. As part of our Future Week season on Pocket-lint, we spoke to three industry experts to find out.
The truth of the matter is that while IPTV services were the preserve of the PC, there did seem a reason to ditch the telly, but one area in which our experts agreed was that streamed video-on-demand services will be absolutely huge by 2015. The saving grace for the family room screen, then has been down to a very simple thing.
"The biggest turning point has been addition of broadband to TVs, be it Wi-Fi or Ethernet. So much has and will become possible because of that", says editor of Home Cinema Digest, Jamie Carter.
Of course, connectivity isn't the only thing keeping viewers planted on the sofas of the world. The visual technology is also of a far higher standard in dedicated TVs and, with HD programming thrust under the public's nose, there's now content of a high enough quality to notice the difference. So, if 1080p and 200Hz on an LED backlit display - with maybe a twist of 3D - is the good stuff for 2010, then what of the sets of 2015? Well, for Jamie, the view is on the conservative side.
"The trouble is that the economy has taken a big blow which means that the companies themselves might not have had the budgets to develop quite what they wanted and, even if they had, the public might not be able to afford what they come up with. So, as a result, what we'll probably see is something as simple as 3D catching on by 2015, but it'll be everywhere by 2020 without any consumer choice in the matter. Any new TV you buy will just happen to have it in, just like, first, they all went flat screen, then HD Ready, then Full HD, then Freeview tuners, now Freeview HD".
"Super Hi-Vision, under whatever name it's called, probably won't be around 'till long after 2015. It's just so difficult to store and transmit at the moment. They did a demonstration in Japan of just half an hour of footage and it took them most of the night to back it up. It's just terabytes and terabytes of information to stream and we're not going to be ready for that in 5 years."
Super Hi-Vision is the current name for the resolution standard beyond 1080p HD which sits at a whopping 7680 × 4320px compared to Full HD's 1920 x 1080px. For deputy editor of Home Cinema choice, Rik Henderson, this Super HV is in fact going to be exactly what we're looking at come 5 years' time.
"Rather than 3D, the important standard in 2015 will by Super Hi-Vision or perhaps something at 4k/2k high resolution. There's actually a Super Hi-Vision channel that runs in Hong Kong at the moment, but most of it's downscaled to watch on normal or HDTVs. The thing is, you can already get 4k resolution in home projectors, like those from JVC, at the moment but we'll start seeing it as normal in standard sets too in 5 years."
So, the timescales of Henderson and Carter may not be synchronised here, but both agree that this is probably the important in-set tech of tomorrow. Quite how the marketeers go about explaining that you can actually get fuller than Full HD will be interesting unto itself.
Interestingly, both experts are dubious over the current darling of the AV world.
"I was recently converted to the ways of 3D but I'm starting to doubt it", says Henderson. "I think it'll just be a nice extra feature in TVs of...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document