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Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,979
Portland, Oregon, US


The intent is an open discussion on TV technology trends.  Here are some thoughts to get us started:

...  Remember 3D TV?  It seemed to be all the rage last holiday season.  It seemed that every other ad for TVs touted 3D.  Now, despite having hundred of satellite TV channels, only a couple are for 3D channels.  What happened?  (Of course, the "new" 3D technology used by 3d TVs was "old" 4 decades ago when I did my thesis in 3D imaging. 

...  Does anyone have a "Smart TV" -- it's basically a TV that can access the Internet, play simple games, send/receive text/e-mails, etc.?  There are TV models that have these features built-in, and there are add-on devices that add these features to "dumb" TVs.  I'm interested.

...  A 4K Apple TV: Does anyone still care?

...  How come "Picture In Picture" is such a rare feature for DVRs & receivers?  10 years ago, I had Ultimate TV -- a short lived Microsoft DVR for satellite TV, but Microsoft abandoned it, TiVo came along, and DirecTV & Comcast came out with their own DVRs, and many of these "new" DVRs lacked the PIIP feature.  I want it.

...  How here has a home theater?  What's it like?

...  Got any features you want in your next TV?
Mar 31 13 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Managing Light
Posts: 1,838
Salem, Virginia, US


After spending 3/4 of my career in TV R&D and serving for a while on the ATSC (the industry committee that put together the current HD system and advised the FCC on it's implementation), I am of the opinion that the broadcast side of TV is DONE with new technology for a while.  We see innovation on the receiver side now, and will continue to see that happen - intense competition and a worldwide production overcapacity makes for desperation in a consumer electronics manufacturer.  But a new development would have to REALLY go over big to convince the broadcasters to cough up more for new studio/transmitter innovations.

Generally, the larger mass of TV viewers are happy with what they've got (hell, they were happy with that artifact-ridden NTSC system we just got rid of).  To some extent, that larger group of viewers are still in the "gee-whiz" mode, so it's going to take some "really-visible-on-the-showroom-floor" new feature to make a significant percentage of them reach for their wallets.

In addition, the new system's intro wasn't that many years ago, so the average age of HDTV receivers in homes isn't that high and the "urge to replace" probably isn't that powerful.  OTOH, the receiver prices are really coming down...

But I have to say that I'm more than a little surprised that we haven't seen more Silicon Valley participation in new things that could be done with that totally digital and flexible thing in the living room called the HDTV.

I'm also surprised that we haven't seen more emphasis on enhanced sound, with the broadcasters and cable MSOs hyping (at least) 5.1 channel surround sound.  So far as I can tell, nada!

The movement that is clear was mentioned by the OP: that of the TV entertainment device's increasing involvement in sourcing data feeds from the Internet.  The newer high-end products have the capability built-in, existing products work very well with Roku's and such, thank you!

I have predicted for years that as we see more movies streaming on the 'net, the studios (whom we know are very slow learners, technology-wise) are suddenly going to realize that they can operate servers to stream their movies just as easily as say, Netflix.  This will threaten the cable programmers (HBO, Showtime etc.) existance.

To reply directly to a couple of the OP's questions: 4K image resolution:  forget it!  The masses will have to see a hell of a lot more than a JND or so on the showroom floor to cough up the dough.  And 4K isn't that visible: in fact, I will predict that the average joe sixpack won't notice ANY difference between 1080 (P or I) and 4K,  and he's not going to pay for what he can't see.  The only ones who will do that are the techies and the early adopters who desperately need to have bragging rights, and there aren't that many of them to make it worthwhile.

3D: The need for sophisticated glasses for each viewer and the lack of a large amount of programming make this a curiosity.  Add to this that there are a significant number of people who report intense eye strain and headaches while viewing 3D drives the nail in the coffin.
Mar 31 13 11:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Let There Be Light
Posts: 7,657
Los Angeles, California, US


Managing Light wrote:
To reply directly to a couple of the OP's questions: 4K image resolution:  forget it!  The masses will have to see a hell of a lot more than a JND or so on the showroom floor to cough up the dough.  And 4K isn't that visible: in fact, I will predict that the average joe sixpack won't notice ANY difference between 1080 (P or I) and 4K,  and he's not going to pay for what he can't see.  The only ones who will do that are the techies and the early adopters who desperately need to have bragging rights, and there aren't that many of them to make it worthwhile.

+1.  Tough to create a mass for 4K when there isn't any 4K content available and people will be expected to pay $15-20,000 for a 4K TV.

Mar 31 13 11:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tony Lawrence
Posts: 19,015
Chicago, Illinois, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
The intent is an open discussion on TV technology trends.  Here are some thoughts to get us started:

...  Remember 3D TV?  It seemed to be all the rage last holiday season.  It seemed that every other ad for TVs touted 3D.  Now, despite having hundred of satellite TV channels, only a couple are for 3D channels.  What happened?  (Of course, the "new" 3D technology used by 3d TVs was "old" 4 decades ago when I did my thesis in 3D imaging. 

...  Does anyone have a "Smart TV" -- it's basically a TV that can access the Internet, play simple games, send/receive text/e-mails, etc.?  There are TV models that have these features built-in, and there are add-on devices that add these features to "dumb" TVs.  I'm interested.

...  A 4K Apple TV: Does anyone still care?

...  How come "Picture In Picture" is such a rare feature for DVRs & receivers?  10 years ago, I had Ultimate TV -- a short lived Microsoft DVR for satellite TV, but Microsoft abandoned it, TiVo came along, and DirecTV & Comcast came out with their own DVRs, and many of these "new" DVRs lacked the PIIP feature.  I want it.

...  How here has a home theater?  What's it like?

...  Got any features you want in your next TV?

I have these:   http://liliputing.com/2013/03/android-t … e-cpu.html   Very cool little gadgets.   I paid around $50.00 for mine.   Its pretty smooth.   Browse speed is good.   Movie playback is good.   Apple TV is okay also.   Anybody buying the TV sticks on Ebay be careful.   They aren't all the same with WI/FI strength being one issue.   They can be rooted and are so cheap its no big deal.   Take them with you when you travel instead of a laptop.

Mar 31 13 11:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Managing Light wrote:
3D: The need for sophisticated glasses for each viewer and the lack of a large amount of programming make this a curiosity.  Add to this that there are a significant number of people who report intense eye strain and headaches while viewing 3D drives the nail in the coffin.

Thanks for your thorough reply.

My 3D thesis, completed back in 1972, produced a very real 3D image without requiring glasses.  Like I said, the 3D technology used by 3D TVs is roughly 40+ years old.

I sometimes get the impression that the TV industry is a bunch of nerds who have lost touch with their customers and are more interested in producing "whiz-bang" stuff that their customers can't use.  I'll give an example:  Although I have satellite TV, I also maintain some cable as backup -- I live downtown in an old Victorian house that is surrounded by very tall buildings -- I can't get TV signals via antenna.  So, I get the bare minimum from the cable company.  A couple of years ago, it cost me $12.25 a month for basically the broadcast channels only -- that some service now costs me over $27 a month.  That's typical of both cable & satellite TV in my experience, the consumer cost constantly, a little bit at a time. 

Recently, the cable company converted (as mandated) from analog to digital.  I have these little digital boxes that I have to install.  But my DVD-Recorders can't control the box, so I can't record two different programs unless I manually switch the channels, which kinda defeats the purpose of all video recording devices.  Worse, it's impossible to hook these devices up to every TV and every recorder and still have it easy to control.  Sure, there are remotes for these digital boxes, but they perform only the most basic TV controls. 

Sometimes, the technology drives me crazy.  I'm seriously thinking about replacing my home theater with a PC & monitor & Internet.

Mar 31 13 12:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Peter Claver
Posts: 26,657
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Looknsee Photography wrote:
Sometimes, the technology drives me crazy.  I'm seriously thinking about replacing my home theater with a PC & monitor & Internet.

I just have an HD tv and an internet connected device (an Apple TV in this case.. but there are zillions of others) for my video entertainment consumption.  With iTunes and Netflix I don't really need anything else.  I even watch first-run TV shows as they air.  It's really great.  The only thing I get from the cable company is my internet connection... no cable.  Aside from increasing the resolution of the TV I don't see much more new tech needed.

As for 3D.. for TV in the home I just don't see a point.  The requirements for viewing angles are just too small (glasses or no glasses).  With more than a couple people sitting in your average living room.. I don't see the point.

Gaming in 3D is interesting to me, however.  There are still many artefacts however (mainly due to refresh rates and resolution).  There will probably be a brighter future there, technologically speaking, but the market may not be big enough vs. general TV watchers.

Mar 31 13 12:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orca Bay Images
Posts: 32,233
Lodi, California, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
How come "Picture In Picture" is such a rare feature for DVRs & receivers?

Likely because of the advances in DVR. Some friends of mine have satellite TV with all the bells and whistles. They can record four or six shows simultaneously and so rarely if ever try to watch shows simultaneously.

Mar 31 13 05:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
What Fun Productions
Posts: 20,152
Phoenix, Arizona, US


The DVR is one of the most valuable luxury inventions in modern times.

Easy to use, makes viewer in control and I LOVE zipping through the commercials.

It has made me hate watching live TV.
Mar 31 13 06:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R A V E N D R I V E
Posts: 15,867
New York, New York, US


picture in picture is obsolete now because people have alternate concurrent ways to consume information
Mar 31 13 06:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Instinct Images
Posts: 22,494
San Diego, California, US


R A V E N D R I V E wrote:
picture in picture is obsolete now because people have alternate concurrent ways to consume information

That and they don't need to see it concurrently because the other channel is being recorded by their DVR.

Smart TVs are definitely the future.

Mar 31 13 06:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Caradoc
Posts: 19,564
Scottsdale, Arizona, US


R A V E N D R I V E wrote:
picture in picture is obsolete now because people have alternate concurrent ways to consume information

I do miss being able to feed my quad from the security cameras into the PIP on the TV, though.

Mar 31 13 06:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,465
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


I have a 10+ year old VCR that does Picture in Picture and you can record two shows that way. Old idea but really I love it. Why didn't modern TV's catch on this?
Mar 31 13 06:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lightcraft Studio
Posts: 11,970
Delray Beach, Florida, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
Got any features you want in your next TV?

Programming worth watching.

Mar 31 13 07:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Let There Be Light
Posts: 7,657
Los Angeles, California, US


AdelaideJohn1967 wrote:
I have a 10+ year old VCR that does Picture in Picture and you can record two shows that way. Old idea but really I love it. Why didn't modern TV's catch on this?

I've never heard of any VCR that could record two shows simultaneously like today's DVRs.

Mar 31 13 11:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
How come "Picture In Picture" is such a rare feature for DVRs & receivers?
Orca Bay Images wrote:
Likely because of the advances in DVR. Some friends of mine have satellite TV with all the bells and whistles. They can record four or six shows simultaneously and so rarely if ever try to watch shows simultaneously.

Not me.  I love watching two NFL games at once -- there's only about 10 second of action per minute, and the programs tend to break for commercials (breaking before & after a kickoff should be a sin).  I also think that the modern age encourages people to "multi-task" -- no one gives all their attention to a single TV program.  We're the generation that texts & drives.

Apr 01 13 11:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 20,979
Portland, Oregon, US


What Fun Productions wrote:
The DVR  ...   Easy to use, makes viewer in control and I LOVE zipping through the commercials.

It has made me hate watching live TV.

My first TV (Ultimate TV from Microsoft) actually had a true 30 second skip.  Instead of zipping through a commercial, they disappear at the press of the button.  I miss that, too.

Apr 01 13 11:41 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Robb Mann
Posts: 10,113
Baltimore, Maryland, US


3d technology comes and goes every few decades.
Apr 01 13 12:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,465
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Let There Be Light wrote:

I've never heard of any VCR that could record two shows simultaneously like today's DVRs.

Well it had two tuners, and two tape drives.  You could watch a tape in the first slot and record in the other one or vice versa. Also when watching TV a small PIP in the corner showed you what was on other channels or what you are taping in the 2nd deck.

Apr 01 13 07:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,465
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Looknsee Photography wrote:

My first TV (Ultimate TV from Microsoft) actually had a true 30 second skip.  Instead of zipping through a commercial, they disappear at the press of the button.  I miss that, too.

But now they don't have that do they? Because of whinging from networks and advertisers.

Apr 01 13 07:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Edge of the Moon
Posts: 430
New York, New York, US


I'd like to see OLED on big TV screens.
Apr 01 13 07:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,465
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Edge of the Moon wrote:
I'd like to see OLED on big TV screens.

What about small ones?

I am surprised the only choice is Plasma or LCD.....Where are the OLED screens?

Apr 01 13 07:48 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Peter Claver
Posts: 26,657
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Edge of the Moon wrote:
I'd like to see OLED on big TV screens.
AdelaideJohn1967 wrote:
What about small ones?

Those have been around for ages.  I've seen 15" OLED TVs from Sony for at least a year or two.  They're *super* thin.  Pretty amazing if a small screen is what you need/want.

EDIT: actually.. here's a 55" OLED from LG.

http://www.lg.com/ca_en/oled/whats-oledtv.jsp

Apr 01 13 07:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,465
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Peter Claver wrote:

Edge of the Moon wrote:
I'd like to see OLED on big TV screens.

Those have been around for ages.  I've seen 15" OLED TVs from Sony for at least a year or two.  They're *super* thin.  Pretty amazing if a small screen is what you need/want.

EDIT: actually.. here's a 55" OLED from LG.

http://www.lg.com/ca_en/oled/whats-oledtv.jsp

That's cool and all but it's not on the consumer market. Why?

Apr 01 13 08:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Peter Claver
Posts: 26,657
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


AdelaideJohn1967 wrote:
That's cool and all but it's not on the consumer market. Why?

Price I'm guessing.

EDIT: actually.. wait.. what do you mean "consumer market"?  Apparently it can be had for the bargain basement price of about £8000

http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/tvs/lg-55-inc … -50006604/

Apr 01 13 08:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Lightcraft Studio
Posts: 11,970
Delray Beach, Florida, US


Peter Claver wrote:

Edge of the Moon wrote:
I'd like to see OLED on big TV screens.

Those have been around for ages.  I've seen 15" OLED TVs from Sony for at least a year or two.  They're *super* thin.  Pretty amazing if a small screen is what you need/want.

EDIT: actually.. here's a 55" OLED from LG.

http://www.lg.com/ca_en/oled/whats-oledtv.jsp

Check these out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJehexDPEsE
(demo of Samsung's technology in the works)

Apr 01 13 09:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,465
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Peter Claver wrote:
Price I'm guessing.

EDIT: actually.. wait.. what do you mean "consumer market"?  Apparently it can be had for the bargain basement price of about £8000

http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/tvs/lg-55-inc … -50006604/

But not from a local retailer I imagine.

Yeah but your local electronics retailer does not carry OLED TV sets......It's either plasma or LCD, which also are the only two technologies commonly available?

What ever happened to DLP?

Apr 01 13 11:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Peter Claver
Posts: 26,657
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


AdelaideJohn1967 wrote:

But not from a local retailer I imagine.

Yeah but your local electronics retailer does not carry OLED TV sets......It's either plasma or LCD, which also are the only two technologies commonly available?

What ever happened to DLP?

Again.. it's price.  OLED is new.. once they get the volume going then they'll be easier to find.

DLP is dead in TVs.  It was basically just rear projection so you can't make them very thin.  Thin is king these days (the OLED is only 4mm thick)

DLP is, however, quite prevalent in the front-projection market.

Apr 01 13 11:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AdelaideJohn1967
Posts: 12,465
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Peter Claver wrote:

Again.. it's price.  OLED is new.. once they get the volume going then they'll be easier to find.

DLP is dead in TVs.  It was basically just rear projection so you can't make them very thin.  Thin is king these days (the OLED is only 4mm thick)

DLP is, however, quite prevalent in the front-projection market.

I didn't know that last tidbit....Interesting

Yeah I hope the price does drop for OLED as that would be fantastic to watch

Apr 02 13 01:41 am  Link  Quote 
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