Buying a TV today is a hard decision. Unlike phones, you wont change your TV every few years. A TV has a lifespan of about 7 years, so it is safe to say that a TV is a once in a decade sort of investment. At CES 2019 we saw a lot of new trends and innovations in TVs and we think a lot of them will make their way to India before the year ends. So here is a look at TV trends to watch out for if you are purchasing a TV in 2019.
HDMI 2.1 is not a new standard in TVs but is one that has now finally started seeing adoption. The funny thing is that only LG has announced the HDMI 2.1 standard in their flagship 4K TVs. Other manufacturers are pitting the technology in their 8K TVs. With HDMi 2.1, users get 4K and 8K content at higher refresh rates than HDMI 2.0 and also support for variable refresh rate (a great feature for gamers) and eARC which essentially means more audio data can be transmitted through HDMI ARC.
Like we mentioned above, the HDMI 2.1 standard will bring with it variable refresh rate. This is a feature supported by the Xbox One X and is expected to be a part of the upcoming consoles i.e., the PS5 and the next Xbox. How does this help? Well, one of the issues when a game can’t maintain a consistent frame rate is screen tearing. This is a problem which can be avoided if the TV supports variable refresh rate. It is also incentive for PC gamers to hook up their gaming PC’s to their TVs.
Even though Samsung is the first TV maker to launch an 8K TV, Sony, LG and more showcased their 8K offerings at CES 2019. All these TVs are set to launch in the US and the UK, but we think at least one model from these will make it to India. Even though there is no news on the availability of 8K content, these TVs do a fantastic job of upscaling 4K content to 8K. Even though broadcasters and streaming services are not yet on the 8K bandwagon, we think the 1 percent will invest in 8K TVs to future proof themselves. Did we mention, their upscaling capabilities are fantastic?
Undoubtedly one of the biggest news from CES has to be the fact that you can enjoy your iTunes movies and music content without an Apple TV box sitting below your TV. iTunes, AirPlay 2 and Apple HomeKit support will come to the 2019 Sony, Samsung and LG TVs. So if you are one that has a library of movies on iTunes, you can enjoy them without an Apple TV. This is big as Apple has always been a closed ecosystem and the fact that they have opened up to TV makers is very interesting news. Needless to say, the quality of content provided on Apple's services is very high giving users the ability to exploit the feature on offer on high end TVs.
At CES 2019, LG showcased 8K TVs powered by NanoCell technology. We have seen 4K NanoCell TVs and this is the first time we will see 8K TVs with this tech. NanoCell TVs are essentially LED TVs but they use LG’s Nano Crystal technology. This technology is designed to give consumers an expanded colour performance. How this affects the picture quality when compared to the traditional LED TV is something we will comment on when we get the NanoCell 8K TV for review.
By far one of the most interesting technologies in the TV world is micro LEDs. Samsung showcased micro LED TVs at CES this year. The advantage of micro LED TVs is that they bring with them the same advantages as OLED TVs but without problems of burn-in. But that’s not all. You can customize the microLED TV to suit the size you want. You can have a 55-inch micro LED TV and in the future if you want a larger TV, all you need to do is purchase a few more micro LED panels and you can have a 65 or 75-inch TV without investing in a new TV entirely. If the problems of OLED can be overcome and the modular nature of the TV is cost effective, this could be the future of upgradable TVs.
LG has been teasing its rollable displays for some time now and the company has finally announced its rollable TV. The TV will be available for purchase later this year. It will of course have a premium pricing, but this is the first TV of its kind to make its way to the consumer market.
Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.