For many people, relaxing in front of the TV after a long day at work is something they look forward to. However, if you don’t have a TV that works with your living room, you may find that you’re feeling more frustration than anything else when you go sit down to watch TV. [Read more…]
When you collapse in front of the box after a hard day’s work, do you ever wonder what your television will look like in the next decade? Probably not, as you’re too busy watching whatever is on, but let me tell you – the future looks awesome. Entertainment is a big part of everyone’s lives and the people behind innovations in the television industry are really starting to push the boundaries. Your parents will remember the first black and white television, a bulky and relatively small contraption. Then came colour TV’s and people were again amazed. Nowadays you have massive flat screen LCD’s offering high definition viewing that is clearer than ever. What’s next?
Improved 3D TV:
Ok, so you can already get a 3D television which requires you to wear glasses to get the most out of it. While this may be ground-breaking at the moment, there will come a time when you can simply switch it on a ditch the glasses.
Your LED display may be doing a pretty good job now, but OLED is likely to take over the throne. Organic light emitting diodes (OLED) emit their own light, unlike other technology which requires backlighting. What this means is that the screen can be thinner, better quality, flexible and energy efficient – making it a green choice.
The internet is playing a vital role in the future of entertainment, with many people opting to stream movies directly from the web to their TVs. But with the rise in smartphones and tablet PC’s, this technology is expected to get even better in the coming years.
So you thought HDTV was the clearest thing possible – think again. Ultra-definition will be a vital component as screens get larger, as it will have a 3840-by-2160-pixel resolution instead of the 1920-1080 that makes up high definition. This will ensure that you have a crystal clear and sharp image on an 82-inch screen, and the zoom capabilities will blow your mind away.
Screens the size of your living room wall, unrivalled clarity, immense surround sound systems, movies that come to life – these are all the things you can look forward to in the years to come. For now, let’s not forget that there are some amazing products on offer and your viewing experience is completely different to what it was a decade ago. Rest assured – the future of TV is awesome!
Harry Potter changed young adult fiction when it came out. Let’s face it, JK Rowling may not be the most erudite writer on the planet, but she certainly has a great imagination – one that she successfully put on paper and has captured the imagination of both young and old alike. That’s quite an accomplishment, if you ask me. [Read more…]
The CES show was host to some rather amazing gadgets and gizmos this year – in fact arguably one of the best years for some time. Things really seem to be getter better – but not only that, they seem to be getting bigger as well. What I mean by that is of course that televisions are the next (and current) big thing!
As a first at CES, the world’s first laser television was displayed. This was debuted by Mitsubishi who state that it is a ‘new category’ of display to offer alongside the likes of LCD and plasma technology. The reason for the development of this type of screen is that it offers (apparently) more of the colour spectrum that the eye can see, which is reportedly limited in current technology.
The laser set comes in at a particularly impressive 65 inches and has three lasers in the standard colours of red, green and blue. These are projected from the rear of the television (in a similar manner of DLP) but offers amazingly crisp, vivid and colourful images. Prices haven’t been revealed but the tv will be shipped later in the year.
Samsung has expressed interest in laser technology, but it didn’t show any at CES. Instead, it decided to display a 3D plasma screen – interesting from a company that does some of the best plasma sets in the world. Apparently, the 42 and 50 inch screens will be available in 2008 and rely on a PC connected to the set and polarised glasses to create the 3D image.
Samsung have also shown their OLED (organic light emitting diode) displays, known for being brighter than LCD and much thinner. More importantly, they also use less power to create the image – something which will no doubt seem to be important to consumers being fed the green message at the moment.
The reason for the brighter image is that the OLED does not require a backlight for the display as the organic material is naturally lit when an electric current runs through it. Different materials produce difference colours and this provides screens that are brighter and have a better contrast ratio.
I can vouch that OLED does look excellent as my Creative Zen V is supplied with just this technology – however, unfortunately for television creation it is extremely expensive, meaning that this will be for premium sets only in the future.
Perhaps one of the most amazing developments at CES was the display by Panasonic, noted for their Viera and V-Real technology on their current plasma display systems. Their offering was in fact the world’s largest LCD display – taking up a whole wall and featuring Advanced High Definition.
Whilst of course, a 150inch tv is always going to look amazing (unless you’re standing too close and can see the rather large pixels), the really amazing technology behind it was the ‘interactive wall’ that featured facial recognition and customised displays.
The technology is expected to take up the whole wall (no doubt of some millionaire’s mansion) and is able to detect the distance of the viewer from the screen and optimise the size of the image to suit. Rather impressive I’m sure you agree.
Other items of note were the super-thin LCD (at only 3mm deep) and deep-black screens. So, whilst most of it was interesting, it’s perhaps the ‘taste of things to come’ that really offers up a glimpse of the future. I for one can’t wait.
One of the things I’ve experienced recently is the real issue of not having a television. This is at least in part due to my moving house – my old set is a great Samsung widescreen, which is neither plasma nor LCD. This CRT beast has remained at the home of my parents, simply because I’ve never managed to have the energy or the will to go and collect it.
One of the good points about this is that I’ve not been kept up far too late watching rubbish on television in my bedroom. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a television to watch, but it’s in the living room. I still tend to catch good TV, but realistically I never watched that much of it anyway. Of course, there’s nothing like being nice and warm in bed and watching some rubbish, but the mood rarely strikes me. Frankly, I prefer to read a good book.
A few of the guys at work are downloading more TV than you can shake a stick at. Stuff like Heroes and Dexter have both proven popular in the office and without having the latest technology, I’d be watching these on my laptop anyway. So, again, I’m not desperate for that TV to make an appearance.
Force of habit is not an excuse for something really so not having a TV in my room looks a little odd. But I’ve found it hasn’t caused me much harm and perhaps encourages me to get up a little more than otherwise. None of this lazing on a Sunday afternoon.
Now the negatives are of course, mainly from a gaming point of view. Sadly I haven’t had much 360 gameplay going on, which is particularly disappointing when I was fairly close to getting a 100% in the career mode on Forza Motorsport 2. Even worse, Assassin’s Creed is drawing near closer and I WILL be wanting to have my TV for that.
I guess all of this discussion on my lack of TV has made me realise that truly, some of the items we take for granted every day (whether they are in the living room, the kitchen or indeed anywhere else in the house) really aren’t that essential for our everyday survival. Oh my gosh, the toaster has shorted again? Hardly the end of the world now is it. Your car on the other hand, well that’s another issue for another article…
With the HD war heating up, the battle between LCD and Plasma is reaching fever pitch. Just like HD DVD and Blu-ray, each camp has its avid supporters who extol the virtues of each technology. But Sony is about to stir things up with the announcement that it will finally release the first OLED TV this December.
OLED is widely seen as the best among the three technologies because it is more energy efficient and it allows for the production of extremely thin and ultralight displays. It is also a great technology for showing very vivid pictures that can render fast moving images — this makes it perfect for action movies or sports. Of course, the downside is that OLED is said to have a shorter lifespan.
Sony is banking on OLED technology to really push it in the new millennium. The company wants to use OLED as its rallying point to signal the revival of its leading position in technological innovations.
The first OLED TV will only measure a paltry 11 inches because one of its limitations is that present technologies are not capable of producing larger panels. The OLED TV will measure just 3 mm in thickness though, and will sell for $1,740m, which is a high as the price of current 40-inch plasma models.
We’ll see if OLED will really signal Sony’s resurgence or if this will go the way of other “pioneering” Sony technologies like the DAT, Minidisc, Atrac format and the Memory Stick.
[tags]Sony, OLED, Plasma, LCD[/tags]
NO OVERNIGHT SUCCESS
It is technologically difficult at the moment to make larger panels, limiting the appeal of the otherwise promising next-generation television.
Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd is offering 103-inch plasma TVs, while the main battle ground for LCD TV makers are moving up to the 40-inch class market from the 30-inch class category.
An 11-inch panel is smaller than regular copier paper used in office.
“I don’t think OLED TVs will replace LCD TVs overnight. But I do believe this is a type of technology with very high potential, something that will come after LCD TVs,” Sony Executive Deputy President Katsumi Ihara told reporters.
Ihara said he set the 200,000 yen price tag without paying much attention to profitability, suggesting Sony will make a loss for each set it sells at least in the initial stage.
The new TV is set to go on sale in Japan on Dec. 1, while overseas launches have yet to be decided.
It has a life span of about 30,000 hours of viewing, which is about half of Sony’s LCD TVs, but long enough to allow eight hours of daily use for 10 years.
Monthly production will come to just 2,000 units. In comparison, Sony plans to sell 10 million units of LCD TVs in the year to next March.
With the raging High Definition war between Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, the future of the DVD is becoming bleak. Most a growing number of consumers are slowly throwing their hats into this HD war and picking which among the two competitors will win in the end. But DVDs are really not about to meet its demise. It actually still has a lot of legs and with new technology will still remain a viable format for the foreseeable future.
The key to DVDs increased longevity will be in the area of upscaling. A number of new DVD players in the market right now offer upscaling features. What this feature does is to bump up the native resolution of DVDs to HD levels, that is, 1080p, through HDMI. This is a cheaper alternative to the still high prices of next generation players and also extends the life of your existing DVD collection. All you need is an HDMi equipped TV and you’ll be enjoying your own forays into HD.
This may be a path that I’ll take soon. I still do not have enough to buy myself a Blu-ray player (my format of choice) and I have a sizeable DVD collection. The wife approval factor is good too because it is not very expensive.
[tags]blu-ray, hd-dvd, dvd, upscaling[/tags]
Ahh Yes…MacGyver the uber geek…the idol of engineers, the basis of geeks, cool but techie, resourceful in a very, Renaissance man -like manner and fashion, he uses his knowledge of science, technology and outdoorsmanship to resolve what are often life or death crises. With nothing but a Swiss Army Knife and a roll of duct tape commonly known, to some degree, as “MacGyver-tape”. Since the MacGyver is the basis of everything tech-related I had to post it here too.
MacGyver according to Wikipedia
Angus MacGyver is a highly intelligent, optimistic action hero who prefers non-violent conflict resolution wherever possible. He refuses to carry or use a gun due to a childhood accident with a revolver that resulted in the death of a friend.
“Really, I never knew his name was Angus?” Watching MacGyver as a kid, all I can remember that he always introduced himself as MacGyver, “My name is MacGyver”, his friends never called him by his first name, always MacGyver, and that sticked in my mind.
Macgyver according to the Dilbert Principle
MacGyver is in the list of Sexually Irresistable Men in technical professions. MacGyver is part and basis of geek life, Engineers much like Dilbert tend to idolize and be like MacGyver…
–And as Pete (Dana Elcar) would say “His name is MacGyver. He can fix anything. He could fix a computer with a hairpin and a piece of duct tape.”
Impact of MacGyver in Culture
This coined the words :
MacGyverisms — thinking like, being like … who else MacGyver…
to do MacGyver — to do something that MacGyver would do when a situation calls upon you to do the impossible. Fixing something by adapting locally-available parts…
a MacGyver — a person who is knowledgeable or skilled at a technical subject…
Now if ever you are in a situation where the world is against you, remain calm, think positively, think geek, think uber-geek, think like MacGyver and always remember the words… WWMD? or What Would Macgyver do?…
Wanna watch the Intro to start reminiscing.. CLICK HERE
There has been a great debate regarding the use of generic cables and branded cables. Look at any online forum on speakers or audiophiles and you will always find long forum threads that just deals with this subject.
The contention about this topic is simple. There is a camp that says quality cables or wires produce better results. For example, better video quality (if you use video cables) or sonic characteristics (if for example, the topic are speaker wires). The opposing camp, on the other hand, contends that there really is no significant difference. A wire is a wire and all the talk about difference sonic characteristics or better overall quality when using very expensive cables is just marketing and BS at work.
I am on the fence on this matter. On the one hand, I do have a pair of expensive speaker wires on my HiFi setup. I did notice a slight difference in the quality of audio when I used the QED Silver 25th Anniversary Edition speaker wire compared to my old pair of generic coppper speaker wire. But then, I also use cheap speaker wires that I have used for my receiver – speaker connection and I also think the sonic quality sounds good. The same goes for the video cables that I have at home.
The debate has now entered the digital video domain. HDMI cables are still expensive but moreso the branded cables that are three to four times more expensive than generic cables. But according to exhaustive research done by the people at Gizmodo, the quality of the HDMI cables used does not significantly alter quality if used over short distances. The only time expensive cables *cough” Monster Cables *cough* actually showed any improvements over the generic cable is when the cable has to run through long distances of about 30 to 50 feet.
Since only a few people use projectors (these require the long cables to run between the receiver and the projector) then using generic HDMI cables is quite okay.
There’s a large number of high quality programmes now available on tv. Shows including Heroes, The Sopranos and The Office all provide fantastic (if edgy) entertainment. So, how do they stand up to games – the other pastime where you’re in front of the box? Well let’s look at a few areas of comparison:
Games have traditionally had a very simple, very poor Aristotealean (and basic) narrative. TV on the other hand seems to be in a bit of a renaissance at the momement with layered, deep storylines offering much to the audience. Games such as Psychonauts, Half Life 2 and Neverwinter Nights 2 are giving more to the player of late, offering a better sense of their place in the virtual world.
Obviously games pip this one, as they are based on manipulating and interacting with things/objects/people/places within a virtual space. Even Pong followed this principle. Games are now rich and diverse, offering almost as many varied experiences as you can think of. TV is now offering, by comparison, much more interactivity. Let’s take a look at some ways in which it is doing so:
IPTV is the latest buzz-word that’s going around, helped no doubt by Apple TV and all manner of things. Here in the UK Channel 4 has recently released an on-demand download service, so this looks to be really taking off. For those of you who aren’t sure what all the fuss is about, if you have a computer (or other sort of tech kit I’ll cover later) you can choose your own tv schedule by downloading what you want to watch, when you want to watch it.
Games are now becoming more mainstream and in fact they’re being built into all manner of TV shows, ads and all sorts of things. Marketing campaigns are now converging across all platforms (TV and computer/internet) and games are a part of that strategy to suck people into the brand.
The ‘red’ button is now synonymous with Sky TV, at least over here in the UK. Essentially, you hit the button and you can be presented with all sort of interactive stuff – this could be a camera angle choice, a game or a new music video. All of this from a single button press. Impressive huh?
We touched on this briefly in the last section, but Freeview here in the UK even allows you to change camera angles. This was most impressive during the Olympics when you could actually choose which sport to watch live. Never before has TV given the viewer EXACTLY what they want in this way.
Teletext was almost a precursor to widespread Internet use over here in the UK. I’m not sure if it was ever apparent in the US but basically it is pages of text information, about whatever subject that the provider decided but commonly it was news, weather and tv. Digital teletext is a long overdue upgrade giving a wider selection of information, much faster speed and a more user-friendly interface.
Tivo and Skyplus are pretty much the same service but for two separate countries. Basically, you can record your favourite shows and channels – or even set the box to record whenever a particular show is on. It is top notch kit and very much worth investing in.
So what does all this technology around the tv tell us? Well, as interactivity increases, we’re seeing the fact that power is now being put in the hands of the viewer. They are taking back the television. For that reason alone all of these developments are going completely in the right direction – and coupled with HD I think in a few years TV will go beyond even all of these to transcend and pre-empt the viewing choices of the audience behind the big (but thing) black box.