• Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

Technologies taking TV into the next generation

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Over the years there have been many technological innovations that have impacted positively on humans; one of these inventions is the TV. TV has proven to be a veritable device that enable people relax, unwind and entertain friends in their homes. Going to the movie theatre can be expensive for many households, but with a TV, people are able to create a theatre type experience at home. Just as the first televisions indicated the end of radio, the subsequent emergence of color television meant that the days of monochrome sets were numbered. So it may come as a surprise to those who were around when the first color TVs began to appear in the mid-1950’s that 60 years later the most exciting developments in television technology would again be happening on the black-and-white spectrum. Advances in TV technology exploded in the post CRT era. Once HD signals took over from their PAL and NTSC counterparts, TV technology had reason to improve to take advantage. Televisions were getting flatter, slimmer, better resolution, lighter and able to connect with a variety of devices. Image quality is also constantly improving.

LCD TVs gave way to LEDs in a matter of years. LED in turn gave rise to Quantum Dot, OLED and UHD. Now the buzz words are 4K and HDR the changes are coming at a more accelerated pace than ever before and the advances between one technology to its replacement are striking. Most of TV’s evolution in terms of image quality and design has taken place within this decade. The recent advent of the first viable OLED TVs heralded the beginning of this revolution in television technology, bringing it back to its black-and-white roots. While previous televisions had been content with a color palette incapable of perfectly portraying black, OLED reinvents display technology in order to depict accurate blacks. However, there is more to this drive for color accuracy than a perfectionist drive to continually improve upon existing technology. OLED’s ability to render perfect black color causes other colors to appear more vibrant giving the images that it creates a contrast ratio that no other screen can rival. On the other end of the spectrum, HDR displays use equally impressive technology to create whites that are just as impressive as the blacks on OLED screens.

While this technology is still in its infancy, its incredible potential already has industry insiders eagerly anticipating the next steps in television evolution. One of such companies pushing the frontiers of TV technologies is LG Electronics with its innovative and cutting edge TVs. What makes OLED special is that it is that each pixel can generate its own light. This makes it superior to LED and LCD which require backlighting. With backlighting blacks can’t appear as black, and this disrupts the contrast, which in turn affects color accuracy. Of all the different competing technologies in the post-CRT era of television, it is the most breathtaking to hit the market, and has potential lasting power going forward.

Commenting on the OLED TV, Steve Ryu, general manager, home entertainment division, LG Electronics West Africa operations, said: “We are fully committed to bringing next generation technologies to the Nigerian market. The next-generation display technology and the advanced ultra-thin depth of 4.3mm comes with a unique curved design which represents a new era in home entertainment. It must be seen to be believed.” The constant progression to higher and higher resolutions has long been a trend in the market. LG will soon introduce into the market another line-up of OLED TVs with HDR technology, heralding the beginning of the next wave of big technological advances that are just over the horizon.

Obviously, staying at the forefront of leadership in TV design and technological innovation is one of LG’s major goals moving forward. By incorporating OLED and HDR technology within its 4K televisions, LG is ensuring that it remains one of the top television manufacturers in the world. High Dynamic Range (HDR) is the name for a photographic technique that combines multiple exposures to produce brighter and more detailed photos. This allows HDR images to retain detail in the brightest and darkest parts of a scene that are often lost when captured in other formats, giving HDR images a much wider luminance range. HDR video applies essentially the same principles, but on a grander and more sophisticated scale. HDR video content delivers greater luminance extremes – inkier blacks and blazing whites – within the same frame just like an HDR photograph does, but a great quality HDR video will also deliver much more subtlety and finesse in the space between the black and white extremes on the color spectrum.

However, it’s not just the sheer brightness range of HDR that’s so impressive. The ability to display a wide range of colors in between the deepest blacks and brightest whites is what really makes HDR such exciting technology. Thanks to the stunning amount of extra greyscale and shadow detail information made possible by HDR, dark scenes now look much more convincing than on normal LCD TVs. Colors also look vastly improved as richer, deeper saturations combine with more nuanced tonal shifts and blends – especially in the darker areas of an image. HDR colors don’t look overblown or unnatural – on the contrary, they look much more lifelike than those of today’s LCD TVs. LG is at the forefront, having the most experience and having pursued the technology to a greater extent than the competition. But an LG OLED product is so much more than advanced picture quality. The design of the TV, for example, has been well thought out, wherein wires are parallel to the panel rather than perpendicular. This allows it to be perfectly flush with the wall.

While HDR is all about luminosity and will make the television experience unquestionably better. Combining this with an existing technology will make an already perfect TV experience more perfect. OLED TV has been established as the world’s most advanced TV at present, and OLED’s technology is based on having perfect blacks. The marriage of the two, to create the HDR OLED TV would result in images that have more clarity than any other imaging technology that has ever existed, with an infinite contrast ratio. Imagine with increased luminosity, a starry night picture on an HDR OLED TV will look even better than the actual night sky. Fireworks come alive right in your living room, and images with many contrasting light and dark points feel even more realistic. A stained glass window inside a dark church comes on the screen, and you can almost smell the candles, aged wood and musty air. The HDR OLED TV will revolutionise our definition of image quality.