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What is Coming for TVs? OLED and QLED are Leading the Way to a Brighter (and Sharper) Future

CES is always an exciting event for technology fans and this year’s show had plenty of fantastic gadgets to look at.

When it comes to televisions, the clear winner this year was the LG Signature OLED W7. If you are amazed by how thin and light TVs have gotten in the recent past, well, the OLED W7 4K set represents yet another step forward. The “W” stands for wallpaper; this TV can go right on to your wall and does not protrude out very far at all: just 1/10th of an inch! This is possible because the new OLED format does not require backlighting. Add in Dolby Atmos sound and improved color, courtesy of design input from Technicolor, and you have got one astounding television. Forget wallpaper: put on something like the BBC’s PLANET EARTH and it’s like looking through a window.

LG is pushing its OLED format, while rival Samsung has its own alternative called QLED. Both formats produce magnificent images, but QLED is more cost-effective to produce, so those sets will likely be more in the average consumer’s price range (learn about the QLED and how it differs from OLED here).

What is your take on these new advancements? Have you made the jump to 4K yet? While there are a good number of early adopters out there who will happily pounce on new tech, the average person waits until they need a new TV or the prices become more competitive. As a lover of 3D, I happily bought one of those sets early on and am sad to see that the format has declined (if you think 3D looks great in 1080p, it would be positively astonishing in 4K).

The prices of 1080p sets have declined sharply and will continue to do so in the wake of 4K. Whatever the case, even that small, low cost TV you want to add to your kitchen next year will likely look far better than anything enthusiasts could enjoy even a decade ago.

 

How Many People Even Need TVs Anymore?

I recently posted about the new line of 4K TVs and their advantages. Chances are if you have seen one in stores, you would probably like to have it. They look great and the low prices/increasingly large screen sizes make it more inviting than ever to have movie night at home.

However, then I thought about how so many young people do not own TVs anymore. I guess it makes sense: so many people have dropped cable and rely on streaming for their entertainment. Many of them watch these video files on their computers, laptops, or even their phones. CNN reported last year that the average American spends about ten hours a day looking at screens of various types. Yikes!

Call me old-fashioned (or just call me old), but I like to see things on a big screen. It’s easier to appreciate the detail and craftsmanship on display in movies. Also, as my eyesight will get increasingly worse with age, bigger will also just be better.

However, young people are forward thinking when it comes to technology. They like the convenience and portability of laptops and smartphones, and the ability to watch things on the go. If that means, a six inch screen, then so be it.

Of course, you don’t necessarily have to have cable or a disc player to justify owning a 4K or even 1080p set. More and more companies are offering 4K streams of content. If your internet strength is sufficient, that can mean a very nice looking and sounding presentation.

Will TVs go the way of landlines? Doubtful. People enjoy their large screens and the increasing ability to simulate the movie going experience at home with vivid imagery and great sound.  However, when push comes to shove and people are forced to make decisions on their home equipment, small and portable will likely win out over large and flashy.