The Future of TV

The Future of TV

We find ourselves in the midst of a television revolution, never before has the consumer had such an array of content to choose from and yet TV ownership is at its lowest since 1972. The rise of disruptive on demand streaming services is having an incredible effect on what we watch and also the way in which we watch it. Netflix and Amazon provide award winning content whenever you want, wherever you are. We are no longer tied to our TVs to watch TV. In a trend similar to the effect integrated camera-phones had on “point and shoot” camera sales, TVs are now in decline; their function has been replaced by the other screens in our lives. Tablets and mobile phones are taking over and it begs the question “are TV sets days numbered?”

Other factors have not helped the TV’s fight for center stage in the home. The requirement for a license, in Britain, has driven many away from terrestrial content and online to find alternatives. A lack of innovation has also played its part. The huge price tags attached to top of the range screens have rarely justified the improvements in resolution and quality.  I thought it was a real shame when manufacturers announced they were stopping 3D. It clearly indicated that any small inconvenience, such as the need for glasses, can turn the general public away from new technology.

Yet, in fact, history has also shown us that dedicated cameras did not die out, and high end DSLR cameras have found a fairly steady market share. I am certain a similar trend will be seen with TVs because of the desire for a “big screen” in the home. If not for the social impact then, as Joey once said, “What’s all the furniture going to point at?” I do however, think they will change form. They will become wireless and merge with other pieces of furniture. Mirrors are already starting to double up as screens, providing news feeds to you in the morning and fridges display their contents.

Instead of big LED screens, I can see projectors becoming far more popular. Short throw projectors have come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Offering 4K resolution, HDR, and adaptable screen sizes from as small 20” to over 100”, they are the personal entertainment systems of the future. The great thing about short throw projectors, is that they sit at the base of the wall they are projecting onto rather than hang from the ceiling. Gone are the days of awkward flickering shadows as people move around and nip in and out of the room.

The next step will be for projectors to become integrated into our devices themselves. We can already see the market for this, the Chromecast allows your TV to become an extension of your device and Motorola’s Motomods has a projector attachment.  I think this will be the closest we will come to losing our TVs, but in reality they will always be with us, in our devices.

I am interested to see where virtual reality (VR) will find its place. Personally, I think it will dominate in gaming before it breaks into TV. Games inherently encourage exploration and VR will only augment the experience.  TV and Movies however, will be difficult to film and direct. The same features that enhance gaming will detract from the magic of the film. The director will no longer have control of directing the viewers’ attention and focus. They will lose much of their ability to guide you through a story. Instead, films may become a new experience all together and become something you must find your own way through.

Whatever happens, I am sure TVs will be a feature of the living room for a long time.  Styles and technologies will come and go and TV sets may become unrecognisable from how they look now, but our inherent love for storytelling and shared entertainment will mean there is always a place for them. Nothing beats the whole family or a group of friends sitting around a single screen sharing an experience.

Christopher Braithwaite

Author: Christopher Braithwaite

The founder of TMTalks, Christopher, is based in the United Kingdom and writes for the site in his free time. Particular areas of interest include Space, energy, cyber security and block-chain technology.

3 Replies to “The Future of TV”

  1. Hi Chris thanks for writing these informative articles. I agree with you on your points about the future of TV, but where do you see the future of actual cinemas themselves going? Will they become a thing of the past when film experiences become more interactive?

    1. Hi Josh, thanks for the feedback. I like your question, its a good one and one that is not easy to answer. I would say that cinemas have been successful in the past because of the immersive experience they provided. Relying on the latest technology to provide HD, iMAX, 3D and the best surround sound, cinemas have always given you something that you can’t get at home. This niche is what I think will allow them to survive in the future. The large open space of the cinema is a rare luxury in this ever crowded world. I can see cinemas becoming more like theatres, putting on holographic performances and art. However, they will need the technology to be developed for them.

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