Better-Quality TV/Video Devices Lead To Wonderment -- And Puzzlement

We are again inundated with marketing for new technology: better TV screens and newer personal screens are coming!

Last week we heard about a consumer version of Facebook’s Oculus Rift, the virtual reality TV-video headset. It sets back users some $1,500 when including all of the software -- mostly gamers, for sure --  It will come to market in 2016.

That’s some high-end stuff. On the flip side, we have better traditional TV sets: those 4K TV sets, so-called Ultra HDTVs, four times sharper than current HDTV models. TV set manufacturers continued to drop 4KTV prices as well as dramatically slowing down regular HDTV marketing -- if not production.

So one recent report from Strategy Analytics predicts that nearly half of U.S. homes will own an Ultra HD set by 2020.



Still, TV networks and video platforms aren’t in much of a rush to start transmitting video signals in this high-quality format, only having in recent years made a full transition to HDTV from standard-definition TV.  To be sure, some are dipping their toes in the waters -- like DirecTV starting up satellite capabilities in delivering in 4K. Additionally, Netflix has Ultra HDTV capabilities.

How do consumers feel about this? Great. Who doesn’t want high quality -- at low cost? That is, unless something better is around the corner, such as OLED or quantum dot 4K TV technology.

You can always wait for 8K technology, which Japan’s NHK has developed. This past weekend Fox Sports held a live 8K screening of FIFA Women’s World Cup Soccer tournament from NHK.

In five years we may indeed see half of U.S. TV homes with 4K TV sets. But the betting is that we won’t see half of TV networks transmitting in 4K.  

This continues to be the case of technology leading content, with most consumers scratching their heads about why they should buy pricey devices now, when there might not be enough content created in those formats to fill their recreational hours.

Promises, promises: Big media is at least good at that.

1 comment about "Better-Quality TV/Video Devices Lead To Wonderment -- And Puzzlement ".
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  1. ida tarbell from s-t broadcasting, June 16, 2015 at 3:09 p.m.

    In the great scheme of things the whole world is falling apart.  On Air TV in its current iteration doesn't reach the homes it used to.  The world is moving too fast. VHS video recorders were a strong product, with a timer recording mechanism.., that no one ever used.  Beaming vhs sets without the time set were a marker of the 80s and early 90s.  The internet is really an outlaw medium, looked at closely.  Its biggest corporate players have made an art of stealing copyrights.  When its users follow suit, using bittorrents and P2P to 'borrow' copyrighted material, suddenly that's different!  I watched a pretty fair cam grab of San Andreas, a disaster film comedy, on youtube the other day.  It wasn't as fine-grained as the version I watched in a theater a week earlier, but for some it sufficed.  Youtube professes to remove these when asked but they apparently can't do it fast enough. The next problem is there's not enough spectrum left for wifi for the internet of things outdoors, the encroaching cell phone carriers supposedly buying up old unused broadcast spectrum that is still being used by LPTV, LPFM, translators and more, and the new LTE mediums that promise to cause interference to nearly all broadcast spectrum.  Traditional broadcasters are worried to death the FCC will not defend them against interference.  Video Recorders were made cheap enough so they wore out almost immediately, allowing manufacturers to abandon them quickly.  There's a collection of colliginous junk gathering for abandoment in this world, even behind major corporations.  Think of all the walkmans, Ipods, portable cd players and earpods gathering junk heaps everywhere.  I threw away 5 vcrs a year or two ago, but now have 2 to play the odd vhs I have to now and then.  I suspect it was like this in 1915 too. If past is prologue, someone will arrive in the Presidency around 2032 to try straightening it out.

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