Within our fast morphing consumer electronics world, we can truly feel the meaning of these words, sung so beautifully and heartfully by Steven Tyler in his superstar group Aerosmith. The song continues with “I know nobody knows where it comes and where it goes.”
Thinking about the sometimes dizzying buzzwords dropped and flopped, which sound so smart and tech-clever, we know new products “come and go somewhere,” so rapidly. Sometimes it feels difficult to catch our breath, catch our pocketbooks from emptying too quickly. The real question for all of us is “just where are all these dauntless and fastidious TV manufacturers going with new technology, and are Hollywood, delivery services, and we the consumer able to keep up?”
You know what I am talking about, those consumer fuzzy muzzy acronyms tied to a viceroy boundary blur of new shiny product launches like CCFL, OLED, LED, 4G, nits, 4K, ADSL, LCD, AMOLED, DLP, NFC, blah, blah, blah. Now don’t get me wrong, we love and cherish our new electronics, we just want to ensure products can truly deliver our dreams.
The ability to overstimulate our senses, ensure imagination substrates are seeded, digested and ingested is what every consumer hunts for. We the consumer do not hunt for acronyms, we hunt to fulfill our entertainment dreams of watching the big game in our living room as if we were actually in the stadium with a hot dog and a beer. So, let’s help each other to experience imagination and dreams the way they were written, the way they were colored, the way the director intended them to be.
Through varying glass vistas designed to protract and stimulate our sweet dreams, let’s get down to some “tech talk.” For the record, the hyperchanging short-product-life-cycles for television technology continue to leap right over needed, complimentary content and delivery provisions. Our new 3D, OLED, and upcoming 4K technologies are moving so fast that content libraries sit quietly in the rear view mirror. Unfortunately, those of us who invested in the 3D home theater experience whine and plead for 3D real-time content, all the time. And with large screen HDTVs quadrupling the resolution of 1080P TVs this holiday season through new 4K resolution (3,840 by 2,160 wow-pixels) televisions are again, just like with 3D, hip hopping over must-have 4K content to fully stimulate our heartfelt, pining experiences.
Let’s begin our tech-talk with OLED displays. They are very expensive to produce and offer shorter product life cycles, averaging 14,000 hours, versus LED TVs, which live in excess of 30,000 hours. Blue diodes within OLED technology degenerate quickly and can be destructive to the overall color balance and sequences of the television. Over time, OLED TV manufacturing costs become cheaper as OLEDs can be printed and stamped on nearly any sensible substrate.
When they’re cheaper to produce, of course, they will be cheaper for us to buy. This means more profit for manufacturers as long as they can command a “new technology premium.” This means more consumers can enter and play through the first inch of larger and thinner OLED TVs as prices decline. Truly, today, OLED technology represents the zenith in a consumer’s dream-weaving experience.
As we the dreamers, through OLED technology, gain wider viewing angles, improved brightness, better contrast and color reproduction than LCD or LED, our minds and our dreams will look, smell, and taste delicious from any angle of the room. Even Mother Earth loves OLED technology with aggressive improvements in energy consumption, as an inactive OLED TV consumes no power, emits zero light.
Next? Let’s turn up our senses, make our dreams come true. With new 4K technology, more pixels per inch allows for bigger display production without compromising sharpness. However, “buyer beware!” These early-launched 4K video screamers will have very limited content available to enjoy the full eye-power disciplines we would expect.
Your 4K television will spend most of its time re-calibrating content through up-scaling, through other ambient devices attempting to over-compliment the greater demand from our eyes and senses. 4K televisions will kiss video content at 4,096 pixels wide compared to 1,920 pixels currently averaged in HD sets today. With more pixels and aggressive, very crisp imagery, 4K will increase your heart- and mind-beat with the right advanced calibrated content. But like 3D, I caution you, there is a modicum of content to fill your head, fulfill your dreams. By the way, for those who enjoy the incredible eye bite sensations of the iPhone 5 along with this year’s iPads and MacBooks, know that Apple has also been quadrupling the resolution of each of these internet pylons to help you enjoy and spend more cycle time based upon stimulating your home, mobile, and business hearts and minds.
Hollywood clearly and surely needs to speed up their creation of both 3D and 4K content while finding smarter, faster, and more profitable ways to distribute it. New advanced forms of file compression and video coding are already in play across Hollywood future format standards, as movie studios are clearly not in the sales-avoidance business. These advanced compression standards beyond current MPEG-4 AVC are designed to ensure future movies will visually accent current 3D and future 4K television sensations.
Of course, we will need 3D and 4K streaming for all of us who enjoy internet downloading, but we will need nearly four times the bandwidth of today’s 6 to 7 megabits per second to experience and enjoy 4K content. Trust me, fatter net pipes over 50 megabits per second are forthcoming, but will need to be installed faster to keep up with today’s advanced television deliverables. Hollywood and our pipe infrastructure are running hard and fast to catch up to TV manufacturers advancements. When the ultimate eye delight trilogy of 4K televisions, 4K Hollywood movies, and 4K-capable broadband pipes unite, it will be very, very difficult to tear our eyes, ears, and coach potato senses away from brightly glowing 4K next-gen TV technologies ahead.
Having said this, and for perspective, 4K consumer purchasing demand for the near two-year term will be weak at best. Worldwide 4K shipments — according to a couple of third-party resources, including IHS — will secure about 2.1 million televisions by 2017, up from a paltry fourth quarter projection of 4,000 units through the end of 2012. Based upon these numbers, product introductions and consumer demand for televisions with ultra-high-definition 4K resolution will remain negligible for the foreseeable future, with shipments never accounting for more than 1% of the global LCD TV market during the next five years.
So as you think about these torrid, stimulating, very-large-screen 4K televisions launching during this holiday season, realize that Hollywood, manufacturers, and consumers will be very hard pressed to make a 4K sales impact in the near term. Hot new 4K TV sets are cosmetically and visually stunning to stare at for our senses. However, the sticker price currently serves as a major deterrent to consumers, along with a lack of 4K complimentary content.
Smart, tech savvy consumers want to better understand more TV tech details. These include levels of lower power consumption, why mercury is no longer part of the advanced television mix, just how does OLED accent a more balanced color saturation, how does OLED deal with light leakage in dark scenes, how about juxtaposed black level achievements in 4K, how about blah, blah, blah.
Trust me, there will be plenty of time to explore deeper behind the glass, underneath the display case disciplines. I suggest for now, you place your consumer cap back on, go down to Best Buy, Costco, Walmart, PC Richard, hhgregg, Electronics Expo, or others to stare down your dreams from six feet away. Of course you will be ravished by the beautiful cosmetics and captivating views glowing from varying LEDs, OLEDs, and 4K delights. Feel free to let your smiling eyes, your imaginative mind, your heartfelt dreams select your most desired glass pylon of desire. And as the expression goes, “be careful what you dream for!” The more real your television imagination dreams become while you’re standing at the last three feet of the sale in the retail aisle, the more real your pocketbook stretches and sings out loudly, just like Steven Tyler “dream on until your dreams come true.”