Chandrakant 'CK' Isi
09th Jan 2015
For a last couple of years, TV manufacturers have been making headlines at CES with their gimmicky 3D stuff. Especially, the Koreans (LG, Samsung) and Sony pushed 3D aggressively. Such gimmicks help brands make money by charging consumers for the features they didn't ask for. Thanks to the marketing wonders, many consumers invested in 3D panels only find out that 3D makes TV experience unpleasant. Adding insult to the injury are those stupid glasses that degrade the picture quality and brightness. Little wonder then, majority of people never use the 3D feature after the first week. Thankfully, it seems, the hype started to die down soon. Last year, Panasonic admitted that investment in 3D TV “hasn’t really worked”. In 2015, more manufacturers seems to have realised this. At this year’s CES (Consumer Electronic Show) many brands unveiled newer 3D TVs, but hardly anyone pushed 3D as a USP. This is a great start, and I'm hoping that this headache-inducing tech disappears soon.
The "picture" is not all that rosy though. By letting go of one gimmick, these big brands have now turned to trumpeting other unnecessary features such as curved panels and so called smart features. As mentioned in our last year's TV buying guide, curved TVs in your living room actually reduce the surface area of viewable screen due to its shape. Such form-factor only makes sense on screens that are bigger than your house. Rather than convenience, smart features are only good to cause frustration. Especially, using those swanky gesture remotes is as difficult as performing a medical surgery. Therefore, I really wish that by 2016, companies will give up on curved and smart TVs.
Instead of introducing new features just for the sake of it, manufacturers should focus on the simple fact that the most users want nothing more than a big TV that produces great picture without breaking the bank. Be it LED or CCFL backlit, LCD screens suck. Therefore, I always recommend Plasma panels that offer amazing picture quality. The vibrancy of colour, contrast, and refresh rates offered by Plasma screens are way better than anything LCD has to offer. Unfortunately, despite being cheaper and better than LCDs, Plasma technology is fading out. If I'm not wrong, all biggies have stopped manufacturing Plasma panels. Thankfully though, OLED TVs have come to rescue in time. As far as the quality is concerned, OLED TVs wipe the floor with LCD. Their accuracy of blacks is even better than that of Plasma. The problem here is that the OLED screens are ridiculously expensive. It is up to companies such as Samsung and LG to stop wasting money on silly features and deliver affordable OLED TVs. And if they must add a new feature, these companies should take inspiration from Philips' Ambilight TVs. The Ambilight tech developed by the Dutch people involves light projection from back of the TV set to follow the content being played. This enhances the level of immersion while reducing the on-screen glare. Again what’s stopping this amazing technology from taking off is the pricing and limited availability. Let’s hope that it changes in near future.
CES 2015: 3D TVs Are Dead, Curved-Panels Should Be Next In Line
OLED and Ambilight TVs are the way to go.
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