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The future of TV: Here. Now.

March 25, 2019

Just when you think TVs can’t get any bigger, thinner or clearer, they evolve again—right before our eyes. As seen at CES 2019, the TV technology evolution is anything but over. Yet unless you’re totally tuned into the TV market, it can be hard to keep up with all the changes in TV technology, terminology and offerings.
 
That’s why we’re bringing some of the latest news and breakthroughs right to you.
 
4 technology highlights:
 
1. MicroLED is the first new TV display technology in years.
For the past two years, Samsung has impressed crowds at CES with a wall-size TV (called “The Wall”) that uses a technology called MicroLED. It’s the first brand-new display technology to be commercialized in more than a decade.
 
As the name suggests, MicroLED is comprised of millions of tiny LEDs—smaller versions of what’s in your current LCD TV. MicroLED is cool for several reasons. It has the potential for the same perfect black levels as OLED with no danger of burn-in. It can deliver higher brightness than any current display technology and wide-gamut excellent color, and it doesn’t suffer the viewing angle and uniformity issues of LCD.
 
Samsung was the first to take MicroLED to market, but it’s not the only one in the game. Other manufacturers—like LG and Sony—are also working on MicroLED TVs for release later this year.  
 
2. After years of concept models, super resolution screens are about to go mainstream.
Yes, you can buy an 8K TV right now. Although multiple companies have been showing 8K TVs at CES for years, this technology is just going mainstream now. This year’s CES 2019 tech expo showcased a number of dazzling new 8K television models from Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Hisense and LG, all to be released this year.
 
The latest wave of 8K TVs are every bit as thin and home friendly as what we now expect from our existing 4K TV models. But they’re not cheap. (The first 8K TV to arrive in the U.S. was the 85-inch Samsung Q900 in the fall of 2018, and it costs a hefty $15,000.) While today’s 8K TVs are primarily attracting committed cinephiles with money to burn, industry experts believe the cost of this technology will trickle down to cheaper sets in the future, just as 4K did. 
 
3. There’s a new HDMI specification: HDMI 2.1.
All 8K TVs will have a new HDMI cable specification, called HDMI 2.1. For the first time, this will allow 8K resolutions to pass through the cable—ensuring that TVs accept 8K resolutions at 60 frames per second (or 4K resolution at 120 frames per second). As one would expect, HDMI 2.1 is a major enabler of the forthcoming 8K resolution revolution.   
 
4. Yes, 8K content is coming.
To get the most out of all those 33 million-plus pixels, the incoming source needs to be 8K too. Fortunately, there are many sources that are beginning to produce 8K content.
 
The first is Hollywood, whose directors have already begun to use new 8K cameras (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has already been filmed in 8K). Traditional TV production studios will likely follow. Case in point: The first 8K broadcast will be the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 (but you’ll need to be in Japan to see it). Last but not least, 8K content will come from all of us—captured from 360-degree video cameras like the GoPro Omni VR and Insta360 Pro.
 
And for people who don’t want to wait, Samsung solves that problem with its Q900R QLED 8K TV, complete with 8K AI Upscaling. Available in four ultra-large screen sizes, Samsung’s QLED 8K TV features several 8K-ready enhancements, including Real 8K Resolution, Q HDR 8K and Quantum Processor 8K, all created to bring 8K-quality images to life, regardless of the original source quality or format.    
 
TV technology changes fast. To learn what solutions are available today and how they can benefit your customers, contact the experts at Ingram Micro.