TV tech tendencies convey dwelling a sharper, smarter image

How is your window to the world holding up, now that we’ve spent seven months at dwelling combating the pandemic?

TVs have stored Canadians knowledgeable, entertained and related as we’ve hunkered down throughout COVID-19. We’re watching information and present occasions reveals greater than ever, the return of sports activities has us again in entrance of our small(ish) screens and new streaming providers are bringing out the binge-watchers in all of us. A pair of latest online game consoles, debuting later this 12 months, will put much more deal with televisions.

And if it’s been some time because you shopped for a brand new TV you’ll be blown away at how huge, skinny and delightful they’ve change into. To not point out a number of the new options they provide

Listed here are just a few well timed TV tech tendencies to think about — and some really useful fashions, too.

4K: Your subsequent TV shall be an entire lot sharper. Known as “ultra-high definition” or generally “4K” TV, these new televisions provide 4 occasions the decision of a top-of-the-line 1080p HDTV. In different phrases, as a substitute of a display screen that has roughly two million pixels (the little dots that make up the picture) these televisions boast greater than eight million pixels.

Samsung's The Frame televisions can display high-resolution photos and art. Plus there are optional borders that magnetically attach to the screen and create an artwork-like frame.

It’s like slipping on a pair of prescription glasses for the primary time.

Netflix and different providers help 4K TVs, together with many tv suppliers; in case you land on a station that helps 4K TVs, you may see a pop-up that claims to press “Choose” on the distant to modify to a 4K broadcast.

The value of 4K TVs have dropped considerably. As an illustration, now you can get a 43-inch TCL 4-Collection 4K tv (mannequin # 43S425-CA) for about $300 — and it has the built-in Roku Sensible TV platform, too.

8K: Some newer TVs have already leapfrogged to ship 8K decision. So as a substitute of about eight million pixels that make up a 4K picture, we’re speaking greater than 33 million pixels, leading to an unbelievably lifelike and clear image with a decision greatest appreciated on a big tv.

One other approach to consider it: 8K TVs provide 4 occasions the decision of a 4K TV, and 16 occasions the decision in comparison with a 1080p HD TV.

And sure, till 8K content material turns into extra available, these new televisions can “upscale” HD or 4K content material to close 8K decision. (Proper now, 8K video is restricted to a handful of YouTube channels and what newer smartphones can report at.)

LG’s NanoCell 8K Sensible TVs begins at $4,999 for the 65-inch mannequin (65NANO99UNA) and jumps to $6,999 for the 75-inch LG NanoCell 8K Sensible TV (mannequin # 75SM9970PUA).

Samsung has a whopping 85-inch 8K QLED Tizen Sensible TV for $16,999 (mannequin # QN85Q950TSFXZC).

HDR/Dolby Imaginative and prescient: Whereas 4K or 8K refers back to the decision of the tv — what number of pixels make up the image – this isn’t the entire story.

The most recent televisions additionally provide HDR, or “excessive dynamic vary,” which reproduces a wider vary of brightness ranges, richer colors and better contrasts. When seen facet by facet with non-HDR content material, HDR-enhanced video is extremely vivid and vibrant.

You may also see extra televisions branded with applied sciences like HDR10+ and Dolby Imaginative and prescient, that are two improved kinds of HDR.

OLED, QLED: As a substitute of an LED-backlit LCD tv — the de facto display screen expertise just some years in the past — many premium TVs use OLED (pronounced “oh-led”) screens for a superior picture, and different advantages.

Primarily from LG and Sony, televisions filled with natural light-emitting diodes are extremely skinny as a result of every pixel is its personal gentle supply, subsequently no backlighting is required. Together with sharp color and unprecedented distinction ratios (with tremendous darkish blacks), these televisions are extra vitality environment friendly than different TV panel varieties.

LG’s 2020 OLED fashions begin at $1,999. Its flagship CX OLED TV prices $2,399 (for the 55-inch mannequin).

Sony’s flagship OLED mannequin, the Sony Bravia XBR A8H begins at $2,499 for the 55-inch mannequin, whereas the 65-inch model sells for $3,699.99.



Different TV makers — like Samsung, TCL, and Hisense — are providing TVs powered by “quantum dot” (or “QLED”) expertise: microscopic dots as small as one-billionth of a metre that make up the image. And whereas they will’t fairly match the “infinite” distinction ratio of OLED (the luminance between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks), they typically don’t price as a lot as OLED.

QLED televisions additionally ship a large, extra true-to-life color palette than different TVs, particularly reds, greens and cyans.

QLED TVs begin at about $899 for the 55-inch TCL 6-Collection televisions.

Sensible TV: Most new TVs immediately mean you can hook up with the web by way of Wi-Fi.

And this contains entry-level fashions, such because the $399 43-inch Hisense 4K UHD Roku Sensible TV (43R6109).

Samsung is the No. 1 TV manufacturer in the world. The South Korean tech giant was also one of the first to offer an 8K television, including its flagship Q95 Series TVs.

Sensible TVs mean you can entry on-line content material, be it for video streaming — resembling Netflix, Crave, Disney+, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube — in addition to for viewing social media posts (Fb, Instagram, Twitter) and on-line photograph galleries, plus music providers, on-demand information and sports activities scores, and so forth.

Usually, you select which apps you wish to see in your display screen, not not like icons on a smartphone.

Some Sensible TVs offer you a full net browser, too, so you need to use a search engine or go to and bookmark web sites, or they allow you to play interactive video games. And lots of Wi-Fi-enabled televisions allow you to wirelessly play content material out of your smartphone or pill.

Voice assistants: Many Sensible TV makers are additionally integrating voice-activated private assistants — like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa — into their televisions.

So you may press a button on the distant to ask a query or give a command. It might be TV-related, like “Play Lifeless To Me,” “Launch cat movies on YouTube,” or “Who directed Jojo Rabbit?” Or ask one thing utterly completely different: “What’s going to the climate be like on the weekend?” or “Flip off the lights exterior.”

Some A.I. assistants shall be unique, like Samsung’s Bixby and LG’s ThinQ platform. However lots of Samsung’s and LG’s televisions help each Google and Amazon, too.

Design, decor: Is it a TV or a big art work? The reply is each, in case you’re speaking in regards to the aptly-named The Body by Samsung (from $1,199 for 43-inches).

Whenever you’re not watching content material, this 4K HDR shows a number of hundred items of art work. You may also import your individual photographs.

To essentially make it seem like an image body, non-compulsory bezels add enticing borders (in several colors and supplies) that magnetically affix to all 4 sides of the TV.

Marc Saltzman
Marc Saltzman relies in Toronto and has covers client expertise tendencies. He’s a contributor for the Star. Observe him on Twitter: @marc_saltzman