January 29, 2021
The demand for upgraded televisions and streaming content has increased significantly during the coronavirus pandemic. Nielsen reports that streaming services currently account for a quarter of all TV viewing in North America and, according to CES producer the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), consumers upgrading their TVs led to a shipment record for 2020, a trend expected to continue this year. In addition, an Ampere study indicates that the average U.S. household subscribes to four streaming services. CES 2021 showcased a compelling array of TVs and related tech, including 8K, QNED, MicroLED, MiniLED, NanoCell TVs, ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV), Filmmaker Mode, transparent displays, enhanced game support and more.
CTA predicts about 43 million units will ship this year, some of which will be 8K and/or a minimum of 70 inches. Research by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) suggests that viewers are most interested in higher resolution and enhanced audio from 3D speakers, sound bars and 21.1 channels.
“They also want higher dynamic range, higher frame rates and bigger displays and Filmmaker Mode, a button that sets a film’s color-palette, contrast, aspect ratio and frame rate supposedly as the director envisioned,” reports TV Tech. “In fact, they want the whole package to which can now be added ‘smart interactive personalization.’”
“What is exciting is the synergy between these consumer desires and today’s TVs, which are bringing these features to life,” said ATSC president Madeleine Noland during one of the CES panel sessions.
ATSC 3.0 also made a splash during CES 2021. “Broadcasters are excited to add IP-based NextGen TV since it enables them to create dramatically different experiences than cable or streaming by adding web-like capabilities,” reports TWICE. While the pitch for ATSC 3.0 commonly emphasizes 4K resolution, at this year’s CES execs also pointed out the audio possibilities.
“In addition to enabling broadcasters to air 4K content, offer HD fare with High Dynamic Range luminance and a wider color gamut, and serve interactive content and targeted ads alongside traditional programming, ATSC 3.0 includes Voice Plus,” explains Fierce Video. “That lets viewers enhance dialog to make it audible above crowd noise and other background distractions.”
ETCentric stories: Among the other TV highlights, we saw Samsung’s new MicroLED TVs with improved contrast, including the 110-inch “The Wall” (pictured above); a 48-inch bendable OLED monitor from LG, ideal for gaming; an impressive Spatial Reality Display from Sony; support for Google TV by multiple manufacturers; Samsung’s The Frame TV with the ability to change its orientation; a new OLED flagship from Panasonic with multidirectional sound support; Sony’s Crystal LED modular displays for multiple applications, including virtual sets; a transparent OLED set from LG (pictured below); new MicroLED TVs with improved contrast from Samsung; and ATSC 3.0 support from Sony, LG and others.
Below are links to articles that our editorial staff found of particular interest regarding TV trends:
LG Announces 2021 NextGen TVs, Press Release
TV Shipments to Dip in 2021 Despite 8K Surge – CTA (Light Reading)
CTA: 2020 Record Year for TV Shipments (TV Tech)
Awards-Screener Streaming Apps Considering Filmmaker Mode Support (The Hollywood Reporter)
The Best TVs of CES 2021: Samsung, Sony, LG, TCL (Digital Trends)
Best TVs of CES 2021: Samsung, LG, Sony and More (Tom’s Guide)