The future of televisions in the age of digital content streaming

In the last 30 years, TV technology has come a long way. In the previous three decades, the steady evolution of television technology has generated some truly incredible results so far.

The development in television technology does not seem to slow down from the large monochrome sets of the 1970s to today’s slim ultra HD displays. This means that future of televisions might be something that we can’t possibly imagine yet!

Television manufacturers feel the pressure to keep up with the new technological developments as broadcasters unveil “ultimate networks” using 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos. Let us take a look at the future of TV technology and where it could end next.

We already see an impact on the market, but what will the future of TV and video look like in a few years? Will the industry be dominated by global platform giants such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple, and Google?

Or will the television and video industry grow into a dynamic, collaborative environment in which established companies still have a role to play? Who has access to the client, and who will make the best use of the possibility of monetization?

It isn’t easy to make long-term projections about the future of televisions because of the constant evolution. That is why, with the aid of scenario design, we chose a holistic approach to research future scenarios for the TV and video industry by 2030 and look beyond the customary planning horizon of three to five years.

Our predictions are based on a detailed collection of factors that will impact the Television and video industry’s future. Based on machine learning algorithms, we combined these with expert interviews and an external environment study.

We analyzed them in a model with their scale of ambiguity and their impact on the TV and video industry.

In CES this year, manufacturers are seen to cease investing in 3D television technology contrary to the trend earlier in the decade, which means there was no 3D television at CES this year. We saw updates to conventional screen technology instead.

LG’s rollable panel television was the most talked about at CES. They’re not all origami, but they’re similar. Imagine the old roll-up projector displays, with a 65-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TV screen and 4 K resolution, built into a low TV device.

The screen also allows you to partially roll it down to erase those distracting black top and bottom bars used in more comprehensive aspect ratio films.

The 8K prospect in the future of televisions

It may seem like 8K will have twice the resolution of 4K if you use simple math, but that is not the case. Since we’re talking about two dimensions here, horizontal lines and vertical lines, it’s a whopping 16 times HD pixels and four times 4K pixels: 8K resolution equals 7680 x 4320, or 33 million pixels (33,117,600, to be precise), rather than 3840 x 2160 (8,294,400 pixels).

Imagine four 4K TVs put in a four-by-four grid to imagine it more quickly. That’s a ton of pixels.

While technologies such as HDR (high dynamic range) can make a more visible difference from a distance, HDR televisions display a brighter and more colorful image.

However, on larger screens, 8K is entirely apparent, and the nearer you approach the screen, the better it looks.

Do we really need 8K ?

Yeah, the major TV manufacturers assume we do, mostly because 4K has gone mainstream, and they be trying to be ahead of the competition in the next few years.

“For supply chain and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), the next major thing to distinguish is 8K as the 4K segment became mainstream.

We estimate that the rapid development and acceptance of 4K TVs in the Chinese markets will also push 8K acceptance in the coming years, followed by North America, Western Europe, and so on, “said Neil Shah to CNBC, Research Director at Counterpoint Research.

Nearly 250,000 8K TV panels are expected to be shipped this year, rising to 7 million by 2022. And even bigger screen sizes can come with this since 8K allows a better image on a larger scale.

For instance, it is predicted that an 8K TV’s average size would be 65 inches, but plus-80-inch sets will also be standard.

The ultimate 8K experience

Movies and TV shows will benefit as 8K content comes down the queue, but because 8K’s most apparent advantage is increased clarity, sports tend to benefit more than any other.

It is no surprise that the early broadcasts of NHK centered on sports in both 4K and 8K. Although movies and TVs are created for artistic purposes, live sports events resonate with the same colors, images, and motion that we see in daily life.

8K TVs promise to make the experience of watching sports more like being in the stadium than ever before at home and in sports bars. When the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo is seen in 8K, we’ll be able to see this first-hand.

If that event doesn’t sell naysayers on 8K, it likely won’t do anything, but we’ll be surprised if we don’t see sparkling reports of the experience after NHK lets viewers in on Japan’s latest tech.

The bigger the display, the greater the value of 8K resolution is to be enjoyed. Spectators can expect a relatively clean and ultra-sharp video from native 8K material other than sports.

Instead of jagged edges that we have now, it will offer smooth lines. We will see less color banding where firm compression has not been applied. This will produce razor sharp and legible small prints.

Intriguingly, the screens on which people enjoy TV are becoming both more extensive and thinner. The average size of screens sold in North America is indicative about future of televisions as they are going up rapidly as viewing on a small phone or tablet is becoming common.

The bigger the display, the greater the value of 8K resolution is to be enjoyed. This trend is such that IHS Markit predicts that 8K TV sales will hit 1 million by 2021 for such a brand new technology.

How can the tv and video industry adapt to change?

As distinct as the four potential scenarios for the TV and video industry by 2030 may seem, some universal consequences are important for all market participants and should be taken into account in their strategic planning.

It is no longer possible for broadcasters and content providers to rely on their current market position. They must open themselves to collaboration and partnerships, including direct rivals, to protect their business models and future revenue streams.

Reasonable ways to counter the challenge from digital platform providers such as Netflix, Amazon, Apple, or Google includes joint production, joint delivery models, and even collaborative platforms.

Also, existing broadcasters and content providers need to continually invest in their digital skills, as technology has become a central component of their business processes. What is crucial for them is that both digital assets and imaginative ideas are equally important to them.

In the future, what Bill Gates wrote more than 20 years ago will still apply: “Content is King.”  However, first-class technical skills are necessary to generate desirable content in a future defined by digitalization and eventually to meet the consumer with it.

How technology and content define the future of television

There’s technology everywhere today. With smart assistants that sit on countertops, wearable devices that monitor heart rate, and so much more, today’s customers experience it everywhere they go.

The changing direction that Americans view technology in their lives comes with numerous potential for the media industry. The days are gone where a family would crowd around the TV in the living room.

Now, it’s about pairing cutting-edge technologies with quality content and satisfying customers with anything anywhere.

The streaming opportunity that shape the future of televisions

“Viewers are watching more content than ever before, and we believe there is a massive opportunity for streaming platforms to expand further.

This will come from subscription items, where viewers tell us that they are prepared to increase their spending, as well as in the ad-supported space,” says John Curbishley, EVP, ViacomCBS Strategic Planning. He also adds, ” I don’t think there’s going to be a single ‘winner’ emerging, but rather a series of products to meet the needs of different viewers, including free at various price points.”

Innovations are certainly improving creativity and fostering a TV revolution that includes both what and how customers watch.

“How consumers choose to watch their content will continue to fragment, in part due to the proliferation of new streaming services in the market,” says Ray Hopkins, President, U.S. Networks Distribution, ViacomCBS. Additionally, he says, “Exclusively windowed premium content (live and on-demand) remains the linchpin of the cable ‘bundle’ and as long as the various media/network groups remain disciplined in their approach to the old and new worlds, I believe there will be a fairly robust traditional cable TV model moving forward.”

The 2019 Horowitz Study of Pay-TV, OTT, and SVOD reported that 70% of those watching videos did so through a streaming service and that this was achieved by 40 percent of TV viewing, twice the amount from five years earlier.

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