TV technology trends and predictions for 2012

TV business is not booming anymore as it used to be. Last year TV makers lost more money than ever before. And things do not seem to be getting better in sales. U.S. Flat Panel TV Shipments to Decline for First Time Ever in 2012 article tells that demand for flat-screen televisions in the U.S. is expected to decline for the first time ever this year, and continue falling for at least the next three years, according to a new report from IHS iSuppi. The market research firm projected that shipments of flat-panel TVs to the American market will decrease 5 percent, or two million units, to 37.1 million units in 2012. Shipments are expected to continue decreasing until at least 2015. Sales in the U.S. of flat-panel TVs are now driven by consumers who are replacing their older flat-panel sets with new models.

HDTV predictions for CES — and 2012 article predicts that small and medium screen HDTV prices will stabilize. The days of price erosion in the under-40-inch category will end as market demand picks up and the world economy stabilizes. TV makers can no longer afford to lose a billion or more dollars a year. The larger screens will continue to get cheaper. HDTV predictions for CES — and 2012 article points to a recent survey (by NPD DisplaySearch): U.S. consumers prefer bigger screens to smaller Internet streaming or 3-D capable TVs. The article predicts that the industry will respond with many 70-inch and larger sets for 2012.

HDTV predictions for CES — and 2012 article expects that at least one major TV brand will pull the plug on the U.S. market in 2012, either with a complete exit, or by selling its name to a Chinese TV manufacturer. Hi-Tech Retailers with their large stores are struggling because of notoriously narrow profit margin and the fact that retail shops are becoming showrooms where people check the product they then buy on-line.


Electronics expected to drive China’s 2012 exports article tells that uppliers are looking to home and personal electronics, and other high-value products to spur orders in 2012. Companies will introduce more add-ons, intelligent models to attract orders. Makers of electrical home appliances will emphasize aesthetics, performance and value add-ons to attract business and prop up margins, which narrowed in 2011 due to climbing material and labor costs. As for TVs, LCD-based models will be at the center of exports in 2012. Outbound shipments of LED, large-screen and smart TVs will increase in the second half of the year. The under-performance is due partly to economic uncertainties in the US and the EU. The two continue to be the primary destinations of most China-made products, although alternative markets such as Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region are growing in terms of export share.

Also new companies are pushing to TV and consumer electronics business. IKEA moves into consumer electronics with China venture. Sweden’s IKEA, the world’s largest furniture maker, is set to enter the consumer electronics market with a line of furniture with integrated connected television and sound systems. The furniture aims to solve the challenge of living room clutter of cords and remote controls. Uppleva range of home entertainment systems integrate a flat-screen full HD TV, 2.1 sound, and a Blu-ray player. The products are developed in co-operation with China-based TCL Multimedia. Uppleva will only be available in a few European markets to start with, but the UK and North America should see it in 2013. Generally speaking things like this are miserable failures, but let’s see what this turns out. So now my furniture won’t just go out of style. It will literally become obsolete and have interoperability issues.


OLED displays are becoming more common. HDTV predictions for CES — and 2012 article points out that in 2012, LG and Samsung will introduce the revolutionary OLED HDTV technology in the 55-inch screen size. OLED can produce high-definition images that outperform the best LED LCDs and plasmas. The most significant improvement is in contrast and large viewing angle (especially when compared to every LCD and LED LCD). All three remaining plasma makers (LG, Panasonic and Samsung) will continue to support the format with more emphasis on the larger screen models and product improvements as OLED sets will be very expensive for the next couple of years.

HDBaseT connectivity technology will try to push to market It represents a digital home networking alternative to standards such as HDMI, radio frequency(RF), coaxial cable, composite video, S-Video, SCART, component video, D-Terminal, or VGA, presenting a feature set previously unavailable in the CE industry. HDBaseT’s ability to deliver up to 100W of power (over 100m, via a single LAN cable, without any additional power source) is actually very nicely aligned with trends in energy usage and demand. The power level is more than adequate for supporting today’s typical 40-inch LED TV, which requires 70W of power.

There is now a maximum permissible power limit calculated in relation to screen size, with an absolute maximum of 80W for any TV with screen size 50 inches or larger. It is expected that both LCD and LED TV monitors will soon be averaging approximately one watt of power consumption per inch of screen size. Regardless of screen size EnergyStar™ 6.0 is targeting a cap of 85 W for all screen sizes.

Innovations being employed to help meet current and future power consumption standards include LED backlighting. It which improves efficiency compared to CCFL backlights while also allowing thinner dimensions. There is currently a dramatic market shift toward LED backlighting that will see 10 times as many LED TVs built, compared to units with traditional CCFL backlights, by 2015. In addition, more efficient and simplified power supply designs are emerging.

3D TV is still hot. HDTV predictions for CES — and 2012 article expects that number of 3-D disc titles will grow, first-generation glassless 3-D will arrive and TVs with Full HD resolution with the passive 3-D.

Consumers are just gaining access to the 3D TVs when the next disaster is already on the way. Maybe the next revolution is Super Resolution HD-TV. Television technology is developing rapidly. We are entering post-full-HDTV resolution (1920×1080) era. Just few years ago full HD was considered the ultimate resolution that everybody were aiming to and was considered “enough”. No the trend seems to be that resolutions beyond full HD are becoming widely used. A number of the major TV makers will begin to offer large-screen TVs with resolutions four times that of HDTV: 3840 x 2160, otherwise known as 4K. Standard and high definition will be internally up-converted to 4K resolution. It is expected that there will be 4K HDTVs that include passive 3-D technology capable of displaying Full HD resolution with the passive 3-D.

New kind remote controls are coming. Look for remotes from a number of TV makers that will use voice, gestures, motion or other ways to better control the display device. LG has already announced its Magic Motion remote will incorporate voice control in select 2012 models. And of course, because of Siri on the iPhone 4S, expect the Apple iTV to take TV control functions where no set has gone before.

The connected TV will evolve. Top-selling brands are currently offering Internet-connected TVs with streaming and apps. Online video is overtaking physical sales article says that Americans are spending money on video streaming and downloaded film services, so much so that online sales there have overtaken physical ones. 2012 will be the first year that online films and streaming services will take in more money than sales of DVD and Blu-ray discs combined. There will be 3.4 billion legal and paid for movies watched in the US this year, around one million higher than hard copy sales. The year 2012 will be the final nail to the coffin on the old idea that consumers won’t accept premium content distribution over the Internet. Horror stories about so-called ‘piracy’ but they do not seem to be ringing true.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CCFL and LED price gap closes as CCFL costs explode

    In spite of their implementation in high-profile applications (See LEDs score gold at Olympics), LED penetration has been slow. CCFLs in economically trying times have kept their hold on consumers as the low-cost product of choice.

    The rare-earth metals used for CCFL phosphors jumped as much as 10x their 2010 price. Europium, for example, used as a phosphor in CCFLs saw price hikes of 170% in 2010. Predictably phosphor prices continued to use approximately 6x over 2010 levels.

    Based on their increasing costs, demand has slowed for CCFLs, which also is pushing prices higher.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Revisiting the analogue video decoder: Brushing up on your comb filter–Brushing-up-on-your-comb-filters

    The basic function of the video decoder is to accept analogue video from a wide variety of sources such as broadcast, DVD players, cameras and video cassette recorders, in either NTSC or PAL format and still occasionally SECAM, separate it into its component parts, luminance and chrominance, and output it in some digital video standard, usually BT656, a multiplexed Y/Cb/Cr video format with embedded timing signals running at a clock rate of 27MHz.

    With such a large number of video decoders in the market it might seem an unnecessary indulgence to spend time looking again at the design of this fundamental but apparently obsolete building block, and certainly new designs are not appearing on the market and haven’t done so for three or four years.

    However the block is still a requirement of most video designs, from televisions to video recorders because large swathes of the planet are yet to convert to digital-only broadcasting and because of the legacy requirements. The block is however being marginalized with most of the design effort spent on newer features such as higher definition and 3D.

    The advent of large flat screen displays, whilst in many ways being the element that allowed the widespread adoption of high definition television broadcasting, placed additional demands on the analogue video decoder where conventional sources were viewed, and for a large number of viewers that was still the case; that yellow RCA plug was still in widespread use.

    The most obvious result of viewing analogue video sources on a large display is that any artifacts are, of course, larger and visually more apparent. For larger displays the analogue video decoder actually has a more stringent requirement. This problem is compounded because the flat screen displays require additional processing of the analogue source before it can be properly displayed, namely de-interlacing and scaling.

    The de-interlacer in particular can amplify any artifacts left from the video decoder.

    It is possible to detect most of the conditions under which a line comb filter based video decoder will fail, and under these circumstances a simple notch filter is usually reverted to

    A similar issue arises if the output of the video decoder is to be compressed as all MPEG compression methods effectively send only the motion of an image. Unable to discriminate between artifacts, video source noise and ‘real’ image motion it can be shown that up 20% of satellite and cable digital broadcast bandwidth is utilized to send unnecessary information

    One large improvement to the video decoder that has been made by some manufacturers is to add a 3D comb filter.

    In the new architecture we never have a composite signal, we always have a ‘clean’ luma signal and the comb only adds back high frequency luma. The effect is that, should the comb failure circuit fail to detect an error signal the output artifacts are much reduced.

    The architectural changes described above allow a much improved image quality suitable for MPEG compression and for large screen displays, and also interface to front ends of mobile reception devices, yet impact very little on silicon area or cost. Rumours of the death of analogue video sources were premature.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    No medals at Olympics for 3-D TV–For-3-D-and-UHDTV–not-even-a-Bronze?Ecosystem=communications-design

    London 2012 Olympics has offered an epic event – great athletes, thrilling games and the record number of viewers. Unfortunately, though, it has done nothing – absolutely nothing, when it comes to generating buzz on new broadcast technologies.

    For broadcasters, the London Olympics is the first to feature extensive 3-D coverage (NBC has been broadcasting 12 hours of 3-D programming every day!), while testing-ultra HDTV (also known as 8K).

    And yet, the U.S. market has seen virtually no uptick in 3-D TV sales. Similarly, UHDTV is drawing scant media attention. Thus, no consumers seem inclined to ask what on earth UHDTV is.

    Some events in London Olympics have been shot in Ultra HDTV for the first time in history.

    During London Olympics, two UHDTV cameras were used at set positions.

    UHDTV’s public viewings are, however, rather limited.

    Considering that UHDTV won’t become a commercial reality until 2020 (estimated by NHK), the almost non-existent public awareness of UHDTV is understandable.

    Panasonic made efforts to let consumers know that as an Olympic sponsor, the Japanese company is providing all the necessary 3-D technologies and equipment during London 2012. Despite that, “3-D hasn’t been super-visible,” observed Arnold. He doesn’t see the Olympics helping generate more 3-D TV sales in the future, either. “I don’t anticipate a big bump.”

    Consumers are at best lukewarm to 3-D TV, said Arnold, due to such known hurdles as their having to put on 3-D glasses and getting only limited access to 3-D content.

    Be it 3-D TV, 4K or 8K, the new broadcast technologies are emerging at a time when flat-panel TV sales had already stopped growing. According to NPD, overall flat-panel sales in the United States during Q2 this year declined by one percent in terms of units. Sales dropped by 9 percent in value, compared to a year ago.

    London 2012 is probably the first Olympics where multi-screen viewing has become the norm among many consumers.

    “Digital output, online and on mobile phones, is likely to exceed traditional TV footage for the first time at London, registering more than 100,000 hours of coverage,” said IOC officials earlier this week. This is despite TV coverage exceeding that of Beijing 2008 by more than 40,000 hours, at 100,000 hours.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sharp to shunt two telly factories

    Ailing Japanese electronics giant Sharp is set to offload two of its manufacturing plants, shedding thousands more jobs than was originally feared, according to the latest reports from Tokyo.

    Sharp plans to eventually sell two of its TV production plants in Mexico and China to Foxconn parent company Hon Hai, according to Japan’s Daily Yomiuri newspaper.

    This would apparently result in 3,000 extra job losses on top of the 5,000 already announced by the under-fire firm earlier this month, amounting to about 12 per cent of Sharp’s global workforce.

    It’s not a done deal yet

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fox asks court to ban Dish’s ad-skipping features

    Fox Broadcasting Company is asking a court to put a stop to two features on Dish’s new digital video recorder that let consumers skip commercials because it is hurting the TV networks’ business.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Does Sitting Too Close to the TV Really Ruin Your Eyesight?

    The myth got its start in the late 1960s, when General Electric sold television sets that emitted levels of radiation as much as 100,000 times more than what federal health experts considered safe.

    Televisions developed before the 1950s emitted levels of radiation that could heighten a person’s risk of eye problems after repeated and extended exposure,

    These issues are now a thing of past; modern TVs come with proper shielding to block radiation. Nowadays, the only eye problems that televisions cause are strain and fatigue, both of which can be cured by simply resting your eyes. (The same goes for another popular old wives’ tale about reading in dim light.)

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sharp’s economic problems will reduce 2000 employees

    Sharp is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of display panels. The company is a victim of lowered LCD panels and TV sets prices.


  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sony’s Whopping 84-Inch 4K TV Will Dominate Your Living Room

    If you find your 55″ 1080p TV set is just too small and pixelated, you’ll be thrilled to know the next generation of ridiculously enormous, ultra-high-resolution smart TVs are on the way. Get ready for 4K TV.

    On Wednesday, Sony introduced the 84-inch XBR-84X900, a 3840 x 2160 resolution LCD TV.

    4K resolution displays boast 8 million pixels and a resolution four times that of full HD.

    Previously the stuff of high-end projectors, 4K has made inroads into televisions as of late. LG introduced its own 4K television set at CES 2012. Other manufacturers like Sharp and Toshiba have released smaller 4K TV sets.

    While there’s not that much 4K resolution video out there, Sony has a list of its 4K movie releases online. You can get a taste for the 4K experience with a handful of videos posted on YouTube.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Will Kill Its TV Advertising Business

    Google has decided to pull the plug on Google TV Ads, its five-year attempt to convert the cable and broadcast TV industry into selling its available ad inventory on an online ad exchange.

    Google TV Ads was the third major attempt to start an online electronic exchange for TV ads, all of which have been rendered extinct by cable and network TV’s refusal to allow any programming inventory to be sold on them.

    The cablers and the nets aren’t stupid: They operate like a cartel, restricting supply of inventory even as demand—and audiences—fall.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TV manufacturers LG, Toshiba and Philips are trying to dodge Nokia and Research in Motion’s downhill in a new joint project.

    - There are many platforms, and it creates a lot of friction. Everyone is trying to get a foothold in the market, and in the presence of gamblers such as Apple and Google, the fragmentation of the market is a threat. Therefore, it is important to work on a common platform, Toshiba’s director Olivier van Wynendaele said.

    Boehm found that consumers do not want to routinely use a variety of interfaces, but turn to easy solution familiar from smartphone familiar.
    - (Apple and Google) can decide to de facto standards contrary to public opinion in the market, because they have so much power in the market, Boehm said.


  11. Tomi Engdahl says:


    A constant element in Berlin IFA show has long time been growing size of television screen.

    Now, the biggest ones are already more than 100 inches.

    New OLED technology is already achieved more than 55 inches.


  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    US cinema attendances plummet

    The number of people going to cinemas this summer in America was the lowest for two decades.

    A total of 533.5 million tickets were sold, down four per cent from last summer, and the worst attendance figures since 1993.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ultra-high-definition TVs: Give me a break … please …–Give-me-a-break—please–?cid=EDNToday

    Last week’s IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin marked the coming-out party for three manufacturers’ 84-inch “4K” resolution (3840×2160 pixel) TVs. LG Electronics’ 84LM9600 is now on sale in Korea (with U.S. availability to follow shortly), and Sony’s KD-84X9005 is set to ship by the end of this year, with Toshiba’s display (following in the footsteps of an already-unveiled 55″ version, the 55ZL2) to follow it in the first half of next year.

    But wait, there’s more … Panasonic used IFA to show off a 145-inch “8K” resolution (7680×4320 pixel) plasma TV, along with some 20-inch “4K” displays.

    And the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) recently approved the UHDTV (Ultra High Definition Television) standard, which “allows for programming and broadcasts at resolutions of up to 7680 by 4320, along with frame refresh rates of up to 120Hz, double that of most current HDTV broadcasts. The format also calls for a broader palette of colours that can be displayed on screen.”

    All sounds good, right? So what’s behind my skepticism professed in this post’s subject line? For one thing, while these displays do deliver notably higher total pixel counts than today’s mainstream TVs, they’re also notably larger than today’s mainstream TVs, which means that their pixel density is…fairly mainstream.

    there currently isn’t any widespread “4K” (not to mention “8K”) content available to showcase on these displays, aside from photographs captured by high-resolution still cameras. HDMI v1.4 added support for “4K” multimedia transfers.

    The “4K” and “8K” display pioneers are wisely building robust video processing circuitry into their hardware, as a means of interpolating conventional SD and HD content sources to pseudo-Ultra HD resolutions.

    If the display manufacturers think that UHDTV will translate into the long-awaited fiscal success that has eluded them with prior 3-D and OLED market stabs, I fear that they’ve got another thing coming.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft patent shows Holodeck-style, full-room “immersive display”
    360-degree projector would “surround the user,” work with depth-sensing cameras.

    A newly published patent shows Microsoft potentially planning to take console gaming beyond the barriers of the TV screen by projecting a “peripheral image” around a room, providing a 360-degree view of a virtual scene.

    Microsoft’s patent for an “immersive display experience” was published by the US Patent Office last week after being filed back in early 2011. It describes a standard video game system with a connected “environmental display” capable of projecting a panoramic image that “appears to surround the user.”

    Such a projector wouldn’t replace the central TV display used in current consoles, but it would provide a “peripheral image” that would “serve as an extension” of that primary display. The purpose, of course, is to extend the gaming environment outside of the TV screen, so a player could, for instance, “turn around and observe an enemy sneaking up from behind.”

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4K LCD TV output to outstrip OLED production
    Smart picture tech too late to market?

    An interesting snippet here from market watcher NPD DisplaySearch: the momentum behind 4K x 2K TVs is rather greater than that behind large OLED sets.

    At least nine television makers have demo’d – some at the IFA show earlier this month – and said they will mass-produce very large LCD tellies with a 3840 x 2160 even though the 4K format is some way being supported by broadcasters and content providers globally.

    Contrast that with the OLED TV scene, home to just two vendors – LG and Samsung – who have both pitching 55in sets since January 2012 but who have yet to provide a solid timeline for their products’ availability.

    The OLED sets may look stunning, and by fully compatible with current 2D and 3D full HD picture standards, but they’re going to be too darned expensive: $10,000 for a 55in set. Initially, the 4K TVs won’t be any cheaper,

  16. Tomi says:

    Have you seen this? Video ads in print magazines

    As technologies get cheaper and methods for delivering communication material continue to blend together, we are starting to see companies take some rather bold steps in trying to predict what the next trend will be in communication technology.

    Gaining some traction of late: video advertisements in print publications.

    The latest publication to give this technology a whirl is the U.K. version of monthly women’s magazine, Marie Claire.

    Everything on the technology end of things was developed by US firm Americhip, and has already been used in other publications in the U.S., Spain, and Russia. Most recently, it was used to promote Bacardi in Russian Vogue.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Check your aerial cable for water
    Yes you read that right and no, we’re not joking

    Although there wasn’t much water coming through, it had been enough to break something important in the PVR. So I needed a new aerial and new cabling. And a new PVR of course.

    Further research on the web suggests that cables can be worn if they move over roof tiles and eventually let in water.

    Advice on preventing this problem seems to include using better quality cables and, if you can, getting the cable inside the house as soon as possible.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    When TV and Marriage Meet: TV’s Negative Impact on Romantic Relationships

    The status of a romantic relationship could be in jeopardy if the couple or an individual in the relationship are frequent television watchers, according to a study from Albion College.

    The study, just released electronically and soon to be published in the September 2012 issue of Mass Communication and Society, found that the more an individual believed in television portrayals of romance, the less likely they were to be committed to their relationships.

    “In this study I found that people who believe the unrealistic portrayals on TV are actually less committed to their spouses and think their alternatives to their spouse are relatively attractive,”

    “We live in a society that perpetually immerses itself in media images from both TV and the web, but most people have no sense of the ways those images are impacting them,”

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mobile Will Grab TV Advertising’s Crown

    The global advertising market is big. Half a trillion dollars big in 2012.

    In the tech world we tend to think of the Internet when somebody mentions advertising. But even now the Internet isn’t the biggest advertising market in the world.

    The biggest advertising market in the world is television.

    Even now, TV ad spend is more than twice as big as Internet ad spend and represents close to half of all ad spend in the world across all media.

    First of all, people spend a lot of time watching TV. In America, the only thing people spend more time doing is sleeping and working.

    Second, watching TV is a focused, immersive experience.

    TV beats the web on time spent and on focus of attention (or “frequency, reach and engagement” in marketer-speak). But you know what TV doesn’t beat?


    People are going to spend more time staring at mobile screens than television screens (and certainly more time than staring at computer screens, especially when you exclude work applications). Your smartphone is with you pretty much all the time. Smartphones are also inherently social devices, which explains the deep emotional connection people feel to them.

    Using a mobile device is also a focused, immersive experience. Like watching

    If these are really the dimensions that matter, why are mobile ad rates so low? This is simply an issue of time and of product and market development. The market is still illiquid and sub-scale, and great ad products haven’t had time to develop.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Some history:

    Color TVs reach retailers, September 28, 1951–September-28–1951

    CBS-Columbia color television models were the first color TVs to reach retailers on September 28, 1951, but were pulled back just weeks later.

    CBS had expanded its color broadcasting schedule gradually to 12 hours per week while also expanding to 11 affiliates as far west as Chicago. But the network’s commercial success was hindered by the lack of color receivers

    So in April 1951, CBS bought a television manufacturer and in September 1951, production began on the CBS-Columbia color television model.

    Only 200 sets had been shipped and only 100 sold when CBS discontinued its color television system on October 20, 1951.
    CBS bought back all of the color sets it could to avoid customer lawsuits.

    CBS and ABC became reluctant to broadcast in color, as it benefited their competitor, but by the 1966-1967 broadcasting season, all three networks were airing full color prime time schedules.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    As Apple and Samsung dominate, Japan’s tech giants are in a free fall

    While electronics giants Apple and Samsung fight each other for market dominance, with hotly competitive product releases and tit-for-tat patent lawsuits, Japan’s consumer electronics makers find themselves in an increasingly perilous fight for relevance and, in some cases, survival.

    Companies such as Sony, Panasonic and Sharp once controlled the industry, outclassing and outselling their U.S. rivals. But now they represent the most alarming telltale of corporate Japan’s ­two-decade struggle to adapt, downsize and innovate.

    While the Japanese economy staggers, the consumer electronics companies are in an accelerated free fall, unable to catch on in the digital world of tablets and smartphones.

    The companies still have famous brand names, and tech analysts say they still produce some of the world’s highest-quality hardware devices. But they face a fundamental problem: It’s been years since they’ve turned out products that people feel they need to have.

    Those who study the consumer electronics industry describe a decade of missteps and miscalculations. Japan’s giants concentrated on stand-alone devices like televisions and phones and computers, but devoted little thought to software and the ways their devices synced with one another.

    In other cases, the Japanese companies were simply too slow to turn cutting-edge technology into usable technology.

    Even the Japanese companies’ strengths matter less now, as consumers have lost the willingness to pay a premium for quality. Sharp and Sony and Panasonic make among the world’s best televisions, for instance, but such Korean competitors as LG and Samsung have found ways to make products that are almost as good for far less money.

    “Japanese companies,” Gartenberg added, “were busy defending old business models that the world simply bypassed.”

    The pace of problems is accelerating. Sony hasn’t made a profit in four years. Panasonic has lost money in three of the past four. Along with Sharp, the companies’ combined market value, according to Bloomberg, is $32 billion — making them one-fifth the value of Samsung and one-twentieth the value of Apple.

    No company is faring worse than Sharp, which once ruled the liquid-crystal-display TV market and promised “to make products that others want to imitate.”

    Sony and Panasonic have drastically cut their TV production. Sony’s life insurance arm was by far its most profitable segment last year, when it lost $5.9 billion because of flagging demand for electronics. Both Panasonic and Sharp are now selling solar panels.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart phones and laptops continued use of more sleep problems and obesity, the American Institute Rensselaer Polytehchnic University, a recent study says.

    According to the study the two-hour exposure devices backlight reduces the body’s ability to produce melatonin ( hormone that regulates sleep patterns). This in turn can cause sleep problems, especially for young and old.

    Technological advances have led to ever-larger and brighter TVs as well as PCs and smartphones screens. This is a graduate Brittany Woods of concern, especially among young adults and growth in terms of age, who have a tendency to stay up late anyway.


  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Some more history:

    1st test of a working television, October 2, 1925–October-2–1925?cid=EDNToday

    John Logie Baird, a Scottish engineer and inventor, performed the first test of a working television system on October 2, 1925.

    He did so in his London lab where he successfully transmitted the first television picture with a greyscale image: the head of a ventriloquist’s dummy in a 30-line vertically scanned image, at five pictures per second.

    Upon that success, Baird called in an office worker, a 20-year-old named William Edward Taynton, so that he could see what a human face would look like televised. Taynton became the first person to be televised in a full tonal range.

    Baird did manage to get media attention in January 1926, when he repeated the transmission for members of the Royal Institution and a reporter from The Times in his laboratory. By this time, he had improved the scan rate to 12.5 pictures per second. It was the first demonstration of a television system that could broadcast live moving images with tone graduation.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TV studios too strong for Apple disruption
    Syndication biz projected to reach $20 billion

    The economics of Hollywood’s TV studios have been strengthened so much by new windows that even Apple won’t be able to disrupt their business, according to a new research report.

    Barclay’s says the TV syndication business has doubled its value over the past decade to an estimated $20 billion this year. While cable’s aggressive licensing of broadcast series Stateside has largely fueled that increase, analyst Anthony DiClemente projects continued growth stemming from digital buyers and international syndication, which he says represents the “biggest opportunity” for the studios.

    “It would be very difficult, not to mention expensive, for new entrants to secure the requisite digital and linear rights to provide consumers with a one-stop content offering,” he writes. “We therefore don’t expect Apple to attempt the costly and logistically daunting task of standalone distribution.”

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Viewing more for less

    Over the last few years, thanks to government energy efficiency programs and technology advancements, newer models were designed to sip a fraction of the power required by early ones. The U.S. EPA hopes to continue that trend by finalizing the latest version of its ENERGY STAR television program specifications (version 6).

    In comparison, the current ENERGY STAR TV program spec (version 5.3) now sets the maximum power consumption for a 42-inch TV at 81 W and a 60-inch TV at 108 W.

    The EPA also plans to make consumers aware that the default picture setting (“home” mode for TVs with a forced menu) reflects the ENERGY STAR compliant power level. Changing the TV’s setting to a brighter performance mode could cause the set to consume more than the ENERGY STAR power consumption limit.

  26. Tomi says:

    CHART OF THE DAY: Online Ad Spending Is Closing In On TV

    Online ad spending for the world’s largest media companies is closing in on TV ad spending according to this chart from BI Intelligence on the State of the Internet.

    It’s important to note in this chart that TV’s share of the ad spend has actually grown, though only slightly, over the last six years. Online is taking share from print, radio, and outdoor spending.

    Read more:

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4K vs OLED: and the winner is…
    South Korea, Japan – fight, fight, fight

    How will television makers persuade punters to buy a new set now we all – well, most of us – have 1080p sets with internet access? We’ve already seen that 3D isn’t going to do it, but now two new alternative upgrade-driving technology are emerging – OLED and 4K – and they two are re-establishing an old battle line between manufacturers.

    They see 4K as a way of stealing a march on their rivals who are having a job turning OLED into a solid mass-market proposition. OLED panels are not cheap to make, but then neither are 4K LCDs, though LCD production is mature. On the other hand, there is a mass of 1080p content available but almost no 4K material. The 4K supporters counter that by saying they can do upscaling and deliver a better experience.

    There’s some truth in that because the 4K set’s higher pixel density makes it harder for the eye to detect individual pixels, something that you can see on a large 1080p set if you sit too close. Ideal distance increases proportionally with the screen size: the bigger the TV, the further away you need to sit to avoid spotting the pixels.

    Meanwhile, the two main OLED backers are busily accusing each other of pinching their intellectual property, and that may yet delay the technology further. Both LG and Samsung showed off 55in OLED TVs in January 2012, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas

    The Japanese vendors, meanwhile, reckon they will have large 4K LCD TVs out worldwide by December. The problems is that they are focusing on incredibly expensive very large format – 84in – sets at first.

    So which technology is likely to win? Ask market watcher IHS iSuppli and it will tell you 4K shipments will only amount to around 0.8 per cent of the global LCD TV market through 2017, at which point, it reckons, some 2.1m 4K TVs will ship. “Neither consumers nor television brands will have the interest required to make the 4K LCD TV market successful,” the researcher reckons.

    Not that OLED is going to fare any better. Behind closed doors, South Korean companies apparently admit it’ll be two years or more before OLED panel production yields will support mass-market volumes and prices.

    DisplaySearch estimates a 50in 4K panel costs just $800 to make, twice the price of a 50in 1080p panel, but still a lot less than the $5000 it costs to punch out an 84in 4K screen.

    Pitch 50in 4K sets as presenting Full HD the way it was meant to be seen – “retina” tellies, anyone? – and they may just have a compelling sales proposition on their hands.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    4K LCD TV output to outstrip OLED production

    An interesting snippet here from market watcher NPD DisplaySearch: the momentum behind 4K x 2K TVs is rather greater than that behind large OLED sets.

    At least nine television makers have demo’d – some at the IFA show earlier this month – and said they will mass-produce very large LCD tellies with a 3840 x 2160 even though the 4K format is some way being supported by broadcasters and content providers globally.

    Vendors lining up being 4k include not only LG and Samsung, but also Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Haier and HiSense.

    “A 50in 4K panel is priced at $800, compared to $400 for a full HD panel with slim type LED backlight, while an 84in 4K panel will be priced over $5000,” said DisplaySearch.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Television Network Embeds Android Device In Magazine Ads

    “Readers of Entertainment Weekly might be shocked to find their magazine is a good bit heavier than normal this week. US-based broadcaster CW placed an ad in Entertainment Weekly which uses a fully-functional 3G Android device, a T-Mobile SIM card, and a specialized app to display short video advertisements along with the CW Twitter feed.”

    Entertainment Weekly Packs Free “Smartphone” Inside Magazine

    Remember when magazines used to pack CD-ROMs in with their publications? Advertisers to Entertainment Weekly have taken that idea to the present, and is including a working Android-powered advertising device in their latest issue. Not only that, it’s essentially a working, full-sized 3G cellphone inside their publication.

    The digital device is designed to show off clips from CW shows The Arrow and Emily Owens, M.D., and then revert to live tweets from the CW’s twitter feed.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ban under-threes from watching television, says study

    Doctors should curb amount of time children spend watching television to prevent long-term harm, say paediatricians

    Doctors and government health officials should set limits, as they do for alcohol, on the amount of time children spend watching screens – and under-threes should be kept away from the television altogether, according to a paper in an influential medical journal published on Tuesday.

    A review of the evidence in the Archives Of Disease in Childhood says children’s obsession with TV, computers and screen games is causing developmental damage as well as long-term physical harm.

    The critical time for brain growth is the first three years of life

    Prof Mitch Blair, officer for health promotion at the college, said: “Whether it’s mobile phones, games consoles, TVs or laptops, advances in technology mean children are exposed to screens for longer amounts of time than ever before. We are becoming increasingly concerned, as are paediatricians in several other countries, as to how this affects the rapidly developing brain in children and young people.”

    The US department of health and human services now specifically cites the reduction of screen time as a health priority, aiming “to increase the proportion of children aged 0 to two years who view no television or videos on an average weekday” and increase the proportion of older children up to 18 who have no more than two hours’ screen time a day.

  31. Tomi says:

    Tietoviikko reports that Ericsson’s TV business manager Joachim Bergman presented Ericsson’s vision for the future in Helsinki in early October.

    “Pay-TV is far from dying, though some have predicted the kind of web content quality improves,” Bergman said. Traditional orders, however, are lower, but in particular on-demand services such as Netflix, and HBO-like channels have increased their demand.

    Ericsson plans to 4K HDTV format for HDTV’s replacement. The first 4K transmissions and receiving terminals are likely to be seen in 2014.

    The 4K resolution has four times HDTV resolution, so it consumes four times more bandwidth with current technology. This can be prevented with new packaging techniques. With Hevc / h.265 standard transmission size could be reduced to about 50-60 per cent from the currently needed.

    When Internet broadcasting quality improves it requires more from the Internet infrastructure.


  32. Gino Cansibog says:

    Television : Are the advantages of VidFIRE visible to LCD and Plasma displays compared to traditional CRT displays?

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cable Operators Can Fight Theft by Encrypting Signals, FCC Rules

    Cable companies led by Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) won U.S. permission to encrypt their basic service to fight theft and reduce service calls.

    The Federal Communications Commission voted 5-0 to allow encryption, the agency said in an order released yesterday. Cable companies already encrypt offerings on more expensive channel packages that feature more programming.

    The FCC had prohibited encryption on basic service so customers wouldn’t need to rent a set-top box to view local stations.

    The National Cable & Telecommunications Association in 2004 estimated that about 5 percent of homes near cable lines accessed service without paying, resulting in almost $5 billion in lost revenue. That was more than 8 percent of industry revenues that year, according to a filing at the FCC by the Washington-based trade group.

    Encrypting basic service would let Comcast start and stop service remotely, which customers prefer to scheduling an appointment with a technician, Philadelphia-based Comcast said in a filing at the FCC.

  34. Tomi says:

    TV viewing via mobile devices is a growing trend. At the same development is also linked to the fact that television viewing outside the home has increased in one year from five per cent to 50 per cent.

    Latest research indicates that up to 67 per cent of consumers used mobile devices in television viewing, shows Ericsson’s annual TV And Video-consumer trend research.

    “Thanks to broadband TV can be anywhere and at any time. People are becoming more willing to meet the waiting and travel time spent watching television, among other things,” says the television and media business manager Joachim Bergman from Ericsson Finland.

    Homes had previously been a few television, around which the viewer focused. Today, is often regarded as one of the big TV, and programs are in addition to a variety of mobile devices.

    “In particular, tablet devices have become popular in television and video contents on despite the fact that the technology is still in its infancy,”

    A variety of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet devices has led to the proliferation of the phenomenon, which is called a social TV watching. It means that TV viewing at the same time contribute to the discussions on social media.


  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Eight Million Livestreams Really Means

    That crazy leap that Felix Baumgartner made was astonishing.

    And if you’re interested in the future of Web video, YouTube’s ability to serve up eight million livestreams at the same time is a really big deal, too.

    So it doesn’t take much imagination to envision YouTube doing this kind of stuff, at this scale, on a regular basis. Which would mean the Web finally has a chance to rival TV when it comes to serving up live events with huge audiences — one of TV’s last remaining advantages over the Internet.

    That won’t happen anytime soon, though. Death-defying jumps from outer space aside, there are only a few live events that millions of people want to watch at the same time. Basically, a handful of award shows like the Oscars, and big-time sports.

    Even if YouTube wanted to pay up to get its hands on that programming, it’s going to have to wait, because the TV guys have the rights locked up for a long time.

    But YouTube is still going to be an important platform for live stuff. It’s just that you probably won’t see most of it, unless you’re in a very particular niche.

    Since the Internet has trained us to watch anything we want, whenever we want to, why do we have to watch when everyone else does?

    (A semi-secret about the live video streaming that news sites like the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal* and the Huffington Post do, for instance: Almost all the viewing comes after the fact, via on-demand clips.)

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Turun Sanomat: Televisions purchased from the supermarket or online – home appliance stores hard

    Home appliance trade sector is in turmoil, says Turun Sanomat. Many home appliance stores and retail chains are going out of business trade moves supermarkets.

    Consumers buy home appliances more and more supermarkets and online stores. Sales of household appliances in addition to the transition to the fall in prices has affected the operation of specialty stores.


  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Panasonic to cut LCD TV panel output on weak demand: Nikkei

    (Reuters) – Japan’s Panasonic Corp will cut production of LCD and plasma panels for televisions in 2013 as sales continue to remain below expectations, the Nikkei said.

    The Japanese electronics company will now focus on small and midsize panels for tablets and other products, the daily said.

  38. Tomi says:

    Ultra High Definition officially replaces 4K

    The Consumer Electronics Association has announced that the consumer name for 4K will be Ultra HD and gears up for displays to be shown off at next year’s CES in Las Vegas.

    The display format formerly known as 4K will now be called “Ultra High Definition” in the home, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced in California today.

    The CEA said it chose Ultra HD to denote that it has a higher resolution than the existing 1,920×1,080 pixels of full high definition.

    To qualify as Ultra HD, a display needs to have a resolution of at least 3,840 pixels horizontally and at least 2,160 pixels vertically, the CEA said. Additionally, the product will require at least one 4K-capable digital input and display 4K content natively without upconverting.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Consumer Electronics Industry Announces Ultra High-Definition

    Sonoma, CA – 10/18/2012 – The next generation of so-called “4K” high-definition display technology for the home – giant-screen TVs with more than eight million pixels of resolution, four times the resolution of today’s high-definition televisions – will be called “Ultra High-Definition” or “Ultra HD,” connoting its superiority over conventional HDTV, according to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®.

    “Ultra HD is the next natural step forward in display technologies, offering consumers an incredibly immersive viewing experience with outstanding new levels of picture quality,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CEA.

    The group also defined the core characteristics of Ultra High-Definition TVs, monitors and projectors for the home. Minimum performance attributes include display resolution of at least eight million active pixels, with at least 3,840 horizontally and at least 2,160 vertically. Displays will have an aspect ratio with width to height of at least 16 X 9. To use the Ultra HD label, display products will require at least one digital input capable of carrying and presenting native 4K format video from this input at full 3,840 X 2,160 resolution without relying solely on up-converting.

    “Under CEA’s leadership, the Ultra HD Working Group spent the majority of the summer meeting and discussing how to bring this technology to market,”

    “There has never been a greater time to be a consumer of televisions and displays. You can select from a wide array of choices offering outstanding high-definition picture quality, an amazing 3D experience, and interconnectivity within and outside of the home. And now we are proud to present Ultra HD for those consumers who want tomorrow’s next-generation of displays and televisions, today.”

    Ultra HD technology will be prominently displayed at the upcoming 2013 International CES®, the world’s largest and most important annual consumer technology trade show, which will be held January 8-11, 2013, in Las Vegas.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    BBC pulls plug Ceefax ahead of analogue TV’s end tonight
    Teletext service’s final page number dialled

    First broadcast on 23 September 1974 following its announcement two years previously, Ceefax comprised pages of text and crude block graphics transmitted as codes embedded in unused, off-the-screen lines of the 625-line PAL TV signal.

    The agreement paved the way not only for the shared specification to eventually become a European and global standard, but crucially for TV manufacturers to begin supporting both services. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Teletext TVs were few and far between.

    But with UK analogue transmissions finally due to come to an end at midnight tonight in Northern Ireland tonight, the BBC yesterday turned off Ceefax, now no longer needed.

    This time tomorrow there will no analogue TV transmissions in the UK, completing a move to digital begun in 2008.

    The analogue spectrum will be reassigned to 4G LTE mobile broadband.

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ARM posts healthy Q3 profits: up 22 percent thanks to smart TVs and other growing markets

    According to Reuters, the company is attributing its latest bout of success to making “further inroads” into growing markets like smart TVs and microcontrollers.

  42. David Brown says:

    Great blog! I enjoyed reading it!

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What’s Going to Kill the TV Business?

    Two things: The rising cost of making television and enough cord-cutters abandoning the cable bundle to blow up the business model. The first trend is happening. The second one isn’t.

    The first thing to ask when somebody predicts The End of Television as We Know It is: Which television are we talking about?

    There are three things we talk about when we talk about TV. First, there is the box with a screen, which we call “The TV.” Second, there are the stories we watch on the box, which we simply call “TV.” Third, there is the company we pay to transport those stories to the box, which we can call “Pay TV.”

    Those distinctions sound simple enough, but they’re often confused.

    A small clutch of media companies owns 95% of the channels you watch. This oligopoly has the power to dictate terms to the cable/satellite companies that you pay each month. These cable/satellite providers are legally obligated to offer less popular channels alongside must-have networks like TBS and ESPN. That bundle costs the average household about $80, with roughly half going back to the media companies in “affiliate fees” and roughly half staying with the cable companies in infrastructure costs and profit. Cable companies didn’t invent the bundle. They’re prisoners of the bundle, just like you and I are.

    This model isn’t written into stone, and my column doesn’t claim that the cable business is invincible. It explains why cable has been resilient. There are lots of reasons why TV hasn’t gone the way of music and newspapers in the Age of Internet.

    First, HD video is much harder and more expensive to transport than a music file or article page.

    Second, networks have learned from the music industry’s collapse to cling furiously to their rights.

    But the most important reason why cable TV hasn’t changed is also the simplest to understand. It simply hasn’t had to. It’s making too much money.

    What’s going to kill the TV business, or at least challenge it, isn’t Apple designing the perfect remote or Microsoft designing a superior guide. It’s two things.

    First is the rising cost of entertainment, which is happening right now. The sitcoms and great dramas you love cost more to produce every year because they’re labor intensive. Sports rights are seeing even worse inflation.

    Combined with a second trend — the accelerating exodus of attention away from television — the TV business might really be in trouble. But this second trend is still more of a projection than a reality. One hundred million households still pay for a bundle of networks. That number isn’t really going down. With the pace of household formation tripling in the last year, it could even go up.

    The number of cord-cutters — households that have replaced the bundle with over-the-Internet video like Netflix — is in the low single-digit millions. TV-providers have even found a hedge against cord cutting. They’ve become Internet-providers and expanded overseas to make up the revenue they’re not making here. Cord-cutting is a marginal trend that could sneakily turn mainstream, creating an innovator’s dilemma for TV and cable. But not yet.

  44. Alphonse Andrzejewski says:

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  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Judge drops TV ad-block block: So how will anyone pay for TV now?
    The future could be a lot grimmer than ad breaks

    The US ruling that automatically stripping out the ads doesn’t cause TV broadcasters irreparable harm might be legally accurate, but logistically it’s nonsense and a decision we might all live to regret.

    Dish Networks provides the ad-stripping feature, called “AutoHop”, to programmes watched a day after broadcast, but claims to be simply automating a process which users now perform manually and which can’t, therefore, be illegal.

    Fox, on the other hand, broadcasts channels in the expectation that viewers will sit through the ads that pay for the programmes – even if some of them don’t.

    Fox will appeal against the dismissal of its request for an injunction against Dish Networks, but it looks likely the TV network will have to resort to copyright infringement and breach of contract for restitution. Of course, both of these avenues are only available thanks to Dish’s use of a cloud-based PVR and neither addresses the underlying problem of how to pay for television once viewers stop watching the adverts.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DVR Drop Mirrors Live TV

    Some television executives have blamed use of digital video recorders as a reason for sharp declines in “live” viewing of most major broadcast networks this fall. But data capturing a full week of delayed viewing through DVRs reveals nearly identical audience declines.

    The data are likely to underscore concerns about traditional television viewing, suggesting that people are either watching broadcast television shows through on-demand services, or are turning to alternatives such as online video.

    In the first four weeks of the broadcast season that began Sept. 24, News Corp.’s Fox had 25% fewer viewers who watched on a DVR up to a week after a show aired, according to Nielsen. That’s the same decline as Fox recorded for viewers watching shows “live” when the show aired.

    A broadly similar trend is evident for other networks.

    Media executives said as recently as last week that DVR usage was part of the reason for “live” ratings declines.

    Asked on a Nov. 8 conference call about the decline in broadcast ratings, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger said “the greater penetration of DVRs and the greater usage of DVRs…have shifted the rating.”

    Mr. Moonves argued that advertisers should take into account viewership delayed up to seven days when making ad buys. Right now advertisers only use ratings figures that include three days of delays.

    “We’re pushing to get it to be to seven days,” he said last week. “And we think that’s going to happen within a relatively short period.”

    Even if DVR use boosts ratings, networks won’t necessarily get paid for it. Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research Group estimates people skip 40% to 50% of commercials when watching shows on DVR—meaning those viewers are far less valuable to networks.

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Did Europe’s Ecodesign Directive pick up speed in 2012?

    One of the world’s most ambitious programs to reduce energy consumption, the Ecodesign Directive consists of over 40 Lots, covering televisions, set-top boxes, computing equipment, heating and air conditioning, lighting, external power supplies, white goods, and more.

  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LightWave 3D Creates a Virtual Set for TV, Movies,bid_26,aid_254893&dfpLayout=blog

    Battlestar Galactica calls for environments that are out of this world. These worlds can cost millions of dollars to manufacture, and they also constrict the imagination of writers because, well… they have to be physical. So, in order to produce the next installment of Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, NBC Universal decided to attempt a pioneering feat: Create these worlds digitally.

    This new series, which made its debut on Machinima Prime’s YouTube channel (and later will be broadcast on the Syfy channel, and released on DVD & Blu-ray, On-Demand, and for digital download), was shot entirely against a green screen, using a stage piece for just three minutes out of the 89 minutes recorded so far. The advantage to this type of shooting is cost. The budget for this new series was just a few million dollars, and with that, they will create a 10-webisode “backdoor” pilot for a potential new TV series.

    To realize this sci-fi drama’s virtual set, producers use LightWave 3D 11.5, the latest version of the software


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