Monday, June 04, 2012

The Death of TV is Greatly Exaggerated

Or something.  Sony and Panasonic (and really Samsung too) definitely have some problems in their TV divisions, and it's a combination of several things happening the past few years, bad economy probably chief among them.

Televisions are not yet entirely commodity, however, and there is good room for growth in the future, provided some meaningful changes occur.  Large, lightweight, low energy screens have massive potential.  For gaming and watching movies, of course, but that's just what we do now.  Think about the benefits of having a wall sized screen, that when turned off, looked like a wall with some art on it, or even better a picture window Imagine if anyone could convert an entire wall to a screen that would, when powered "off" present as a picture window with a live view from somewhere else in the world...

To really do this at a level where every new house/apartment would be built with a display wall would require a few changes: lower energy use chief among them.  Really, though, we are pretty nearly there in terms of cost and screen capabilities.  The biggest issue is setup and control.  I would envision a bank of modular panels, each one an HD display, and any 2x2, 3x3 and maybe 4x4  of which could be grouped together to form a larger display, with other panels around the selected group being "environmental" (typically black, but with the occasional one on the web).  Separate panels make repair easier, and less costly, and greatly enhances versatility--watch TV on one side while someone browses the web on the other.  

The technology exists today to do this, but the energy costs and the installation costs really keep it from becoming viable.  To do this today would require lots of computing and graphics power--we want to be able to have these managed all together--though relays could help reduce the cost of external connections like game consoles.  Still, it's cheaper by far to build an in home theater.

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