TV was a TV. With the advancement of technology, TV became more than just the good old TV. With the advent of the internet, TV became smart. From luxury to necessity, today television has become a part of everyday life, just like the mobile phone. From the cathode ray TV which used to just transmit moving images and sound, it has evolved to a major source of entertainment, advertisement, news and education. Umpteen number of technological advancements has made today’s TV very different in terms of form factor, as well as tech design — like for example the Plasma TVs, LCD TVs, LED TVs and the Smart TV.
Since circa 2000, CRT display televisions gave way to flat and curved panel displays. High fidelity sound and excellent picture quality followed suit. The industry grew at a robust pace since the last half a decade and it continues to grow, thanks to international as well as domestic players and the highly competitive markets that they operate in. Strong distribution channels and diverse variety available and up for grabs is further fuelling the market.
Continuously increasing per-capita disposable income, rapid urbanization, shifting consumer preferences towards aesthetically appealing and energy efficient televisions, favourable government taxation policies merged with over the top technological advancements in terms of product offerings, at attractive prices are few of the major factors dictating the demand for televisions in the country.
Rapid tech advancements reflected itself in R&D spending by major television giants and tech breakthroughs in the form of 3D and OLED TVs are coming out. Even the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and towns in India are today purchasing flat panel TVs with features such as stupendous picture quality, enhanced color contrast, ultra-high resolution available at competitive prices and easy financing options. Flat panel TVs are expected to grow at a very high CAGR over the next 5 years.
Growing internet connectivity, advent of smartphones and live streaming apps, social networking are fast transforming the TV experience.
Going forward over the coming years, we would be seeing the rise of more and more customised or personalised technology, on-demand experience, individuated content distribution, binge-viewing, smaller television shows and independent cinema, innovative television formats, more localized, regionalized and vernacular content, ad-free models to targeted ads and everyone connected to a smart TV. Innovative technologies and disruptive business models are transforming the television industry. Looking into 2017, some clear cut trends that would emerge and rule the roost includes, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Dolby Vision, and LCDs to OLEDs. Let us look into each of these briefly
High Dynamite Range or HDR, which debuted last year will grow in popularity next year, following the same path as 4k. Be it HDR10, Dolby Vision or both.
4k or ultra-high-definition TVs will become mainstream. Such TVs has the potential to boost the difference between the darkest and brightest images a TV can produce, hence higher quality pictures.
LCDs will give way to OLEDs. Moreover, there are better technologies emerging, like for example, TVs that deploy self-illuminating LEDs that give off their own light, therefore a separate backlight is not reuired. This will make an LED act like an OLED TV where each pixel in the TV could be tuned off and on individually. Other technologies like nano-technologies where films carrying microscopic particles are incorporated which produces improved colour, black levels which increases visibility even in the darkest of scenes and wider viewing angles are also quite prevalent. Nano-sized crystal technology which produces more pure colors are also coming up in many TVs. Also, it prevents adjacent colors from bleeding into each other by absorbing excess wavelengths.
OTT or over the top television is now the new age broadcasting, via live streaming. Hulu TV, BBC iPlayer and Netflix are case in point. Put simply, such a TV offers on demand viewing access, video-on-demand, stand alonestreaming, multiple screens viewing, simple subscriptions, flexible programming, skinny television bundles, original content, interactive form, cost-effective packs amongst others.
Social TV and multi-screens: People are consuming videos through multiple screens such as Smartphones, computers and tabs and this trend is well poised to grow further. Social conversations around TV programs have become a viable metric for ratings, viewership and user engagements. Democratization of content and screen agnostic viewer engagement are growing by leaps and bounds. Therefore, streaming and OTT television is particularly good for targeted advertising, supported by Big Data and audience analytics.
Growth of Ultra HD: This refers to two different resolutions: 4K Ultra HD (3840 ×2160px) and 8K Ultra HD (7680 × 4320 px). 8K Ultra HD is exactly 16 times the resolution of full HD. However, this technology is still at the experimentation stage. Virtual Reality equipped TV set and Holographic TV may enter the living rooms by the end of the next decade.
Therefore, growing internet connectivity, advent of smartphones and live streaming apps, social networking are fast transforming the TV experience. “My time, My content and My Device” is where today’s consumer is moving. Consumers want to engage, interact and consume content at their terms, at their convenience and in their method. With open Internet access continually increasing, consumers will consume content on-demand, on devices, whenever and wherever, while they are on the move.
The author is the founder of Daiwa, a leading brand in LED TVs