Smart TVs Are About to Get Pretty Awesome in 2018
More than at any time in history, we are surrounded by screens. We work on screens, play on screens, find love on screens. You may even have a screen attached to your wrist. In other words, there are a million ways to watch video content. Yet for all this choice, we are more attached to TV than ever. In the coming year, some of the biggest names in tech are aiming to take visual entertainment to the next level. Here’s our little preview of what to expect from smart TVs in 2018.
Pretty Awesome TV
For the past few years, advances in audio-visual entertainment have been based more on content than hardware. Devices like the Amazon Fire TV Stick and the Google Chromecast have brought new shows to old screens. While the big boys continue to fight over this content war, the smart TV makers are loading their weapons.
In 2018, we can expect TVs to get much smarter. Along with access to Netflix and Amazon Prime, these screens will help viewers to find great shows to watch. Furthermore, these screens will actually become the hub of your home.
Much of this new technology is still under wraps. But ahead of CES 2018, some details are starting to leak. For instance, we now know that Hisense — the third largest maker of TVs in the world — is planning to utilize Amazon Alexa this year. Users will be able to call on Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, and ask for information. Along with new screens, current models will receive the upgrade.
In contrast, LG has opted for a rival technology. The whole lineup of new OLED TVs and “Super UHD” LCDs will come with Google Assistant built in.
Along with the usual Google stuff, users will be able to interact with content in new ways. For instance, you could ask your TV to look up the soundtrack of the movie you’re watching. Likewise, voice commands should replace the need for a physical remote.
New kid on the block, Element, has its own take on the smart TV game. The startup has teamed up with Roku, the maker of the popular streaming box, to create a connected display.
Over in South Korea, the good folks of Samsung are concentrating on content rather than cleverness. The company has made a deal with Disney for access to ESPN and Freeform. As a result, owners of 2017 smart TVs will soon be able to install the respective apps. Whether you choose to watch college sports or the Gilmore Girls is down to your own personal taste.
Don’t think for one moment that all this intelligence comes at the expense of shiny new hardware.
The brand new 88-inch 8K OLED TV from LG is surely the pick of the bunch. This monstrous display has 33 million pixels crammed inside its tiny frame. In addition, owners will be able to enjoy the delights of HDR (high dynamic range) content. Once released, it will also take the record for the largest OLED TV screen on this planet.
Sony will probably unveil new OLED screens this year, but not Samsung. Instead, we may see the consumer debut of the company’s microLED technology. This compares favorably with OLED tech, with deep blacks and no sign of burn-in.
The Future Is Bright
Of course, it will be many years before most of us get our hands on 8K screens. Even if you owned one of these beasts, you would struggle to find any content at present. But many of the anticipated advances in smart TV technology are very accessible. Expect your next TV to be much more than a screen.
What features are you looking for in your next TV? Tell us in the comments!