It’s 2020, so naturally, there’s a lot of expectations around all things technology. Televisions, on this note, may not be the highest selling type of devices, but they still make for important pieces of technology. More often than not, the latest innovations in the field of TVs define display technologies that are to become mainstream in the coming years, and with movie streaming services growing at breakneck speed, TV and display innovations play a key role in how we consume our content. With CES 2020 in sight, and the three arguably largest OEMs in the field of televisions all set to talk about their latest TV technologies for 2020, here’s what you should expect from TV technologies in 2020.
The maker of the much vaunted Bravia television range appears to be setting itself up for a rather quiet 2020 in terms of outright innovation. Ahead of its CES 2020 announcements, credible German website 4K Filme has claimed to have spotted Sony’s ahead-of-time posting of its 2020 TV lineup on its own website, revealing the full Bravia lineup that is expected to be launched this year.
The biggest factor to note sits at the very top of the pile, as will reportedly be the Sony Z8H 8K OLED TV. In contrast to the Sony Z9G of 2019, the Z8H is being offered in two screen sizes — 75-inch and 85-inch. Speculations also suggest that the Z8H will be an 8K television, and will apparently be Sony’s first shot at making 8K televisions affordable… well, at least relatively. While the Sony Z8H is almost certain to be prohibitively expensive, even halving the price tag down from the Z9G’s base offering of $13,000 (~Rs 9.3 lac) would contribute in some way to Sony looking at 8K TVs beyond just novelty.
The rest of the Sony TV lineup for 2020 looks pretty straightforward — the X80G, X90G and X95G 4K LED TVs of 2019 are set to make way for X80H, X90H and X95H. The entry-level X80H 4K LED TV will apparently be available in screen sizes of 43-inch to 85-inch, the X90H in 55-inch to 85-inch, and the X95H from 49-inch to 85-inch. While we do not have an official word on the feature sets of these TVs, it is likely a sign of intent from Sony to offer a wider range of screen sizes in its 4K TVs, thereby suggesting that the excellent Bravias might just become more affordable than the previous year.
In essence, 2020 for Sony may be all about consolidating and streamlining their full TV lineup, into a more competitive and extensive one.
The biggest update from the house of Samsung appears to be all about its design, where Samsung looks set to present a production TV design that will look like just a giant slab of glass on the wall, and nothing more. This comes in the form of Samsung’s much-touted ‘Zero Bezel TV’, which rumours state will be the world’s truly frameless television. If Samsung indeed pulls this off, it will be an engineering achievement to have finally gone beyond the compulsory requirement of a TV frame. According to rumours, the TV will be called Samsung Q950T, and will use a QLED display panel that plays at up to 8K (native) resolution.
Much like Samsung’s ‘The Wall’ range of massive, flagship televisions, do not expect Samsung’s frameless TVs to go mainstream this year itself. However, if the technology indeed makes it to production, we expect the wheels of R&D to be set in motion at other TV maker houses, especially mainstream ones. Could this spark off a new trend that changes how our TVs really look like? All will be told, at Samsung’s keynote at CES 2020.
Talking of changing how our TVs have looked like, LG has been experimenting with rollable display panels for a while. Ahead of CES 2020, word has it that LG will unveil a TV that is being called ‘LG 65-inch UHD Roll-Down OLED Display’. Being pretty self explanatory, LG’s fancy, flagship party trick for 2020 seems to be a TV that can be rolled down from the ceiling, much like a projector screen, thereby “maximising the use of space”. As holds true for Sony and Samsung’s flagships, this too should remain mighty expensive, but LG experimenting with multiple formats of the rollable display panel suggests that such panels may be better suited for mainstream deployment now.
Beyond this, LG is expected to launch a more affordable and smaller, 48-inch 4K OLED TV, making the 4K OLED TVs more affordable to the mass buyer. On the flagship end of things, LG aims to offer its bleeding edge 4K TVs with “sound system embedded” — something that sounds similar to Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio technology. LG is not going to miss the 8K bus either, and interested customers can expect an all-out flagship OLED TV that offers 8K native display resolution and an integrated, 11.2-channel sound system to go with the panel.
Apart from the rollable TV, LG’s lineup for 2020 seems similar to Sony’s, while no leaks have yet surfaced on Samsung’s plans for its mainstream TVs, or the ones that you can actually buy. With 8K screens, frameless designs, OLED panels and rollable concepts looking to break through in 2020, the year might just be rather interesting, after all.
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