Look Back in Anger? The TV Tech Review of 2010 - And the rest...

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Summary

So busy was everyone keeping up with the ‘big four’ TV tech features of 2010 we’ve just been through that a few other potentially handy developments struggled to make the impact they might otherwise have enjoyed. Most TV brands really went a bundle on multimedia playback options, for instance, handling a variety of file codecs via USB or DLNA LAN connection. A few also introduced Wi-Fi for their multimedia systems, though more often than not this required stumping up extra for an external Wi-Fi dongle.

Most brands introduced some sort of integrated video recording abilities on some of their TVs too, be it to internal hard disc or USB storage devices. Though again, in many cases this felt like a poorly integrated afterthought rather than something that a typical user would easily and regularly use.

The combi TV enjoyed something of a revival too, with numerous small TVs carrying built-in DVD players, and Sony even offering sets with built-in Blu-ray players (one of which we’ll be reviewing in the next couple of days).

But we want to wrap up with an honourable mention of what we believe is the most criminally overlooked innovation of the year: Sharp’s QuadPixel or ‘Quattron’ technology. The idea of adding a fourth ‘sub-pixel’ to LCD’s usual red, green and blue array is a stroke of genius in our eyes, genuinely and immediately contributing something substantial to the world of TV picture quality.

The fact that Sharp launched Quattron at exactly the same time 3D started stealing all the headlines together with weaknesses with other areas of Sharp’s LCD performance stopped Quattron taking hold as much as it ought to have done. But we sincerely hope Sharp perseveres with the technology in 2011.

So that’s it. Doubtless we’ve missed one or two things out you think should have been included here, or you disagree with us about the relative importance of some of the highlights we’ve focussed on. But one thing we can surely all agree on is that 2010 really has been a massive year in terms of TV tech, and has hopefully paved the way towards a truly spectacular 2011.

jingyeow

December 31, 2010, 9:45 pm

3D isn't even being done right in the best of cinemas. I went to westfield vue the other day to see Tron, and it was the blurriest, darkest, drab mess of a film I've ever seen in 3D. Other films I've seen being Toy Story 3 and Avatar.





2D parts of the film looked a lot better with the glasses off. It's scary how crisp and detailed avatar looks compared to other films where 3D is an afterthought. 3D films are also incredibly hard to focus on if the camera is moving, leading to lots of blurring.





It conclusion it's a gimmick that will be here for a time, but I believe many like me will vote with their wallets after seeing one awful 3d after another. 2D is fine, and i'll only touch 3D again when Avatar 2 comes out.

Goodmane

January 1, 2011, 12:02 am

I'll wait for passive 3d, even if it takes 10 years, and in an oled screen.

Powerful

January 1, 2011, 7:03 pm

It shouldn't have come as a surprise, there are more than a few of us that, having paid for our kit and for our licence, don't want to pay any more for content, even quality content. It's why we jumped for Freeview and why we love HD, iPlayer, Picasa, You Tube and other free applications on our TV's and ignore Sky, LoveFilm and other pay-as-you-go.





The trick for providers to master is to identify the next must-have content and then find a way to provide it to us for free. I look forward to 2011 with interest!





As to 3D I am sure the content and the technology will improve by leaps and bounds. However, if any content moves to 3D only, beware the first lawsuit from someone with a squint (about 7% of the population) under the disability discrimination act. Happy New Year!

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