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Look Back in Anger? The TV Tech Review of 2010 review

John Archer




As we first sat down to get some perspective on the really quite ridiculous amount of water that’s gone under the AV bridge this year, we expected to conclude our discussions and marinations feeling pretty chipper. But actually, once we’d properly digested everything, it was hard to shake a feeling of slight disappointment. Or at best, uncertainty.

This annoyed us, because if there’s one thing we hate it’s the ‘trend’ for industry commentators/AV websites to be miserable cynics all the time. We at TrustedReviews make no bones about the fact that we love technology, and are endlessly excited by it.

However, in looking over 2010’s TV and projector technology as a whole, it seemed to us that for once, maybe the AV world had innovated too much. It felt as if the TV brands had tried to introduce so much new stuff that they’d ended up fumbling some of it.

Or perhaps a better way of looking at it would be to say that some of the innovations have felt a bit rushed, as if a desire to compete in one of the toughest economical years in modern memory has led to a desperate charge to rush things to market even when they’re not quite ready.

Actually, on reflection we and other journalists have to shoulder a little blame for this, as we’re always the first to whinge if we find a particular TV lacking a hot new feature, thereby feeding the industry paranoia.

Not that there’s any point us feeling guilty about this, though. It’s really just a side effect of the ridiculously fast pace of today’s Internet-driven world. So in keeping with that ethos, let’s put the pontificating aside now and get down to the business of reliving the highs and lows of what we believe will be considered a real watershed year in AV technology.

So far as we’re concerned, 2010 was distinguished by having no less than four major separate lines of technological innovation: online TV systems, Freeview HD, and LED backlighting and 3D.

Obviously, two of these ‘innovations’, online TV systems and LED lighting, didn’t make their full debuts in 2010. But 2010 was, crucially, the year they both went mainstream, going from being expensive premium tech found on only a handful of flagship TVs - or half-formed ‘toe-dippers’ - into fully formed, dominant technologies at affordable prices.

Let’s focus first on the most striking, potentially most revolutionary and certainly most heavily hyped innovation: 3D.


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.


January 1, 2011, 12:02 am

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


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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