TVs in 2013 – top five trends and predictions for 2013
While other technology might come and go TVs are always a good bet for big news, and we don’t expect 2013 to be any different. We take a look at the year ahead and what it might hold for the box – from the next level of definition to TV from Apple.
Looking to buy a great new TV this year? Don’t go anywhere without reading the Which? guide to how to buy the best TV first – including advice on what to think about before you hit the shops and how to get the best cheap TV.
1. Ultra HD TV
With the Consumer Electronics Show (see our CES 2013 preview) just around the corner, we expect to hear the phrase ultra HD (high definition) bandied around with increasing regularity. Ultra HD TVs have a resolution of four times ‘normal’ high definition sets. This means a 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution which should ensure a new level of picture sharpness and smoothness of movement.
The tail end of 2012 saw LG launching the first consumer 84-inch ultra HD TV in the UK but this year should see more manufacturers getting in on the act and costs starting to come down from the (slightly expensive) £22,500 launch price. Like OLED TV, neither are likely to make much of a dent in the consumer market for some years to come mind. Read more about ultra HD TV in our one-stop-shop to all you need to know.
2. Apple TV
Rumoured for quite some time, 2013 could be the year this one actually comes to something. What Apple TV will actually consist of is another thing entirely. Though it doesn’t have any experience of manufacturing this kind of hardware, one of Apple’s strengths is it’s hugely successful app store. Now, if this could be applied to TV – currently TV apps are running a bit behind the standard you’d expect from a smartphone or tablet version – perhaps using your TV as a computer screen could become a bit more viable.
3. TV sound gets better
Perhaps a slightly hopeful prediction on my part as in 2012 we had just one TV score a full five out of five stars for sound. On the bright side this shows it’s possible. Since big box CRTs have died out so has the likelihood of getting a good sound out of your TV.
Flat panels don’t allow for much room to create top audio, but we still think manufacturers can do better than they are currently. We know at least one of the major TV manufacturers has updated the speakers, or the way they’ve been fitted, on all models in its 2013 range, so we’d hope to see at least some improvement in 2013. Take a look at our latest recommendations for the best TV sound quality.
4. Smart TV gets easier to use
If you’re not buying from a manufacturers most basic TV range, chances are you’re going to get smart TV functionality to boot. Unlike 3D (see below) this is something that most of us could probably imagine wanting to use on occasion – even if it’s just to catch-up on Eastenders on BBC iPlayer. If manufacturers can nail the functionality and ease of use of their smart TV features in 2013 I think we’ll see a greater take up of viewers taking advantage of the fact. Find out what you can do with smart TV.
5. 3D TV dies a death
Is it just me or have TV manufacturers already stopped pushing the 3D capabilities of their TVs so much as the smart TV connectivity side of things? According to Mintel, only 4% of internet-using, television-owning customers gave 3D functionality as one of the motivations behind buying their latest TV. It also estimates that only 0.4% of those who watched the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony did so in 3D – and that was free 3D content – suggesting that most people just aren’t that bothered. Until glasses-free 3D TV can reach a good enough, and affordable, standard it’s just not going to make it into people’s living rooms.
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