Television technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. We all remember the days when the concept of owning a simple colour television was considered awe-inspiring. What we probably didn't realise at the time, was that it was only scratching the surface. Now is the age of TV screens that deliver spectacular colour, sensational picture, first-class home entertainment and cinema-level experiences, with the added value of seamless interactivity.
The cutting edge Samsung SUHD TV, for instance, offers 2.5 times the brightness, twice the contrast and 64 times more detailed colour expression than a conventional UHD TV. That is even futher ahead than standard LED and HD TVs.
But with such rapid technological progression, the question arises: Is television content in sync with advancing technology or is it playing catch up?
Television content itself has evolved considerably over decades – from simple black-and-white to colour formats, all the way to SD and HD. In a bid to keep up with these advances, several television broadcasters also got onto the bandwagon of launching HD channels. In the Middle East, for instance, MBC and Fox have dedicated HD channels to feature high definition content. The advent of internet-connected and smart TVs also added to the surge in viewing and streaming web content on large TV screens.
The latest talk of the town is 4K. With four times more clarity than standard HD, 4K UHD TVs deliver crisper visuals and demonstrate best-in-class quality. While televisions are already equipped with 4K technology, broadcasters are also revealing plans to feature 4K content. US-based online streaming service, Netflix, which has now become available in the UAE, already streams some content in 4K, such as episodes of American TV series House of Cards and Breaking Bad, so you can enjoy it in great quality on your Samsung SUHD TV.
As the screens get bigger and richer in quality, it's only natural for consumers to demand content that matches that standard. This quest for high quality content gave birth to the UHD Alliance. Last year, Samsung's international arm joined hands with consumer electronic brands, online streaming services such as Netflix, and various movie studios, to promote the development of UHD content. The new partnership will set the bar for next generation video entertainment by establishing new standards to support innovation in video technologies, including 4K and higher resolutions, high dynamic range, wider colour range and immersive 3D audio.
"As the UHD environment continues to evolve, we are strengthening our commitment to high-quality UHD content and devices," said Hyunsuk Kim, President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. "The alliance will encourage the development of high-quality UHD content while distinguishing TVs that provide the most premium UHD viewing experience."
The UHD Alliance aims to ensure that all of the links in the chain – from the production, distribution and consumption of content to the playback capability of devices – meet the premium quality standards, whilst embracing options that are open and allow flexibility in the market.
With major industry players pairing up to take UHD to the next level and broadcasters gearing up for 4K content, we can perhaps expect to see more content that matches technological advances. This also brings new opportunities for content producers to develop and deliver rich content to cater to the interest of consumers.