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A Samsung TV shows an image of outer space

The evolution of television technology

By Richard Holdcroft ,  18.12.2015.

For many decades, cathode ray tubes were the only TV displays available. This technology projected electron beams on a phosphor screen to make it glow.

These TV sets were heavy, bulky and power hungry and they used analogue signals that were susceptible to interference.

Even when the signal was good the picture may not have been, as the screen resolution of most CRT sets was in the order of 720 x 480 pixels, which does not display as much detail as TVs available on the market today.

It's hard to believe how far TVs have come since then. The technology in today's cutting-edge sets, such as those in Samsung's 4K SUHD range, has advanced so far that the viewing experience has been totally transformed - welcome to a world of content on Netflix and YouTube. 1

Going digital

Digital TV's became the global standard during the 2000s. Digital signals can carry a large amount of information, and this made high-definition (HD) broadcasts with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels possible, bringing impressive picture quality and great sound too.

Plasma TV's were a popular early digital option. They created a picture from the light emitted by charged xenon and neon gases, but although they provided excellent picture quality, they eventually lost favour to liquid crystal display (LCD) screens.

LCD technology produces images by blocking or allowing light to pass through a series of filtering layers. Various sources of light have been used in the past, but LED backlighting is the predominant technology today.

A Samsung TV shows off an image of a light up bridge over water

UHD and beyond

HD has been the global standard for some time, but it is now being surpassed by ultra high definition (UHD) 2, which delivers a picture with four times as much pixels as HD. This results in exceptional texture and an almost photographic smoothness to the image on your screen.

Apart from a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, 4K UHD also comes with other enhancements in colour and dynamic range, meaning great contrast and superb detail in the greyscale.

A Samsung TV shows off an aerial view of a lit up city at night

Picture perfect

Display quality has improved on several fronts other than picture resolution. The recent introduction of nanocrystal layers in screens has enabled manufacturers such as Samsung to provide stunningly bright images with a wide range of colours.

Samsung's auto depth enhancer technology is an algorithm that automatically adjusts contrast in different parts of the picture for a greater sense of depth. 3 These perfect picture qualities are what you can look forward to with a Series 9 Curved 4K SUHD – Samsung's best, brightest and most colourful TV ever.

A young boy and his pet dog enjoy an image of an aquarium on their Samsung TV

Way of the future

TV's are also advancing in many other ways. The convergence of internet-enabled TV sets and computers into smart TVs has opened up a whole new world involving Netflix, Youtube, Skype as well as, Catch up TV apps such as iView and Jumpin. 1

Built-in cameras have integrated video calling services such as Skype into the range of functions a TV can perform. And with powerful processors, voice and gesture recognition are becoming easy to use.

Samsung has now combined all these technologies in its new 4K SUHD TV range, which delivers a viewing experience that would have been hard to imagine just a few years ago.

1. Applications may need to be downloaded. Internet connection required. Data, subscription and other charges may apply. Usage may be subject to third party service provider agreements.

2. Picture quality will depend on source content.

3. Performance may vary depending on source content.

The opinions expressed by the writer in this article are the opinions of the writer and should not be taken to reflect the views or opinions of Samsung Electronics Australia or its affiliates.