Extraordinary Journey – Technological Evolution of Televisions

This year, TP Vision, owner of the Philips TV & Sound brand, is celebrating its 10th anniversary. TP Vision manufactures Philips TVs and audio products under license from the Philips brand. And while the TV is still primarily a screen, the functionality for modern consumers today is completely different than a dozen or a few decades ago.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed global consumption. E-commerce has seen tremendous growth and TP Vision has successfully adapted its supply chain to support online shopping. Television has become a central place for content sharing, providing more and more opportunities in the age of changing consumer needs and behavior.

A lot has happened in the past 10 years. One of the main contributing factors was our customers. That is why we have focused mainly on image and sound quality and on design over the past decade. Our “graphics engine” has been awarded 40 years in a row. We have also made innovations in the field of software: we have integrated artificial intelligence that automatically adjusts settings according to the content played says Marcin Habzda, general manager of TP Vision in Poland.

Television has become a hub for content

About 70 years ago, when Philips started broadcasting experiments, the television was the center of the home where people watched the television en masse. Now, 70 years later, the TV fulfills the same function. In the past 10 years, however, his role has changed. For years, television was only used to watch traditional, linear television. Today we view content to a much greater extent “on demand”.

A July 2020 survey by SpotX and Statista found that 86% of 18-24 year old CTV owners and 90% of 25-34 year olds watched non-linear TV content multiple times a week or every day. This place has been taken by streaming services, which also produce their own series and movies. We also see that the TV is used to host content such as movies (YouTube) and music (Spotify).

Entertainment and connectivity are becoming increasingly important. People want to be able to cast videos directly from their phone to their TV. They also expect the ability to stream images from a security camera or doorbell. Smart home devices such as lighting are connected to each other (for example, combining Hue lamps with Ambilight). In addition, speech assistants are developing rapidly. In other words, television is increasingly becoming a central hub in the family household.

The technological revolution

Amblilight TVs with dynamic lighting are still popular. The Philips brand has exclusivity for this solution – we will not find it in models produced by other companies. The Amblilight system ensures that the image is not inhibited by the boundaries set by the screen frame. Intelligent LED lights on the back of the TV display a colored glow on the wall, which the unit adapts in real time to the content being played. This gives the impression that the image is flowing out of the screen.

The operation of Philips Ambilight is based on the fact that the built-in algorithms analyze the image on the screen, select the dominant colors and provide individual LEDs installed on the back of the TV with information about what color and intensity they should light up. The viewer can feel like the protagonist of the movie being watched and get the impression while playing on the console that the plot of the video game extends beyond the screen.

Holy Grail – OLED

Another battle that started 10 years ago was over OLED displays. The big advantage of OLED is that the black is real because the pixels are turned off – they don’t give off light. Therefore, unlike other technologies of the time, such as LCD and (Edge) LED TVs, where the background is always on, the contrast ratios were brought to the highest possible level. OLED has become the holy grail of consumer TV for consumers.

Improved LED

But that wasn’t the end of LED TVs. The huge advantage of LED TVs – high brightness – prompted manufacturers to improve on this technology. Over time, for example, techniques such as Q-LEDs have been developed to compete with OLEDs with a high color contrast. Currently, a new technique called MINI-LED has appeared, in which the backlight is 40 times smaller than that of ordinary LEDs. As a result, more zones can be dimmed (so-called local dimming) and a higher contract can be achieved while maintaining a high light intensity.

– Increased refresh rate, something we’ve seen before with monitors, is starting to play a bigger role with televisions. This is partly due to the fact that more and more content with a higher refresh rate is being consumed – more images per second, and on the other hand – the growing popularity of games on TVs adds Marcin Habzda, General Manager of TP Vision in Poland.

Televisions have also become much smarter. Software has come to play a bigger role in both image quality and user experience, with different content sources having their own apps.

Sound and image are inextricably linked

In addition to television, TP Vision has made great strides in the audio field. A milestone was the partnership with Bowers & Wilkins, which ensured a strong position in the premium segment. That is why the company is continuously working on integrating perfect sound with TV. Interestingly, according to a survey conducted for TP Vision by PanelWizard Direct, sound quality is the second factor to consider when purchasing a TV set. The intertwining of these two elements means not only a technical connection with the TV, but also its appearance. Sustainable material development is a top priority here and will become increasingly important.

– Image quality is still important, but since this development is already well advanced, we see further opportunities, especially in the field of sound and durability. Because in addition to a good picture, you also need good sound for a complete experienceconcludes Marcin Habzda, General Manager of TP Vision in Poland.

“Green” future

The trends of the last 10 years show that the successes in the development of televisions are centered on the content we consume. Environmental issues are also becoming increasingly important – we are increasingly opting for TVs that use less energy, with a higher, “green” energy label. Half of the respondents to the TP Vision survey are willing to pay more for a TV that is more environmentally friendly. For 70 percent it is important that recycled materials are used in the production of the TV.

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