IFA 2012: Size mattered
05 September 2012
Ultra large screens, ultra high definition televisions, an explosion of smart TV, and more besides. The annual consumer electronics show, the IFA, in Berlin over the last few days, showed no sign of economic recession. TV screen sizes that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago were on show, up to an incredible 125”.
There were some large UHDTV television displays using the 4k format, with its 8 Mpixel images, and even 4k computer monitor screens. There were also several 8k format displays, with its massive 32Mpixel image - though in rather subdued corners in the halls. They are clearly quite some way away from the high street. When might these 4k or 8k formats be broadcast or in packaged media? There is as yet no answer – but the question will continue to be asked until there is one.
What to show on our future home wall of video? Smart TV was everywhere. The set makers' own systems were on most prominent display, but it seemed that most sets now carry the HbbTV system as well. You could also see sets controlled by a wave of your hand, or even your voice.
3D was not as prominent as in previous years, but it was clearly there, with several showings of autostereocopic displays that did not need viewing glasses. One of them (Fraunhoefer HHI) also offered viewer depth range control – a really nice feature. One of the many Samsung innovations was to use a 3D TV display that allows your viewing companion to watch a different programme to you on the same TV screen at the same time. You each wear glasses with different polarised lenses, and have earpieces for the different programme audio. But it couldn’t stop your partner’s laughter or cheers of course – which could be irritating!