Are Interactive ‘wallpaper’ screens the future of TV?

Posted filed underTechnology, TV.


Wall-sized, total-immersion TVs will change how you watch your favourite shows.
Think your flat-screen television is big? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

The New Scientist reports: “The way we watch TV in the future is likely to change significantly from today. Tileable, interactive TV “wallpaper” will dominate the room, with wrap-around screens that recruit your peripheral vision to create a truly immersive experience. What’s more, you’ll be able to use part or all of the screen for different shows, movies, web pages or Twitter timelines.

But how will you organise and control all this on your giant, immersive screen?

This is the kind of question that News Digital Systems (NDS), a maker of pay-TV transmission technology, says broadcasters ought to be asking over the next decade as wall-covering TVs become a practical reality that goes beyond dim, low-resolution projectors or giant, power-hungry single flat screens. “It’s amazing how science fiction has accurately predicted where our future television technology is going,” says Simon Parnall, vice-president of technology at NDS in Staines, UK.

The firm’s latest idea is called Surfaces and is predicated on the fact that the next generation of flat-screen TVs, based on organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, will drop in price considerably in the next five to 10 years. OLED display panels have a great advantage: unlike LCD screens, they need no side lighting – so the picture display area can go right up to the screen edge. That means they can be placed next to each other to create a continuous display.

“We will be able to make this OLED flat-panel technology tileable. And these can be any shape you like, not just rectangular arrays,” Parnall told London’s Future World Symposium in April.

The first 1.4-metre OLED TVs, made by LG Electronics and Samsung of South Korea, will arrive on the market later this year. They are likely to cost around £8000 at first, says John Kempner, buyer for TV and video at the John Lewis Partnership, a UK department-store chain. But he also thinks the trend is for “fairly rapid price deflation” and expects the cost to fall below £3000 within two years. Models costing £1000 or less should be available in five to 10 years.

Using six OLED panels, NDS has constructed a 3.6-metre-by-1.4-metre prototype screen that, when not in use, simply displays the pattern on the wall behind it.”

Read on at The New Scientist.