Held in Berlin, IFA 2019 was even bigger than it had been the year before. This mammoth tech conference is the place to go to find out which TVs, phones, wearables, laptops and appliances will be influencing the tech landscape in the year to come. For TVs this year, we found the biggest trend was companies building on their existing technology, making it bigger and better as well as fine tuning their capabilities.
In case you’ve never heard of it before, IFA is held in Berlin every year and it is the largest consumer tech conference in Europe. This year, IFA 2019 ran from the 6th of September to the 11th and featured products from TV brands such as Sony, LG and Samsung. During this time, IFA received over 230,000 visitors and had almost 2000 exhibitors.
While we walked through the TV section of IFA, we noticed a few trends emerging from the major players. These included; a gaming market focus, a growth in screens larger than 75”, and 8K taking more prominence.
The gaming market is now worth £5.7bn with over £1.57bn of that being spent on game hardware. With a market so large, it’s no surprise that most stands featured elements of gaming. Many gamers are turning to TVs for their gaming needs due to their screen size and resolution, especially since 4K is more affordable in TVs than gaming PCs. As well as this, newer LED & OLED TVs have a lower input lag due to their inbuilt Auto Low-Latency Mode.
We also noticed a focus on larger screens with most being at least 75” or larger. Some brands even showcased screens of 120”! This is a huge jump considering the biggest screens displayed at the previous IFA was 88”.
As an alternative to your standard TV screen, home cinema projectors have recently risen in popularity. Using short throw projection technology, these devices allow consumers to have a 90” display from only 6cm away. This year brands such as LG & Hisense showcased their laser home cinema projectors.
Another key focus of IFA 2019 was 8K displays. 8K featured on quite a few stands but was especially a focus for Samsung. The spread of 8K technology is moving faster than previous generations such as 4K. We’re also noticing a rise in 8K TVs with 5G connectivity.
LG’s Signature OLED TV R, their rollable TV, certainly owned the spotlight. Although, not a new announcement, it’s still one of the most innovative TV at the show. This jaw-dropping TV is paving the way towards TVs becoming part of the furniture rather than a bulky centrepiece.
All of this is possible thanks to OLED technology. Without a backlight, OLED panels deliver perfect blacks and rich colours while still being thin enough to roll up completely.
With similar capabilities but a smaller screen, the 55” model of Samsung’s 8K QLED TV stole the show. It is now the smallest 8K TV available as part of Samsung’s current Q950R range.
However, where Samsung went smaller for that range, they’ve only gone bigger and better for their next-generation visual experience – The Wall. This year, three models of this LED display were presented with the smallest measuring a monumental 146 inches diagonally. Using micro LED technology, The Wall has a significantly higher brightness and life expectancy compared to OLED displays.
Along with the 55” 8K QLED TV, Samsung showcased their entire Q950R range. The six models; 55”, 65”, 75”, 82”, 85” and 95”, feature Quantum Processors, QLED panels and 8K resolution. Lined up in a row, these screens certainly demonstrated the incredible detail and immersive experience that you can get with 8K TVs.
With no surprise, OLED was a huge focus for LG. Despite being the only actual manufacturer of the technology, LG has continued to make them bigger and better. They even gave a sneak preview of their rollable OLED TV. Although it isn’t set to be released until 2020 or beyond, the concept of rollable technology has already gained worldwide attention.
As well as their rollable screen, LG exhibited their new 88” LG Signature Z9. Not only is it the largest OLED on the market but it’s also the first 8K OLED. With such a hefty price tag, the 88Z9 isn’t necessarily ready for the average home but it certainly showcases LG’s amazing technology that will be shaping our TVs in the years to come.
Sony demonstrated their 8K technology in a big way. Their massive 98” 8K TV has brought back the popular Backlight Master Drive, enhancing contrast and precision brightness. The Sony 98Z9G is also powered by Sony’s next-generation X1 Ultimate processor. This supports their 8K upscaling system that focuses on delivering a natural and consistent picture.
The A9G range isn’t 8K but remains impressive with its OLED panel. Delivering vivid colours and deep blacks, this model looks stunning from the get-go. Similar to the 98Z9G, the A9G range takes advantage of the X1 Ultimate processor which great enhances their 4K capabilities.
Sony also announced their collaboration with Rakuten TV to be the first to launch IMAX Enhanced film content on select Bravia models. Using IMAX digitally remastered 4K HDR content and DTS audio technology, IMAX Enhanced will ensure the content you’re watching is delivers a superior experience.
Of the 6,000 square metres there were to cover at this massive event, a huge proportion of the TV landscape featured 8K technology. We also noticed an uplift in targeting the gaming market and an increase in screen sizes. This year, however, brands have been focusing more on developing their existing technology which, for some, hints at even bigger announcements to come next year.
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