The rapid pace of evolution of consumer electronics

The evolution of consumer electronics, high definition displays, digital broadcasts, displays, and media is occurring at an increasingly rapid pace. Advances in technology are happening much faster than before, reducing the time to deliver new technologies to market at an exponential rate. The algorithm for designing and delivering new technology is a nearly fifty percent reduction over time with each significant advance. With such a rapid race for invention, the simultaneous introduction of various technologies is as inevitable as price erosion and shortened life cycles of what is considered “new” in consumer electronics.

A brief history of television and the advancement of display devices underscores the incredibly increasing pace of technology development.

In 1876, Eugene Goldstein coined the term “Cathode Ray” to describe the light emitted when an electric current is forced through a vacuum tube. Fifty years later, in 1928, GE introduced the Octagon, a television with a rotating disk and a neon lamp that created a reddish-orange image that was half the size of a business card. In 1948, twenty years later, the demand for black and white television started a transformation in communications and entertainment. In 1949, several well-known brands fought for a share of the booming market. These brands included household names such as Admiral, Emerson, Motorola, Philco, Raytheon, RCA, and Zenith. The market was also saturated with brands like Crosley, Du Mont, Farnsworth, Hallicrafters, Sparton, and Tele-Tone. In 1951, CBS aired a one-hour color Ed Sullivan show, but there were only two dozen CBS televisions that could process the color broadcast. In 1954, RCA launched the first color television, but that year only 1,000 units were sold to the public. In 1956, Time magazine called color television the “most resounding industrial failure of 1956.”

The plasma display panel was invented at the University of Illinois in 1964 by Donald H Bliter, H Gene Slottow, and student Robert Wilson. The original monochrome displays were popular in the early 1970s because they required no memory or circuitry to update images. In 1983, IBM introduced a 19-inch monochrome screen that could display four virtual sessions simultaneously. In 1997, Pioneer began selling the first color plasma televisions to the public. Screen sizes increased to 22 inches in 1992, and in 2006 Matsushita unveiled the largest 103-inch plasma video screen at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

DLP was developed at Texas Instruments in 1987 by Dr. Larry Hornbeck. The image is created by the selective reflection of colored light beams on a digital micromirror device (DMD chip). Each mirror represents one pixel in the projected image. The number of pixels represents the resolution. For example, 1920 x 1080 resolution refers to a 1920 x 1080 high grid of individual light points, created from the beam of light reflected off the same number of tiny mirrors on a chip that is smaller. than a postage stamp. The concentrated light from a bright mercury arc lamp is transmitted through a small rotating color wheel of red, green, blue, and sometimes white. The light that passes through the color wheel is reflected off the small mirrors that act independently to point the colored light towards the pixel target or in the opposite direction. The colors perceived by the human eye are a combination of combinations of red, green and blue reflections in each pixel, and the combination of pixels creates the total image. This technology was widely used in digital projectors and gradually became a technology that competes with cathode ray tube projection televisions, at least until consumers discovered the cost of replacing high intensity projector lamps.

In 1904 Otto Lehman published a work on Liquid Crystals. In 1911, Charles Mauguin described the structures and properties of liquid crystals. In 1926, the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company patented the first practical application of the technology. It wasn’t until 1968 that George Heilmeier and a group from RCA introduced the first operational LCD screen. In December 1970, M. Schadt and W. Helfrich of the Hoffman-LaRoche Central Research Laboratories in Switzerland filed a patent for the twisted nematic field effect in liquid crystals and licensed the invention to the Japanese wristwatch electronics industry. digital quartz. In 2004, 40- to 45-inch LCD TVs became widely available on the market and Sharp introduced a 65-inch screen. In March 2005, Samsung introduced an 82-inch LCD panel. Then in August 2006, LG Philips introduced a 100-inch LCD screen. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, in January 2007, Sharp once again claimed the top spot in size by introducing the 108-inch LCD panel under the AQUOS brand. From tiny liquid crystals to battle for supremacy and 108 “displays, the demand for a larger size and sharper contrast in high definition video has once again proven that size matters.

In 2006 there were more than 220 television manufacturers, and the list grows as the types of display technology expand. Other display technologies include Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD), Light Emitting Diode (LED), Field Emitting Display (FED), not to be confused with K-FED, and Liquid Crystal on Silicon (SED) . As the ability to generate and deliver high-definition broadcasts on demand continues to develop, the demand for larger, higher-quality displays will continue to increase proportionally. The technology to look out for for the next significant leap in quality, high-definition image reproduction will be the Surface Driving Electronic Emitter (SED) display.

So where will the high definition images come from? This pace of technology and the battle for formats is even faster than the development of display devices.

Ampex introduced the first commercial video cassette recorder in 1956, priced at US $ 50,000. Philips introduced the world’s first video cassette recorder for home use in 1972. In 1975, SONY introduced Betamax. The first VHS VCR hit the market in 1977, the JVC HR-3300, creating a format war that swept for market share during the 19080s. In the 1990s, the battle for dominance between VHS and Beta it was replaced by a new battle between SONY and Philips’ MultiMedia Compact Disc, versus the Super Density Disc supported by Time Warner, Matsushita, Hitachi, Mitsubishi, Pioneer, Toshiba and Thomson. Surprisingly, it was Lou Gerstner, president of IBM, who stepped up and acted as a matchmaker to convince rival fields to collaborate and combine the best of both technologies into a single standard. The result of which became the DVD Consortium, later became known as the DVD Forum. Competing technologies collaborated on standards for the manufacture of common format DVD products until the battle for supremacy was revived in 2006 between HD DVD and Blu-Ray high definition video.

It took 20 years to migrate from a $ 50,000 commercial device to a home video cassette recorder. It was a nearly 20-year battle in the format war between VHS and Beta, until rival camps under Lou Gerstner’s guidance collaborated on a common DVD format. The common DVD format lasted a mere ten years until competing technologies once again took the battlefield to claim dominance in the high-definition video market, as HD DVD and Blu-Ray battle for supremacy, the titles of movies, earnings and bragging rights. to define the next standard in video evolution. At this rate of evolution in technology, advancement occurs twice as fast or in half the time of the previous era. At this rate, we can anticipate the announcement of the next significant advance in technology and other format within the next five years. Will the next format combine the best HD DVD and Blu-Ray technologies? Will the next step in evolution be based on using more colors in the spectrum to create even greater definition? Will the format war for storage media like VHS tapes and Blu-Ray discs become obsolete as the new medium transforms into wireless video-on-demand streaming? One thing is for sure, it won’t take long to find out. Keep your VHS movies, CDs and DVDs as they will be collectibles and museum pieces before a child born today graduates from college.

Worried about having the latest technology when you make your next consumer electronics purchase? Worried about selecting the correct format so that your movie library and media collection will outlast your stack of LP records and eight-track tapes? Choose a display that supports digital high definition, learn the types of INPUTS for your display device or TV, and then choose the one that fits your budget. The types of INPUT and connections are important in order to get the best possible viewing from your TV or display device. When it comes to recorded media, go for the medium that has the largest selection of titles and is compatible with your other entertainment devices. There’s a great chance that the cutting-edge technology you buy today will be obsolete before your extended warranty expires, so sit back and enjoy the evolution.

Words of wisdom

“The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory that we know of that, in principle, is capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.”

– Richard Dawkins

“Television is the first truly democratic culture, the first culture available to everyone and totally governed by what people want. The scariest thing is what people want.”

– Clive Barnes

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

– Arthur C. Clarke

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