Home entertainment has come a long way since the days of rabbit ears and Super-8. So far, in fact, that a lot of younger folks probably don’t even know what rabbit ears and Super-8 are.
(For the curious, rabbit ears were a common delicacy in TV dinners of the 1950s, often consumed while watching the crime-fighting drama Super-8, starring a young Lorne Greene.)
Entertainment and technology are inextricably intertwined, as the recently wrapped Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has once again shown us. From slaying dragons in virtual reality to ultra high-definition porn that will show every bump and wrinkle, here are seven entertainment tech trends that will make waves in 2014.
This will be the year that ultra high-definition television gains traction, offering four times the resolution of our soon-to-be-obsolete HD TVs. Prices on Ultra HD TVs – also sometimes referred to as 4K TVs – will drop dramatically throughout 2014, just as Ultra HD content finally starts to trickle out. Streaming service Netflix is getting an early jump on Ultra HD, with Season 2 of House of Cards set to be the first series widely available in the newer, sharper format.
Porn purveyors are also eagerly jumping on the Ultra HD bandwagon, although one might wonder if having that much clarity is a good thing when it comes to adult entertainment. Being able to make out every pimple, pockmark and surgery scar doesn’t sound super-sexy.
Throwing a curve
While Ultra HD TV will start popping up all over the place in 2014, OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs will continue to take baby steps, appealing mostly to moneyed folks who are after the latest bleeding-edge picture quality. In particular, several TV makers will begin offering curved screens (both of the OLED and the regular LED variety), promising viewers a more cinematic experience.
Curved screens could be the next big thing, or they could be a silly fad that goes the way of 3D TV. Perhaps, with that in mind, electronics giants Samsung and LG are experimenting with flexible TV screens that can go from curved to flat at the touch of a button. Sadly, we’re still waiting for the button that can make a stomach go from curved to flat.