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What is the future of TV?

TCL is adding new chips to its TVs to capture what's been dubbed the next gen of TV — effectively a two-way over-the-air signal.
What is the future of TV?
Posted at 1:44 PM, Jan 10, 2024

The massive screens of the newest TVs make for flashy displays at CES. But this year they herald big changes. 

"As you can see to my right — your left — we have our amazingly new giant 115-inch TV," said Bruce Walker, product evangelist at TCL.

TCL is adding new chips to its TVs to capture what's been dubbed the next gen of TV — effectively a two-way over the air signal.

"We're beginning to introduce ATSC3 tuners in our line,"said Walker.

"That definitely creates a two-way communication path, where you could get real-time ad replacement within a spot, or over-the-air ads targeted to you based on your viewing," said Anthony Katsur, CEO of IAB Tech Lab.

Justin Hyatt works for Tablo, a company owned by Scripps News parent company. 

"We're streaming, but we're losing out on a lot of the local channels," said Hyatt.

Tablo is making free signals easier to access and record. It uses your home Wi-Fi to make those free over-the-air and streaming channels available on your phone, tablet or other TVs in your home. There's a DVR, and depending on how you set it up, you may not even need an antenna at all.

"So when you just get the device itself, that's where you have right out-of-the-box 60 channels, all livestreaming without having to worry about connecting antennas," said Hyatt. "We're looking to still be able to have that live television experience without contracts and without subscriptions."

Tablo is trying to make at least part of our new TV landscape more streamlined with a business proposition of free, amid a future that looks awfully segmented.

"Is that program on Netflix? Is it on Mac? Is it on Prime video? Like where, where is it? I think there's frustration with that." said Katsur. "We've had this Big Bang of fragmentation and all these independent streamers coming out either at a network or a broadcast level. And I don't know how sustainable that is over the long term because if you look at just public filings, those economics are not viable."

Currently, Katsur predicts a future that looks a lot like the TV of the past — maybe a monthly fee for streaming services supported by ads or whatever the business model for content TV. Manufacturers want to make the viewing experience even better, on par with the movie theater.

"Our flagship TV, like you see here, has a Dolby Atmos audio system built into it, but TCL and obviously every other manufacturer is introducing world class sound bars. We have a 7.1.4 home theater system coming to market 2024 that will fill in that experience and give you that complete immersion," said Walker. 

The future of entertainment will be personalized, and on the biggest screens yet. 

SEE MORE: CES 2024: 4,000 exhibitors to unveil cutting-edge tech in Vegas

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