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July 31, 2013updated 22 Sep 2016 2:03pm

Four notable TV advancements

Duncan MacRae looks at the best ways to enjoy TV in 2013.

By Duncan Macrae

TV technology is constantly improving. For decades, the most progress to be made was making televisions ready for cable and incorporating the VCR and DVD players right into the TV.

Now, television advancements have taken forms such as Internet-included sets and lightweight and vertical monitors. Here are four significant advancements to improve the viewing experience.

Smart TVs

Those who figured early on how to connect their smartphones, laptops and those pint-size laptops, netbooks, to their televisions are ones who are certain to be one of the first to own a "smart TV." The concept isn’t news, but the fact they’re easily available is. Smart TVs allow all the viewing freedom you’ve been enjoying on the Internet without the tangle of cables and audio jacks. Smart TVs come not only ready for cable, but Internet, using interfaces such as the Smart Hub the Samsung Smart TV employs. The Samsung Smart TV will even talk to you, telling you when the next episode of your favourite programme will be on and will start recommending shows for your viewing pleasure.

Meanwhile, owners should keep in mind anything that connects to the Internet, from your fridge to your bathroom scales, can be hacked. You may not think of your television as a computer, but if you have a smart TV, it’s one. Take extra care with personal information when interacting with your smart TV. It will already be storing your information, such as what time you’re household watches television and what kind of shows you watch. Don’t give the TV or the hackers anything extra to work with by withholding personal information that isn’t required to gain service.

Curved OLED TVs

LG wants to bring the IMAX experience to your living room. That’s the idea behind its new curved organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV. OLED technology greatly improves clarity and resolution of HDTV, and LG’s engineers spent five years developing technology that would set the curved design apart from other OLED TVs.

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The curve of the 55-inch set is optimum and will do away with visual distortion at the edge of the screen. This adds to the clarity of detail that’s sometimes lost on such a larger screen.

It may not mount flush to the wall, but free-standing on its futuristic and translucent stand, the TV is an impressive sight even when it’s not turned on.

NRT Services

Electronic manufacturers aren’t the only ones getting in on the surge of television technology. Television stations and broadcasters, as well as providers such as getdirecttv.org, want to make TV viewing as easy and convenient for you as possible.

One way they can do this is to provide enhanced features such as Non-Real Time Services. NRT is a method for streaming your preferred content directly into storage platforms in your smartphone, TV, laptop, or other device.

NRT features program interactivity, 3-D digital TV, and Internet connectivity so you won’t lose the elements most important to you.

What TV technology development is most exciting to you? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

See-Through LCD Screen

Not available quite yet, but definitely worth a mention, is Samsung’s Transparent TV — yes, a television with a see-through LCD screen. Not many details have been revealed other than the transparent screen and the odd orientation.

It will likely function similar to the Transparent Smart Window, also by Samsung, that’s clear but displays clocks, calendars and the weather with clarity.

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