TVs are getting bigger and better with each passing day. We are experiencing not only an improvement in resolution but also super humongous sizes that can awe any viewer.
While other manufacturers are coming out with 75-inch and 105-inch TVs, Sony has grand plans to launch a 63-feet wide 16K super-resolution TV. But before you start considering whether to buy it, let us quip in that it may not be appropriate for normal buyers.
Sony is currently setting up the TV at a research center in Yokohama, Japan, belonging to the cosmetics group Shiseido. The TV is bigger than a London bus and will cover between the first and second floors of the research center.
If you want to see how it really feels to watch something on that big screen, the only option is to travel to Japan!
A Closer Look at Sony's Colossal TV
The last time Sony did something like this was back in 2014 when they designed a 16K TV that was displayed at the Haneda Airport in Tokyo. But the new TV has quite a few differences than the 2014 version.
To start off, the TV at Haneda Airport didn't offer a seamless viewing experience as it was made of separate displays. The new super-sized TV is built of several modular panels without any interfering bezels around them. So there are no visible gaps when everything comes together, making room for a superior viewing experience. You feel like you are watching a single big screen!
The TV screen measures a whopping 63-feet by 17-feet or 19.2-meter by 5.4-meter. It will feature 16 times more pixels than a 4K TV and 64 times that of a standard 1080p high definition TV. To put things in perspective, a 1080p TV is more than enough to enjoy your movies and sports.
The large count of pixels will enable Sony to display more images in high details compared to regular TVs. That means viewers can watch it from a close distance without any blurring of images for a completely immersive feeling.
Sony is using its crystal LED technology to provide a clear and crisp picture. But the difficulty arises when it comes to 16K content because of the rare technology used on the TV. Sony will have to create its own content for the TV and plans to show life-size wildlife in the research center.
The installation at the Shiseido Global Innovation Center will offer an 'experience-based communication space' which will inspire visitors by its beauty.
Speaking to BBC, David Mercer from Strategy Analytics' expressed that the huge displays will be quite impressive in person. Even 8K resolution will appear impressive in such a large screen, so 16K would be something magical!
He added that such high resolutions deliver a quasi-virtual reality experience as viewers can perceive depth in the content.
Sony announced their plans for the crystal TV at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas.
The Sony MicroLED Crystal Technology
Modern TV displays use mostly two types of technologies currently- the light emitting diode (LED) and liquid crystal displays (LCD).
LCD displays make use of cold-cathode fluorescent lamps whereas LED utilizes light-emitting diodes acting as sources of light behind the screen. Organic (OLED) systems use a carbon-based layer to emit light which makes them organic in a technical sense.
OLED displays are more expensive as they are not easy to produce.
OLED displays use self-illuminating in OLEDs for each pixel which can be turned off individually. As a result, pictures can attain real-life black areas instead of just appearing dark. OLED also produces sharper contrast as they prevent light spillage during a scene with adjacent dark and bright colors.
You can also enjoy a wider viewing angle on OLED displays, but they may not be as bright as other displays. The LEDs can also burn out if a static image remains on the screen for a longer time.
MicroLED displays are similar to OLED sets in terms of self-illuminating pixels. But they don't have the drawbacks of burn out and offer the same levels of contrast and true blacks like OLED.
Sony is going to use the MicroLED technology in their 63-feet TV in Japan. The only competitor who comes close is Samsung, ready to launch a 146-inch MicroLED TV in 2019.
Will You Be Able to Own Sony Crystal TV?
The market is just opening up to 8K TVs, so it's unlikely that you will be able to get the monster TV for your home. Mercer says that we are slowly moving towards 8K TVs by the end of the decade and it could take a long time to go beyond that. 16K TVs are more of a dream now, being limited to only the corporate realm at the present moment.
Several factors make Sony's TV a far-fetched idea for regular consumers. First, you will have to own a huge living room in order to fit the TV inside your home. On top of that, the production costs can also be a big deterrent and could run into millions.
You also have to consider the non-availability of 16K content which compels Sony to make their own film. We are just getting familiar with 8K content and it would take decades to get our hands on 16K movies and series.
So, for now, you have to give up your desire of buying a 63-feet TV. Instead, you can look for humble 65-inch and 100-inch 8K TVs from Sony or companies like LG and Samsung.
For now, the Sony crystal LED is like an art installation to awe and inspire visitors. We may see other players coming out with their own huge TVs, but you might wonder about their practical applications!