TVs

A built-in digital hub

If the Cell processor inside Toshiba's forthcoming Cell TV wasn't impressive enough, this sliver-thin HDTV is wirelessly connected to a companion set-top box that boasts a built-in 1TB hard disk drive, Blu-ray Player and 802.11n Wi-Fi connectivity. Less a standalone HDTV, your future telly could be a full-blown entertainment system.

Lenticular lenses

While manufacturers are falling over themselves to produce stereoscopic '3D Ready' HDTVs, future TVs could use autostereoscopic technology that doesn't require polarised or Active Shutter glasses.

Autostereoscopic TVs use lenticular lenses mounted in front of the TV display. These lenses refract the light from the panel so that each eye sees a different image.

The catch? You have to be sitting in exactly the right spot to enjoy the effect. And you mustn't move. A challenge if you're trying to sit through a two-hour movie.

Quad HD/4K2K resolution

You don't need to imagine image quality four times better than today's 1080p HD. 4K panels with a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 pixels already exist – Sony unveiled its 56-inch £47,500 Trimaster SRM-L560 in Japan last year, while CES saw Panasonic showcase a 152-inch 4K2K plasma with a screen area equivalent to nine 50-inch TV panels.

42K2

4K2K eclipses the resolution of a traditional 2K (2048 x 1080) digital cinema projector but there's little or no content being shot in this Quad HD format. Nevertheless, future TVs will increasingly come packed with multimedia processing power.

If Toshiba's Cell TV is any indication of hardware to come, TVs will be capable of upscaling broadcast HD and Blu-ray content in real time.

A 10-inch touchscreen...

All this talk of bigger, more powerful HDTVs might be missing the point. Not everything we watch needs to be viewed on a 65-inch 3D-capable Full HDTV.

So we predict the return of the portable TV. Not as the separate mini telly of old, but in the form of a lightweight Wi-Fi internet tablet that you can cuddle up with on the sofa.

Yes, something very much like the Apple iPad, a slate-style device capable of streaming catch-up TV services, watching downloadable TV shows and accessing recorded content on a home server or Slingbox.

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Liked this? Then check out The best 3D TVs you can buy this year

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