10 concept TVs that will make you want the future right now

10 best concepts for the future of TV

5. Samsung 98-inch 8k TV

First glimpsed at the CES 2014, this 98-incher is Samsung's debut in the futuristic highly high-def format. Labelled as Super Hi-Vision, Quad Ultra HD and Ultra HD 8k (depending on who you talk to) thanks to its 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, which is around 33 megapixels.

Not only is it possible to sit closer to it without noticing the pixels, the pixel grid was - to us standing about 30cm away - virtually invisible. No one is seriously considering selling a TV this detailed for at least three or four years, but it clearly shows that 4k has already been surpassed.

10 best concepts for the future of TV

6. Toshiba 220-inch 8k video wall

Behind closed doors at IFA 2014 was Toshiba's effort at taking Super Hi-Vision to the next level; an enormous 220-inch 8k video wall. It's made up of 55-inch Full HD screens, 16 of them, each with bezels as slim as a fingernail, creates a stunning 8k video wall that's barely an inch deep.

The footage showing on it is super-detailed. "It's all filmed using 8k cameras," Tatsuhiro Nishioka, Senior Manager, Global Marketing, Visual Solutions at Toshiba, told TechRadar. "We usually use 8k content to make better 4k content, but this time we're using native 8k."

Nishioka tells us that Toshiba has an 8k TV in its labs, and that mass production should happen by 2020. "We have the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 so we're going to develop the 8k tech and the 8k TV for that," he says. "For now we're working on 8k on a research basis only – our main mission is to involve a lot of players like movie makers and TV broadcasters to improve the 4k development. The we're all just going to shift over to 8k."

10 best concepts for the future of TV

7. Changhong Panoramic Curved 105-inch 105Q1C 5k UHD TV

Chinese companies are on the up and about to assault the global market for TVs, so it was no surprise that IFA 2014 saw a slew of innovative exhibits that go beyond 4k. Changhong's enormous 105Q1C does that mainly by extending the panel from a widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio to 21:9, which essentially means that movies filmed in CinemaScope won't have black bars above and below. More screen real estate also means a jump in resolution, with the 105Q1C boasting a 5120x2160 pixel resolution and a 200Hz panel.

The 105Q1C also has a novel mobile TV mode, that promises to push TV recordings onto a smartphone.

10 best concepts for the future of TV

8. LG 21:9 ultra 4k TV with Ultra Surround

Is this the shape of things to come? We've seen both LG and Philips sell CinemaScope-shaped TVs - and the new HDMI 2.0 specification finally brings the native format to TVs - but this one from LG tries to take advantage of the extra bulk of the TV by adding a 7.2 channel, 150W-rated sound system, built by Harman Kardon, called Ultra Surround.

First shown at CES 2014, the 105UC9 boasts 5,120 x 2,160 pixels and will, astonishingly, go on sale later this year. It was close, but this concept of ultra-immersion for both eyes and ears is streets ahead of the impressive but pointless flexible 77-inch OLED tech also on LG's books.

10 best concepts for the future of TV

9. Sony Sound Photo

Less a concept of TV and more a wacky idea of what you could use it for, Sony's bright idea from IFA 2014 is that your photographs need sound. Possibly the result of a late night brainstorming session that went wrong, Sound Photo is all about getting even more from a 4k TV, which is the best place yet to view photos.

It adds a few seconds of audio to each photo, but syncs only with Sony's PlayMemories Online platform, which can be accessed on any device in the Sony ecosystem. Sound Photos can be taken only by Sony's new Xperia Z3 and Xperia Z3 Compact smartphones, the Xperia Z3 tablet, and the Sony Alpha A5100 camera.

At first it appears to be wacky nonsense, but given that photos have evolved to collate all sorts of data from time taken to GPS location and even which camera took the shot, why not add audio? Besides, how often do you actually use your phone to take a video? Sony could be onto something here. However, Sony's proclamation that "even taking a simple selfie shot has never been so exciting" does sound like narcissistic nonsense.

10 best concepts for the future of TV

10. Toshiba Ultra HD Mirror TV

The concept of the mirror TV isn't new, but it dropped off our wishlist when it became obvious that a TV screen that doubled as a mirror wasn't very good at being either. Shown off at IFA 2014 in its Future Display Innovation Lab, Toshiba's Ultra HD Mirror TV measures 84 inches and boasts 4k resolution. The amount of reflection generated by any mirror TV means they're best viewed with little ambient light around, but Toshiba's GlasLuce technology appears to have lessened that issue.

Toshiba also showed off two other vertical mirror displays: one bathroom version syncs with your activity tracker to tell you how far you walked yesterday and how well you slept, while a "family info board" for the kitchen displays recipes, live feeds from security cameras around your house, and has a built-in camera so you can operate it using hand gestures.

Jamie Carter

Jamie is a freelance tech, travel and space journalist based in the UK. He’s been writing regularly for Techradar since it was launched in 2008 and also writes regularly for Forbes, The Telegraph, the South China Morning Post, Sky & Telescope and the Sky At Night magazine as well as other Future titles T3, Digital Camera World, All About Space and Space.com. He also edits two of his own websites, TravGear.com and WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com that reflect his obsession with travel gear and solar eclipse travel. He is the author of A Stargazing Program For Beginners (Springer, 2015),