To paraphrase the classic rock band Styx, these are surely “the best of times” when it comes to home video entertainment. That sentiment is shared by CE Pro’s expert panel of “Video Guys” when they discussed spring 2023 trends on the latest CE Pro Podcast.
According to our regular “Video Guys” in their most recent conversation with CE Pro Senior Editor Bob Archer, home video continues to experience a golden age of technologies – conveniently timed with what many consider to be a golden age of prestige TV content being produced by all of the myriad services.
In this week’s CE Pro Podcast episode, Joel Silver, CEO and lead developer for the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF), Robert Zohn, president and founder of Value Electronics, and Jason Dustal of Murideo offer insights into the latest trends to chat about why the latest displays, resolution, HDR tech and more are putting integrators in great position to indeed deliver “the best of times” to videophile and home theater customers.
When asked about the state of the home video market in 2023, Zohn starts the conversation by noting that in a typical year there are usually small advances to technology, but this year seems to be a big year for home video.
“Every year we get nice incremental upgrades in technology. This is another very big upgrade year in picture quality, particularly, just from quantum dot OLED from Samsung display. They’ll have this second-generation to QLED modules. They’re significantly brighter, with full color volume, even at 100%,” comments Zohn, who annually stages the “King of TVs” shootout at Value Electronics featuring expert judges evaluating the latest premium displays.
“LG obviously is not sleeping while Samsung’s advancing. Their engineers are advancing, and they’ve added micro lens array, which is little lenses micro lenses that are across the entire OLED module, and they increase the light output by magnifying the light of all colors, red, green, blue, and white simultaneously,” Zohn explains.
“So they also maintain a very good high volume of color, saturation and much higher peak lumens, and much better off angle viewing with none of the tint.”
‘Video Guys’ Impressed with Latest Displays’ Internal Processing Prowess
Soon the topic shifts to modern image processing, which Zohn, Silver and Dustal agree on how rapidly video processing has improved with the big consumer brands like Samsung, LG and Sony. Silver states that mainstream video products, in his view, generally provide high levels of processing that do not necessitate external components.
“Except for the very high end where I want to look up tables to get things perfect broadcast quality — which, of course, is where I live, it’s where my clients live, but that’s the one half of 1% the rest of it. There’s no market for processors,” Silver says.
“The internal processing in TVs is so good that the old $3K, $5K, $7K and $10,000 processor is a negligible improvement, if any at all, on a smaller screen. Now take it to a three-chip DLP that doesn’t have great tone mapping or average projectors, which are good, but not great. If I can do a lot on HDR and an external processor on a very large display without the best processing, it’s day and night,” he adds.
The expert trio shifted to a regular topic the ‘Video Guys’ always provide in their CE Pro Podcast appearances, sharing some of their current favorite video recommendations.
Dustal offers a disc-based content choice, Meg, which he says contains a scene within a submarine that features a flashing red light alarm going off and details such as reflections on the water as a shark attacks. For a streaming recommendation, he suggests the modern Addams Family series Wednesday from Netflix.
“There are a few scenes where Wednesday is in the school with her roommate, and if you guys know the show, her roommate’s side of the room is very bright and colorful, and pretty. Wednesday’s side is very dark and gothy and gloomy, and having that contrast in the same image is really a lot of fun,” he says.
“I say this all the time to pretty much anybody who asks this question: Anything that the BBC touches is pure gold,” he adds. “The nature movies, the landscapes, the color of the birds and the parrots and the tigers … it’s just breathtaking.”
To hear the complete 50-minute conversation with Dustal, Silver and Zohn, listen to or download the podcast episode above. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.