Waiting for the TV (and DVD, and Phone, and DVR) of the Future

We already have some pretty cool options when it comes to watching and creating video, but that doesn’t mean I’m completely satisfied. I want more. I want a TV that’s only 3mm thick. I want a DVR that I don’t have to install, or even touch. And I want an iPhone that can really, truly handle video. Lucky for me, these things are on their way. Here’s a glimpse at the future technologies I’m really excited about.
Sony's OLED TV
Affordable OLED TVs
OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs are supposed to offer many advantages over today’s LCD and plasma screens, such as a much thinner design and markedly better pictures, thanks to their higher contrast ration, faster response times, and sharper colors. They also use less power than LCDs or plasmas. That’s the good news. The bad news? OLED TVs are rare and very expensive (think $2,500 for an 11-inch model). It’s been said that OLED screens are the wave of the future. I’m just hoping that future arrives soon.

An iPhone That Really Does Video
Rumor has it that we’ll see a new iPhone announced in a few weeks, one that features video recording capabilities. To which I say: It’s about time. Most cell phones today can capture video clips, so it’s high time the iPhone caught up. Let’s hope that video recording is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to video features on the new iPhone. I also want to see it download video content directly from the mobile version of iTunes, without requiring any connection to your computer. This feature, too, is reportedly in the works.

Network DVRs
When I first heard about network DVRs — essentially, a DVR stored remotely, likely at your cable company’s facilities — I wasn’t impressed. The thought of recording shows and leaving them on a remote device seemed unnecessary, and even an invasion of privacy. But then I remembered that, chances are, my cable company or DVR provider can see what I’m recording anyway. I still have my concerns about how a network DVR would actually perform (if using one is as slow as using my cable company’s On Demand video service, I’m not interested), but I think the idea has potential, especially if it means one less box sitting next to my TV. And these devices could be arriving soon. Now that the courts have ruled that these devices do not violate copyright law (though the Supreme Court passed on the case, it asked the Justice Department to weigh in on the topic), Cablevision plans to roll its out this summer.

Truly High-Capacity DVDs
GE says it has developed a new type of disc that can hold 500GB of content — as much as 100 regular DVDs or 20 Blu-ray discs. This may not sound terribly exciting, but I’m intrigued. If I could squeeze my entire movie collection onto one or two discs, I’d be thrilled. After all, anything that eliminates the clutter surrounding my TV is just fine by me.

Those are just a few things I’m looking forward to. What about you? What future technologies have you most excited?

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