- Author LG
- Published May 19, 2014
The tech that’s transforming TV and smartphones
These are amazing times for tech lovers. Everything from your TV to your phone, and from your fridge to your car, is undergoing a radical tech transformation.
But the amazing pace of change in technology affects lots of products in particular TVs and phones. From being independent devices 10 years ago, the smartphone and the smart TV are (very different size) twins these days. Here’s how they’re feeding off each other…
What the TV has given the phone #1 Resolution
Ah, lovely pixels. Used for everything from displaying digital photography to blockbuster films, to the latest games. Without pixels, all would be lost. We do love having more pixels rather than fewer, though, and this is where the hunt for the ultimate phone screen has paid dividends for TVs.
Pixels-per-inch is a critical measurement for today’s smartphones, because the more pixels you have, the smoother the image on a phone appears. The LG G2, for example, has around 424 pixels per inch. These advances in pixel density technology have a knock-on effect for TVs – you wouldn’t want to watch a TV if its detail could barely match your phone’s. This could explain the push towards Ultra HD in TVs. Roll on the future.
#2 Curved displays
Curved displays are ace. Smooth and organic, utterly immersive and eye-catching in extremis, a curved screen of any size looks like it’s been beamed into your life straight from the future. Take the LG G Flex, for example, whose HD, 6in screen curves gently, producing a more natural shape. It’s flexible as well: push down on the phone when it’s flat on a desk and it will spring back into shape when you let it go.
Curved TVs are equally ace. Take the spectacular, giant, 55in LG EA980W Curved OLED TV. Its expansive display gracefully curves from edge to edge giving more true to life viewing and pulling your further into the action. Support for 3D content, a lively app store and other LG innovations such as the ingenious LG Magic Remote, bring the TV, and everything you watch on it, to life.
What the phone has given the TV #1 Apps
Where would we be without them on phones? Well, we wouldn’t have missed our station this morning trying to unlock the next level of Angry Birds, for one thing. We also wouldn’t have handy-dandy live-savers such as Google Maps, Shazam or eight million different travel planners (none ever offer exactly the same route). The app on the mobile phone transformed the platform, created a new generation of software developers, and gave us something to fiddle with at all times.
Apps on the TV have followed a similar trajectory. Smart TVs have grown ever-more powerful, gaining multi-core processors, bags of RAM and different connectivity options over the years, making them ripe targets for a spot of app-based fun. Developers don’t even have to work too hard to convert software from smartphones to smart TVs – with the underlying hardware and operating systems directly borrowed from mobile phones, converting successful apps is less “Sistine Chapel” and more “paint by numbers”.
The Smart TV already has stacks of great apps available to download. Where’s My Water? can be played on LG Smart TVs, and so can other ace games such as Smash Cops and Monsters, Inc. Run. Playing games is one thing, but the incredible wealth of games available for Smart TVs means you’ll be able to consign that pesky set-top box to the Cupboard of Retired Kit forever. Spotify on your TV? Check. Netflix? Ditto. You can rent films without a subscription using Blinkbox, or watch sports and movies through the awesome NOW TV app. BBC’s iPlayer makes a very welcome appearance, and makes your TV a great way of continuing the games or entertainment you were finishing at the end of your commute.
#2 The operating system
Five years ago, you’d never have thought your TV even had an operating system. It did, though, managing everything from remembering your channel presets to handling input selection, but most of the time you wouldn’t have needed it. These were the days of the set-top box and the console, so a TV’s operating system was a bit of a moot point.
Fast forward to today and the modern TV does a vast amount of cool stuff. Enough cool stuff, in fact, that old style TV operating systems now look drastically underpowered. Hard to navigate, slow and, often, frustrating, clicking your remote through endless menu options gets old super-fast.
That’s why Smart TVs have been borrowing heavily from the smartphone. Both devices share similar challenges: a smartphone has a small screen designed to be viewed from a medium distance, so it can’t get very much on the screen at once. A TV has a giant screen designed to be viewed from a very long distance, so it can’t cram too much on either. That’s why LG’s Smart TVs, for example, use webOS, an operating system first spotted in the Palm Pre back in 2009.
Using webOS gives LG the ability to run apps, including multitasking, from a big-screen interface that’s powerful, easy to understands from a distance, with enough graphical oomph to drive clever animations that give users a clear idea of how they’ve arrived at the current screen. Palm may no longer exist, subsumed into computer giant HP back in 2010, but modern TV watchers have plenty to thank it for.
For a full range of LG tech, visit lg.com