Videophile Corner: Affordable 4K, Quantum Dots, and other awesome TV trends coming in 2015

tv trends in 2015 quantum dot 940 x 600
2014 was a big year for home entertainment tech.  4K UHD TVs became less expensive, more sources of 4K UHD content emerged, the first OLED TV under $4,000 debuted, the first 4K OLED televisions arrived, LED/LCD TVs took a huge step forward in picture quality as plasmas were officially retired, everyone got in line to take on Sonos with their own take on a multi-room wireless speaker system, and Dolby’s groundbreaking new cinema surround sound tech, Atmos, made its way into the home.

Whew! That’s a lot for one year, and it’s fair to wonder if 2015 could be as exciting. But from where we sit, we think 2015 is going to be another landmark year for the gadgets that entertain us at home and on the go. 2015 will be the year of more: more 4K everything, more price drops, and more bang for our buck. Here’s what you can expect in the coming year.

More 4K UHD TVs and fewer 1080p TVs

We know it‘s hard to accept: You just got your 1080p TV and you’re really excited about it (as you should be,) but then we come along and burst you bubble by telling you that 1080p TVs are on their way out. If it makes you feel any better, 1080p televisions won’t disappear overnight, but this is the beginning of the end. As we’ll learn at CES 2015, there will be more 4K UHD TV models than 1080p models this year. Hey at least we can chortle at those early adopter suckers for spending way too much money and not having any 4K UHD content to show for it, right? Well, no, actually.

4K UHD TVs will be even less expensive

Think those doorbuster Black Friday deals you saw on 4K UHD TVs were impressive? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! In 2015, 4K UHD will be even less expensive – they’ll need to be if they are going to replace 1080p TVs entirely.

4K UHD content from every direction

A year ago, if the manufacturer didn’t bundle any 4K UHD content with your TV (or sell it on the side) you were slap out of luck. Then, in April, Netflix began streaming 4K UHD content like House of Cards Season 2 and a handful of movies. But it wasn’t until the last month of the year that things began to heat up, and now they’re really moving along.

Amazon began streaming 4K UHD titles, M-Go added a broad selection of movies, DirecTV launched a 4K UHD video on demand service and a satellite that will one day broadcast live 4K channels, and Comcast launched its Xfinity UHD app, with plans to introduce an Xfinity UHD cable box soon.

At CES, we’ll hear about more content sources, but the big one we’re excited for will be the new 4K UHD Blu-ray disc format and players, which will bring the best quality 4K content available outside, perhaps, of Sony’s 4K downloads, which is exclusive to its 4K media players.

Quantum Dots

“Quantum what?!” you say. Sadly, it’s a bad name for a great piece of technology. The good news is: quantum dots do great things for LED/LCD televisions, specifically in the area of color, promising a color gamut that approaches OLED televisions. While quantum dots won’t up an LED/LCD TV’s game to OLED picture quality levels, it certainly makes for a more dazzling picture, and every major TV manufacturer will be using them. Expect lots of cryptic names and a few new acronyms to learn.

OLED price drop

Don’t expect a sudden cave-in on OLED TV prices, but it’s a good bet that LG may bring to market an OLED TV that breaks the $3,000 price barrier.  They still won’t be cheap, but 2015’s OLEDs will be the most enticing offering yet, and easily the best-looking picture available.

LG 65EC9700
LG’s 65EC9700 OLED TV introduced this year currently sells for around $10,000.

Home theater goes wireless

After over a decade of development, wireless home theater systems will finally begin to arrive in 2015, and they will be way cooler than you might think. Imagine a tiny little box that replaces an A/V receiver and wirelessly streams better-than-CD quality audio to up to seven speakers and a subwoofer, with absolutely zero speaker wires required. You’ll have to provide power to the speakers with an A/C cord, so the systems won’t be completely without tether, but at least the rats, perhaps even buried into a center channel speaker, that takes a single HDMI connection from your TV

Everyone is gunning for Sonos

It’s tough to be Sonos, which pioneered the multi-room wireless speaker market that is so popular today. These days, every major audio manufacturer is trying to get a slice of Sonos’ pie, and some of them are doing a pretty decent job of it, though Sonos remains unmatched in simplicity of use.

That may change in 2015 if manufacturers can refine their mobile device apps, stabilize their mesh networks, and tune up their sound quality. No matter what, we can expect to see a whole lot more from this relatively new product segment, and you can bet that televisions will soon be at the heart of it all.

The headphone bubble just won’t burst

With in-ear headphones only beginning to break into the wearable technology and connected fitness device categories, you can be sure we’ll be seeing even more growth in a seemingly saturated headphone market. And with competition remaining fierce among headphone makers, it’s entirely possible we may see prices on premium headgear dwindle.

What did we miss?

Of course, the most exciting developments in 2015 could turn out to be those we never saw coming. If you’re hoping to see something special happen in 2015, tell us all about it in the comments below. And Happy New Year!

This article originally appeared at The Manual’s brother site, Digital Trends

Fashion & Style

Anson Calder Founder Turned a Bad Diagnosis into a Better Wallet and Bag Design

Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is estimated to affect nearly 1 million individuals worldwide.
Auto

Get Up to Speed with Our Comprehensive Dictionary to Motorcycle Slang

Like any specialty, motorcycling has its own vocabulary. This ever-expanding cheat sheet will have you sounding like a seasoned rider in no time.
Travel

New York’s Iconic Chrysler Building Could Become a Luxury Hotel

When it does, The Manual will be hosting one hell of a Gatsby-style company Christmas party.
Culture

20 Things Every Man Should Own

Stuff seen as classically manly — cigars, fast cars — may be enjoyable, they are hardly necessities. What a man really needs are items that will improve his quality of life.
Living

Tranquil House Is a Brutalist Home with a Distinctly Japanese Twist

This all-concrete home will surprise you with its fresh style and calm atmosphere.
Living

Is Swedish Death Cleaning the Next Marie Kondo Method?

No, it’s not a heavy metal band, and initially the concept may even seem a little depressing, but if you’re looking to live a minimalist life, you need to give Death Cleaning a go.
Living

Escape From It All with a Solitudinous Stay in The Range at Dovecote

A secluded spot, rugged style, and never-ending views of the rolling hills of New South Wales.
Living

The Best Pillows for Back Sleepers With Neck Pain

Sleeping on your back leaves you prone to both snoring and neck pain. To combat those issues, you need a pillow that provides the proper support and offers relief for your pressure points.
Living

Rustic Meets Modern in this Innovative Barn House

Unexpected features abound, including a classic car garage, in this unique Wyoming home.
Living

Casper Drops a Discount on Its Signature Memory Foam Mattresses

This weekend Casper is running a daylight savings sale. Our clocks spring forward and what better way to celebrate than with a new mattress.
Living

Pond House Shows Us Just How Beautiful Imperfection Can Be

From weathered steel to rough concrete to raw wood, Pond House fully embraces the wabi-sabi philosophy, showing off all of its beautiful flaws.
Living

Wave House Carries the Log Cabin into the 21st Century

If George Jetson took his family on a vacation, it would definitely include a stay Wave House
Fashion & Style

Adulting 101: How to Wash Your Clothes the Right Way

Doing your own laundry is an important rite in the transition from childhood to adulthood, but few of us are properly guided through this transition.
Living

This Frank Lloyd Wright House Actually Sold for a (Relatively) Affordable Price

And by “affordable” we mean the lucky buyer snagged the home for under $1 million.