5 future 'widget TV' innovations
22nd Jun 2009 | 15:28
OLED compatibility, multiple screens and more
Multiple screens and OLED
ARM's chip architecture is powering the next-generation of widget TVs – television sets connected to the internet.
Its latest link-up with LG points to some new and interesting innovations, which make the idea of widgets on your television into something useful, rather than mere gimmickry.
Below are five widget innovations we should see on a TV set near you soon, according to ARM's Director of Home Segment Marketing Jim Wallace…
1. Multiple 1080p screens
"LG has licensed the ARM 11 core and that is basically the multi-core. This enables LG to put the technology into its whole range. So the lower range could have say one ARM 11 93 core and the top end could have four cores.
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"It is the same with the graphics, as LG now has licences for the Mali 200 and 400 [graphics processors]. Again the Mali 400 is a multi-core device – you can have one, two or four cores.
"So, using just two cores you can process 1080p picture, with the four cores inside you can have multiple 1080p screens."
2. OLED widget TVs
"There's absolutely no reason why we won't see an OLED widget TV going forward. OLED is all about a significant reduction in power as is LED technology and ARM is also bringing this low-power intelligence to the market, and will aid in the likes of LG to bring an eco-friendly product to consumers."
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3. 3D widgets
"There's a lot of a way to go on this. I think the technology is there but in terms of content we have a little way to go. There's a number of people now looking into creating standards and, from a technology point of view, I would like it to come pretty fast but it feels like there's an evolution happening: connected TVs, first and 3D after.
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"While there are some fantastic animated movies coming out in 3D and Avatar to come, the ultimate goal for 3D in the home is sport. It's great for ARM as our Mali processors handle 3D graphics."
4. Real-time stats
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"Giving the widgets information that the user wants makes this 'web on TV' experience a 'lean back' one.
"This is happening a lot in the US, where a huge amount of people watch sport on their TVs with a laptop open in front of them to get stats – especially with things like football and baseball.
"The next-gen of widget TVs can have all that information in real-time for you."
5. Personalised widgets
"Consumers are very keen to experience widget TVs. Some are asking for more widgets and a better graphical experience but the whole idea of widgets on your telly works. People really like them. Widgets are one way for people to personalise their sets.
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"What we are doing in terms of moving this technology forward – with things like clicking a widget and moving into another application – means that the experience will grow and get better.
The thing about getting this technology right is to make it easy. If you make it too complex or if you try to repeat the PC web-browsing experience you get on your TV, I think you will lose people."