Next-Gen Television

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Clicking the power button on a television remote takes users to a whole new world. With high-definition graphics, surround sound and clarity in a realistic screen, characters seem only an arm’s reach away.

Picture quality once reserved for the IMAX experience or realistic effects seen in 3-D movies are now commonplace in many U.S. homes.

Television, or at least the notion of electronically transmitting an image, was first conceived in 1876 by George Carey. It was not until the early 1900s that the use of cathode ray tubes became popular and was the first standard medium to broadcast what became the modern television.

In a little more than a century, television technology has evolved from fuzzy black and white images to HD color infused viewing experience.

Televisions are more than just a medium in which people watch their favorite programs. With devices like AppleTV, users can sync their iTunes accounts so that they can watch rented movies, connect to the internet and even access the Internet from their television.

Other television sets are making the most out of existing and developing technologies. HD content provides more options for television browsing. Many local and national networks utilize the most out of the recent conversion from analog to digital content, which carries more data and provides more subchannels to watch more broadcast content.

Toshiba’s website claims it was the first to provide a new way to watch 3-D programing. Traditionally, special glasses were worn to integrate images captured by a special camera which manipulated an image to appear in three dimensions. Toshiba’s new device tricks the human eye into perceiving depth in an image, even though there is none.

Televisions are following technological trends that other devices have popularized. Just like mobile devices, televisions are getting thinner and lighter, and some are even touchscreen-operated.

Some web-enabled television sets are even equipped with cameras so people can video-chat, just like many people do on their desktops, laptops and phones.

Google presents even more ways to integrate mobile technology into televisions. GoogleTV, powered by Android Technology, integrated many popular features found on Google’s internet browser, Chrome, into television sets.

GoogleTV users can log onto the internet with a Chrome browser and access integrated applications like YouTube, Pandora Radio, Netflix, Flickr and the Android Market.

All that is required is a box enabling a television set to connect to the Internet. If a television is connected, just download the GoogleTV app.

Android and iPhone users can even download an app to convert their smartphones into remotes for GoogleTV.

Television, for better or worse, shaped American culture for the last 60 years. The television experience is constantly evolving, and society is close to living in a world completely immersed in television programing.

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