Growing up the son of an electrical engineer who designed and manufactured TV sets for General Electric from the 1950s on, our family had a constant stream of new TV sets to test. It seemed the consistent theme through the 1980s was bigger and bigger TV screens and bigger and fancier cabinets to contain them. In the late 1980s or early 1990s, Dad began to bring home computers. I’ll never forget my old Compaq computer with its green monochrome screen and simple games we played for hours.
Flat Panel TVs Have a Long History
GE began developing flat-panel TV screens in the 1950s for radar monitors and introduced the first flat-panel TV in 1958 called the Predicta. After it failed miserably, perhaps because Americans preferred larger TVs, GE terminated its research and development of flat-panel TVs.
The Computer Revolution Changed TVs Forever
The computer revolution, because of its breadth and depth, started out with large and heavy monitors much as happened with TVs. But over time, because of the huge market for computers and computer monitors, innovation led to the development of flatscreen monitors. A big part of this was the move from analog to digital technology which made it easier to shrink all of the components that made up a TV.
From there it was an easy transition to creating flat-panel TVs. Large screen TV technology with thin liquid crystal displays (LCD) took off in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
There are six main types of TV sets today:
- Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD)
- Liquid Crystal Displays with Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Backlighting
- Plasma Panels (PDP)
- Electroluminescent panels
- Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED)
- Digital Light Processing (DLP)
There are also large format displays for digital signage that work in demanding environments.
TV Technology Becoming Interactive
According to Future Market Insights (FMI), the global flat-panel display market is expected to reach $135 billion by 2020, growing at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 6%. This trend is being driven by increasing rates of technology adoption, increased demand for larger size displays, new consumer electronics markets, and advances in research and development by flat-panel display manufacturers.
The biggest markets for flat-panel displays are consumer electronics, automotive applications, mobile phones and PCs, healthcare, defense, and the military.
In the following video from the 2017 ISE, the Finlux 55″ Interactive Flat Panel Display is featured.