Screens Are Getting Larger, Smaller And Better

Look for smart glasses to join the arsenal of screens that are moving in both size directions fueled by innovations like LCD, LED and more processing power.

Looking back a little more than 20 years, the size of the average TV screen in America was 23 inches. Between 1998 and 2018, that screen grew roughly one inch a year, but the last four years has seen something of a growth spurt, with average screen size increasing by eight inches — jumping from 47” to 55”. In 2022, 15% of the country’s installed base of TVs are already 60” or larger, and more than a quarter of all new TVs sold this year will be that size.

This explosion in the size of the home screen can be put down to several factors, especially flat-screen technology enabled by innovations such as LCD and OLED. When TVs were almost deeper in size than they were in screen width, the concept of a 60” screen would have been unthinkable. The growth in screen size has been driven by advances in picture quality and resolution that can handle the scale.

With HDR and Wide Gamut technology, images are sharper, colors are brighter and better defined. With 4K — and soon 8K — resolution capable of maintaining that quality over ever-wider screens, why wouldn’t one want the big screen experience in one’s home?

Simultaneously, the amount of processing power that can be packed into a modern smartphone or tablet can give near 2K quality screen definition in one’s hand over a Wi-Fi or cellular network. Why not have that quality all the time — including at home, where one can keep up with the ball game and watch the big-screen movie all at once.

So, where is all this going? Currently, one could argue that content consumption is split into small screen, personal experiences using smartphones or tablets or the shared viewing experience of the big screen — be it in the sports bar or in the comfort of one’s own home.

But in the next five to 10 years, advances in battery technology, and in the ability to manage heat dissipation, will give us a new, even smaller device for consuming content: smart glasses that not only look good but can reliably stream content over 5G or 6G networks, as well as view content stored on a smartphone or tablet.


All of this would be on the big screen, 16K quality per pupil, right in front of one’s eyes. This could be a personal experience or for communal viewing and game playing with friends — meaning one can talk to, or interact with, others regardless of whether they are in the same room or in another country.

And if all that is not enough, smart glasses and VR headsets will be the preferred screen of choice for metaverse applications, offering users multiple screens within one set of glasses for a sports bar experience at home — where simply turning one’s head switches the user from golf to football to hockey and back again.

That’s the direction of travel in screen technology. Driven by innovation, big screens will get bigger, while small screens will get smaller — and yet bigger at the same time. There is no middle ground because there is no need to compromise. Technology will deliver the quality consumers want, in the size and format they want, either at home or on the go; and in the way that best suits their needs, tastes or the demands of the application they are using.

The future of television is the very best experience, on the best screen, by the best possible method — wherever and whenever consumers want.

Serhad Doken is CTO of media at Adeia, an Xperi company.

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