The television, once a staple in living rooms, is undergoing a revolutionary transformation. Manufacturers are racing to make the TV the least conspicuous object in your home, with innovations like see-through screens, roll-up displays, and TVs that disguise as paintings.

At CES 2024, the trend was evident with TVs becoming larger and brighter. However, the most captivating development is the near-invisibility of some new models. Two leading companies have introduced groundbreaking transparent screens. One has developed a MicroLED screen that appears as a clear glass when not in use, while the other offers a transparent TV resembling a hologram-laden fish tank, complete with a roll-up black backdrop for enhanced contrast.

The pursuit of less obtrusive TVs isn’t new. The Samsung Frame TV, released in 2017, doubles as a digital art frame, while Hisense’s recent CanvasTV follows a similar concept. LG’s rollable television, showcased at CES 2021, along with advanced projector technologies like the LG CineBeam Qube, further demonstrate this trend.

The drive to make TVs less prominent stems from their traditional role as a ‘black hole’ on the wall. Transparent screen technology, previously used in commercial spaces, is now entering the consumer market, addressing both aesthetic and practical considerations. However, these innovations, while intriguing, might not become mainstream due to their cost and complexity.

Despite the potential of these technologies, traditional TV’s role as a communal digital hearth is unlikely to disappear. Personal media consumption on devices like phones or tablets, and mixed-reality headsets, offer alternative experiences but don’t replicate the social aspect of TV viewing. As such, while TVs might evolve in form and function, their central place in home entertainment is poised to endure.