Originally Posted by Elpee
Unfortunately, nothing, Mfusick. It depends on the content.
Maybe if all the content suddenly turns to 4K.
This is pretty gloomy outlook
I think 4K is some of it- but how fast that comes depends on how fast displays and material make it to consumers. The age old chicken or the egg thing. MFG won't make displays if there is no content and content makers won't make content if you can't display it. But these battles happened with HDTV and while slow adoption rate at first- HDTV exploded once it got a little momentum. It was not that long ago we had NON HD TV's or very much of 4:3 content and broadcasting. I don't expect huge success for 4K in 2014 but certainly some progress will be made.
You can already buy a 50" set pretty cheap. And high resolution PC monitors are also growing in popularity. (I so want a 30" IPS high resolution display! )
Some of the trends I see emerging I would expect to gain additional momentum in 2014:
- Increasing popularity of a "media server" as a storage solution versus the traditional hard drive in a PC approach
- Increasing popularity of "media server software" like Plex Server or MediaBrowser3 Server- That feeds a wide range of different devices and allows you to enjoy your media anywhere you want, any way you want, on any device you want.
- Increasing popularity of more powerful NAS and media servers to take advantage of media server software programs and capabilities.
also, on the HTPC side :
- I see and increasing separation of the low end and high end HTPC. The middle class is shrinking, and the i3 that once was the most popular option for a midrange HTPC is no longer as popular- making way for either much cheaper Pentium and Celeron based machines (CPU half the cost) or quad cores like i5 for not much more money (better value ?) for those that want advanced functionality or quality. Things like SVP, MadVR, or transcoding are better handled on a quad core. i3 is often too much, or to little depending on what people need. I'd guess with the popularity and easy implementation of MadVR with front ends like MBtheater, Jriver or MediaiOS (all three do MadVR native) - or even traditional MB or XBMC set ups with MPC-HC that trend continues in 2014. The way I see it you either need it and want it- or you don't need it and want it. 3D required, but no desire for anything more or GPU card is the only reason I would choose an i3 personally. But then again, if you are looking for integrated GPU and 3D on a budget- screw the i3 and go get an AMD.
I am guessing we will see a good amount of full performance HTPC builds for the hardcore AVS folks that have serious home theater systems and are looking for something that is appropriate to them. These are folks that are not PC people, but rather theater enthusiasts looking to enjoy their hobby in a digital media world. Eye candy, easy of use and set up, and good performance are paramount - much more so than the $200 saved on what was once a "cheap" or "value" build. The new "value" build is actually the quad core in this new way of thinking. GPU cards that will do full MadVR and SVP and also do 3D (even 4K) are getting cheaper and cheaper. You don't need a $300 video card, and with time we will see the next generation of GPU cards even more efficient and powerful in 2014 and also the next generation of CPU chips even more efficient and powerful too.
While the midrange seems to have moved up to the upper midrange(i3>i5), or down to the low end (pentium/celeron/sub$80 AMD) - I am also expecting more and more competition on the very low end by streamer boxes like the ROKU which can run PLEX or MB3 pretty well and cost less than $100, come with remote, and are easy to set up. Now that these options can do 1080p and HD audio pretty well I think the budget folks and simple folks will gravitate toward these options because they are cheaper, easier to use, and simple to set up. Folks that only want 1080p and HD audio and not much more will find attraction in these low priced, easy to use options and this will eat away at the low end of HTPC. Basically you are left with upper low end(you could call this lower midrange too), and upper midrange (or lower high end) as the popular options based on needs. The reason is that in terms of performance something like a Pentium in 2014 will be very equal to the performance of an i3 back in 2012/2013. (LGA1155)
I see the HTPC landscape changing in that it's not just about building an HTPC to enjoy on a single display anymore. It's about finding an HTPC solution that fits your needs and allows you to enjoy HTPC and digital media anywhere, any time, on any device. Divergence is the new trend in 2014 I see.
To me the perfect HTPC solution is the one that give me full quality and performance on my theater system for critical listening or viewing- but also supports my other devices and needs. This includes watching my media on other displays (other HTPC's, Laptops, Tablets, Smartphones, Roku etc..etc.. ) in less critical conditions. It's nice to be able to grab the ipad and watch show on it, wife be able to watch her show on the living room TV when I am watching a movie on the main theater system.
I am expecting the trend of a "media server" that supports all kinds of clients and devices to continue- and in some ways a powerful media server and a less powerful HTPC might be the trend versus the previously very popular all in one machine option.
Who knows... I am just guessing. I could be wrong. Things can change a lot in a year with electronics.