The quest for more pixels in your living room flat screen TV display has just gotten more inexpensive. The 4K TV movement hasn’t been gaining a lot of traction ever since these TVs got introduced in the market. The number one problem is, as per usual, the prohibitive prices that come with new stuff and perhaps the worry that there may not be a lot of 4K content out there yet.
For those who are not in the know yet, 4K simply refers to a new class of flat screen TVs with resolutions at least around 4 times the usual high-definition 1080p screens (see visual comparison of resolutions in the inset image at the right). That’s a lot of pixels to fill and there aren’t too much available content that can take advantage of that right now. But that may change soon with the advent of relatively cheaper models produced by some smaller flat screen TV brands looking to steal some thunder from the big guys (Samsung, LG, Sony, etc.). Which should be a good thing because those big guys won’t just stand around and get undercut by manufacturers who, as far as the reviews coming in are concerned, seems to be producing nice pieces of TV displays.
The Seiki 39″ 4K TV (Image courtesy of ElectronicsDB.net)
The cheapest I have found so far is the Seiki 39-inch 4K ultra-HD TV with a price tag of just $499 which can even be cheaper than some of the big boys’ lower resolution (1080p) HD LCD LED TVs. If you want bigger the company also produces a 50-inch model with similar specs. The price for that is around $900 which is also a pretty competitive price point for the amount of pixels you get. Another brand that’s looking to get into the cheap 4K TV scene is TCL which is offering a 50-inch unit at around $1,000. Similarly, Vizio announced in January’s Consumer Eletronics Show (CES) that it is also coming out with a 50-inch model priced at approximately $1,000.
This is definitely an exciting time for pixel-count watchers as they should soon be able to enjoy ultra high definition TV for a comparatively lower price than ever before. I’m pretty sure the big brands are going to follow suit sooner or later which should help keep the momentum of the inevitable price drops.
This got me wondering, can I use these ultra-HD TV displays as a computer monitor? Just imagine how much stuff you’d be able to fit into that screen! This is definitely a topic for future posts so please stand by!
LED LCD TVs
While most companies are experiencing the economic crunch amidst heavy discounts and thinning profit margins some are looking forward and beyond the situation are looking for ways on how to offset their losses.
Apparently, many flat screen tv makers are banking on the newer LED LCD TVs to get them through the current dip and perhaps take advantage of the predicted boom in this new LCD technology.
A Reuter’s report on this indicate a time frame:
“Going forward, the entire market will shift to LED. LED is the best television technology made available so far,” Sue Shim, Samsung’s senior vice president in charge of visual display sales and marketing, told the Reuters Global Technology Summit this week.
Research firm iSuppli forecast LCD TV LED revenue will soar nearly nine times to $1.4 billion in 2012 from $163 million in 2009. Globally, LEDs are being increasingly used in a wide array of applications including lighting, notebooks, mobile phones and televisions.
“One of our consumer surveys showed 78 percent of them were willing to pay up to 50 percent premium,” said Shim of Samsung.
Why are LEDs becoming popular? This may be due to the fact that LED LCD TVs are more energy efficient and are capable of saving up to 40% power. This is perfect for the increasing number of people who are looking to greener living.
The most obvious stumbling block for this thing to take off is the price as LEDs usually cost up to 50% more compared to conventional CCFL LCD TVs. But the consensus is that these will be overcome in the years to come as production prices go down and as more and more competition comes into the picture.
My next probably flat screen TV purchase would probably be one of these babies. Is it the thinnest LG LED LCD TV that I talked about in my previous post? Only time will tell.
In the mean time, I will hold on to my Polaroid lcd tv repair course survivor. hehe.
Here’s another goody goody from Sony who just launched another cutting-edge LCD HD TV called the Sony Bravia WE5. It is touted to be the world’s first TV using the micro-tubular Hot Cathode Fluorescent Lamp (HCFL) backlight that enables it to save more than 50% in terms of power consumption.
Other energy saving features include the intelligent Presence Sensor which detects whether the viewer has left the room. If he has, the Sony Bravia WE5 powers down further by switching off the picture but maintaining the sounds. This is a pretty clever feature which we could all have used all this time.
Further, since using flat screen TVs as computer monitors is becoming more and more popular, this Bravia model also has a power down feature when it stopps receiving a signal from the computer for a certain amount of time! Neat.
And finally, here’s the kicker— the StandBy mode consumes no power!!! It actually turns itself off but saves the state it is in so that when you turn it back on, you can proceed right where you left off. Pretty handy while watching those online movies or those DVDs. They finally found a way to use flash based technology in our televisions!
This feature is much like the hibernate mode of the Windows OS where you can turn your PC or laptop off while in the middle of doing something but you can continue right where you left off upon turning it back on! I think this feature is pretty cool!
This Bravia model is actually part of a line of Bravias that have been Eco-labeled by the EU. I guess this is the industry’s answer to the EU’s challenge of creating more energy efficient LCD and Plasma TVs or else they will push for the phasing out of the plasma TV.
Other eco-labeled Bravia models: » BRAVIA W5500, BRAVIA E5500, BRAVIA V5500, BRAVIA™ S5500