2012 and 2013 were all about 3D in TV world at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But analysts were skeptical of the appeal of any such devices – and rightfully so. Execution was mediocre at best – and for the price, consumers just shrugged and walked away. But 2014 offers something very different – 4K – or ultra-high definition (UDH) TV.
For consumers excited about 1080 lines of resolution, now we’re talking about 4 times that.
The first viable 4K units arrived in 2012 – each boasting prices over $10,000 – keeping sales down. But 2014 is a new year. 4K TVs are cheaper and much more prevelant. Just over three million were sold in 2013 – and some analysts predict sales of more than 20 million in 2014 – making the 4K TV the hot topic at this year’s CES. Poloroid even has a 50-inch model priced as low as $1,000.
Here’s a look at some of the coolest 4K TVs at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.
Available this spring in 65- and 85-inch varities (no pricing yet). UDH is Sony’s big play to become major movers in the television field. The X950B has full-array LED backlighting, enabling advanced micro-dimming, which Sony calls “X-tended Dynamic Range Pro.”
This is the new curved 4K TV from the Korean electronics giant. It’s available in 78-, 65- and 55-inches. The quad-split screen is pretty cool. Available in April. Samsung also showed off a 105-inch version (technically marketed as a 5K TV), but now word on when (or if) it will make it to consumers. Samsung is promoting the curved screen as a more immersive television experience.
This is LG’s 77-inch curved OLED UDH TV. Analysts have praised the sharpness of this unit. It could be the biggest hit from this year’s CES. There are also 66- and 55-inch models available from LG.
Other manufacturers offering up 4K TVs included Panasonic and Sharp.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.