The race to cram more pixels into those displays isn’t only limited to smart phones, tablets or computer screens as it has also benefited the ubiquitous television. If you think we’re stuck at HD (high-definition) then I guess you’ll be happy to know that we’ve actually moved on from that by what many considers a big leap in pixel count— about 4 times more pixels, to be more precise, compared to the standard 1080p HD television.
What is dubbed as 4k television, otherwise known as Ultra HD (UHD) flat screens with resolutions of 3840×2160 to 5120×3200 depending on the aspect ratio (HD resolution is just 1920×1080), has actually been around for a bit of time but I’ve not really paid much attention to them since they’re really still pretty expensive (the way LCD flat screens were when they were new in the market). However, the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014) has made developments in the 4k arena a bit harder to ignore with some cool demonstrations of head-turning TV displays that are reportedly bound for the consumer market— all of them packing some mean pixel firepower!
Take, for example, the stunning display of curves from Samsung and LG with their respective 105 in. curved screen TVs which they both claim are the world’s first. Both TVs sport Ultra HD pixel count levels with 21:9 ratio which makes it pretty wide indeed and will be a true centerpiece of any living space. These two same companies also showed prototypes of a TV screen that bends. Yep, bendable TVs may be in your living rooms sooner than you think, provided that you can afford them at their first mass market release.
Another interesting development is the fact that companies are truly making them televisions smarter for a more interactive viewing experience by putting in more sophisticated operating systems (OS). LG showed off a new flat screen unit installed with a proprietary OS called WebOS (which they actually acquired from HP) which can make the TV access more than traditional TV shows as it can also show Internet content and can be used as a communication device as well (e.g. using Skype, etc.). Hisense also showed a TV installed with its own version of Google’s Android OS which isn’t really surprising as it isn’t the first non-smartphone device that got “Androidized” but is still, I think, a clever way to innovate more on the smart TV experience. But the best news is yet to come as one of the best developments all in all is the price war trend developing among these top companies. Vizio beat them all to it by releasing the first sub-$1,000 unit which, incidentally, is also their very first offering on 4K! This is a 50-inch model which is indeed pretty surprising considering the current price levels of TVs of such size from the bigger brands (Samsung, Sony, etc.). While lower prices have been seen in smaller, relatively unknown brands, such trend creeping into the Samsung or Sony territory would be welcome development indeed.
Related article: 4K Ultra HD LED TVs Below $1,000
Electronics companies are obviously betting on the 4k as the wave of the future but is their bet well-founded? Is the market adopting? Reports indicate that it’s slowly doing so and that things are also slowly happening in other 4K-related devices as well. Some new set-top boxes are adopting 4K as well which bodes well for those wondering if 4K content will be supported well into the future.
Will you buy 4K anytime soon?