'Ultra HDTV' Hyped at Consumer Electronics Show

Dennis Faas's picture

Think the image projected by current high-definition televisions (HDTVs) is as sharp as it can get? Think again. At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, experts expect Ultra HDTVs will push other TV display systems off center stage.

Sony's new 4K television, for example, utilizes 4,000 pixels across the width of the TV screen. This effectively doubles the pixel density, compared with most 1080p displays currently on the market.

Sony currently delivers its Ultra HDTV technology in the form of an 84-inch television set, which it sells for just over $24,000. As reported previously, LG offers a 55-inch Ultra HDTV for about $10,000.

Of course, relatively few consumers can afford to pay five figures for an Ultra HDTV. But that's just one of the problems with these new technology TVs.

The other problem is that current technology (like Blu-ray players) can't take advantage of these super-high-resolution displays.

Some Analysts Remain Skeptical of Ultra HD

Nevertheless, major players in the TV market, including Sony, LG, Panasonic, and Samsung, argue that Ultra HD technology represents the future of high-definition television. (Source: leaderpost.com)

But some industry insiders disagree, and claim consumers will be slow to embrace Ultra HD.

According to Kaan Yigit, for example, president of Solution Research Group, "Most people can't see the difference (between Ultra HDTV and Standard HDTV) and if they can, they don't think it's worth the incremental cost for the content."

Yigit goes on to say that, "In 20,000 interviews (done annually on tech-related topics) I don't recall one person complaining about not being able to get a good-looking picture on an existing HD device." (Source: yahoo.com)

TV manufacturers admit that's true, but say people voiced similar concerns about the advantages of HDTV when that technology first hit the market, roughly a decade ago.

Big Challenges Ahead for TV Makers

In any case, it's up to TV manufacturers to produce televisions and other media devices that clearly show consumers why an Ultra HDTV is better than a standard HDTV. They'll also need to build Ultra HD hardware that larger numbers of consumers can afford.

At the moment, television manufacturers apparently remain optimistic that Ultra HD technology is maturing and will be ready for the wider consumer market within the next few years.

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