Samsung Offers 4K Video Pack and 4K Netflix Stream

Samsung 4K Video PackSamsung recently announced that its Netflix 4K streaming will arrive to the United Kingdom in a couple of months. The company will offer 4K starter pack, which is usable for its 4K TV sets. There have been talks that the lack of real 4K content has put consumers off from making a hefty upgrade. It is hoped that the company’s relationship with Netflix and its new 4K initiative will help consumers to change their mind. The starter pack is built around a 1TB hard drive that contains fifty high-resolution 4K movies. Users could store further movies on the drive by downloading.

TV makers are saying that the 2014 will surely be the year when UHD TV really emerges. Samsung predicts that sales of 4K TV may surpass the one million mark. The figure may rise to 3.3 million units by 2017.

A senior Samsung employee in Europe said that the company wants to make sure that consumers have steady access to reliable 4K content. Samsung will offer a 360-degree Ultra HD solution. This includes the 4K video pack and constant 4K stream from Netflix, starting from March. Among movies included with these films are Star Trek and Life of Pi.

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4K TV Sets Are Still Not an Efficient Purchase

4K TV Sets

While offering four times the pixel density compared to standard 1080p displays, the 4k TV sets are still ridiculously expensive for many people. Quite recently, Samsung introduced the 85” S9 4k TV set, which is sold for a whopping $39,999.

On average, 4k TV sets are available for between $20,000 and $25,000. While 4k panels look impressive, the technology is still far from real commercial use. As a comparison, a 65” Plasma TV now costs less than $3,500, a relatively small price to pay as users also get deep black levels and great image details.

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Seiki Releases Two Low-Cost 4K TV Models

Seiki 4K TVSeiki has introduced a new 39” UHD TV with LED backlighting and analog/digital TV tuner. At 4k resolution, the TV works with 30Hz refresh and 120Hz refresh at 1080p resolution.  The TV set is already available in Amazon for only $699. Seiki is a little-known brand in the TV industry and the reason for the affordable pricing is that they operate their own plant.

The straightforward business model cut middle-man costs and affects pricing in a very positive way.  The company has also impressed us with 50” Ultra HD 4k TV at CE Ultra, which costs only $1500. Nevertheless, not all 4K TVs are created equal and it will be soon known how good Seiki’s solutions are.

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The Form Factor of 4k TV Will be a Huge Drawback

4K TVHDTV sets are hugely successful, but a closer look tells us that people are not really interested with the improved resolution. HDTV sets looks nice on a stand or on the well. In the era of analog TVs, HDTVs have become an admirably piece of furniture. So, how about 4k TVs? With their huge dimension, many people will surely think there’s little point in purchasing a 4k TV set.

People will start to see pixelation on a 42” 1080p display, when they stand about five feet away. Nobody watch a TV set that close, so they won’t see difference between 1080p and ultra HD resolutions from 15 feet away.

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HBO’s Bob Zitter Believes that 4K TVs Will Fail

4K TVHBO’s important figure, Bob Zitter, recently revealed his true opinion about the fledgling 4k technology. He is skeptical that consumers will purchase 4k TV sets in sufficient numbers. Not only these TVs are prohibitively expensive for many buyers, measuring at above 55”, few people will have enough space in their living room to fit one.

Major content broadcasters, including HBO, are currently reluctant to deliver 4k programming unless many people already have 4k TV sets. He also argues that 3D TV sets are dead, especially those requiring special glasses. Eventually, consumers will find 3D glass an impediment, which negatively affects their experience.

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Manufacturers Will Ship 2.6 Million 4k Panels This Year

4K PanelsDespite criticism on the usability of 4k panel and concerns on the availability of compatible content, we will eventually see widespread adoption of the 4k technology in the TV industry. NPD DisplaySearch predicts that in this year alone, manufacturers will deliver 2.6 million 4k TV panels.

As a comparison, only 63,000 units produced last year and this should be very strong evidence that 4k TV sets are finally taking off.  Manufacturers of 4k TV panels will focus on 50”, 55”, 58” and 65” display sizes. Hopefully, this will significantly lower the 4k TV price points, as they are currently priced above $10,000.

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Apple May Release a 4K TV Model

Apple 4K TV
Loyal fans are anticipating a new TV model from Apple, which may include a 4k panel. It is claimed that Apple and Foxconn have been working on a new Ultra HD TV model.

Unfortunately, Foxconn has allocated much of its resources producing display panels for various iOS devices. Consequently, Apple could be counting on LG Display for making enough 4k panels for its new TV model. Demands for new Apple products are typically high and the company needs full production before launching its new Apple TV model. It should be ready for release next year and we may see more 4k content available in 2014.

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Panasonic Will Launch 4k TV Sets Manufactured Using PLED Materials

Panasonic 4k TVAs shown at CES, Panasonic will offer 4k TV sets manufactured with the all-printing technology. Prototype shown in the event uses PLED material, which is produced by Sumitomo Chemical. Panasonic has worked with Sumitomo to develop 4k TV with PLED materials.

Sumitomo has allocated a few billions of yen in investment to build the infrastructure needed to manufacture about 5 million 40” OLED panels. Both companies expect that TV sets with PLED materials will take off in a couple of years. This matches earlier report that Panasonic is seeking to release their first 4k TVs in 2015.

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Microsoft Shows a 120” 4k TV at Seattle

Microsoft 4k TVTraditionally, Microsoft isn’t known as a TV manufacturer. However, the software giant recently showed a demo at the Envisioning Center in Seattle. Visitors would surely be awed by a 120” 4k TV, which is claimed as the largest in the industry. It is used as a demo unit and displays a storytelling experience with full Kinect support.

The company said that this should be the norm in less than 10 years. Beyond its gargantuan size, the demo shows how future high-resolution, large TV sets should be connected to different technologies available inside a home. Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t have a plan to sell the TV to consumers.

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Toshiba Officially Announces a New 4k TV Lineup

Toshiba 4K TVEarly last year, Toshiba introduced its first 4k TV set in the United Kingdom. The company primarily pushed a glassless 3D technology, but it was the 4k resolution that excited tech experts. Now, the Japanese company impresses us once again by its decision to launch a new range of 4k TV sets, the Series 9. All of these TV models sport an impressive native 4k resolution.

Users can choose between three different sizes, 58”, 65” and 84”. These Series 9 TV models include full-fledged 3D technology and in the case of the 58” model, it offers the active 3D capability. The built-in CEVO processing engine ensures crisp and sharp representation in the screen, no matter what display size is used.

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