New York — The Anti-Defamation League’s National Consumer Technology Industry divisio
At first blush, it seems like we’ve been here before. The TV industry is on the precipice of a new feature, size or format: the next “big thing” to whet consumers’ appetites for a new TV.
This time around it is the impending transition from FullHD 1080p resolution LED LCD TVs to Ultra High- Definition resolution versions.
The “next big thing” doesn’t always work out, or is slow to take off, but often it does.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Superstitious dealers still smarting from the 3DTV misfire are reluctant to make premature pronouncements, but initial results suggest that the TV category’s new best bet, Ultra High Definition, is connecting in a big way with consumers.
Here’s what’s available in home audio products that pass through 4K signals, or up-scale video to 4K, or both:
In 2011, Onkyo and Integra became the first audio suppliers to offer audio components with 4K up-scaling, with Onkyo offering up-scaling in AVRs priced down to a suggested $599 and Integra offering it in a $2,600 preamp/processor and two AVRs priced at $2,300 and $3,000.
When Ultra High-Definition TVs and 4K video sources become more commonly available, the home audio industry could get a boost, with consumers trading in older audio gear for newer products that support 4K passthrough and 4K up-scaling, audio suppliers told TWICE.
The home audio industry could also get a boost from the CE industry’s transition to HDMI 2.0, which supports 4K video frame rates up to 60Hz, the 21:9 aspect ratio, 32 discrete audio channels, and audio sampling frequencies up to 1,536kHz, among other enhancements.
One of the earliest problems in the transition from analog to digital televisions was a lack of compatible digital connection standards between TV sets and source devices.
Understandably, some early adopters, concerned about buying expensive products before standards were set, held off early DTV purchases. Fortunately, much of that headache is being addressed now for Ultra HD with the recent adoption of a new HDMI 2.0 spec and advances in more efficient video-compression standards.
Consumer acceptance of Ultra High-Definition TV depends on having 4K content to display.
Obviously, the best way to enjoy an Ultra HD picture is to have native 4K content piped directly to the set, but as with the start of any new format, it will take a little time for broad-based availability to catch up with the arrival of Ultra HD sets.
The Holy Grail of Ultra High-Definition TV entertainment lies in the ability to view native 4K content at home, and though it will take a little longer to make that ability broadly available, a few solutions have already started to pop up.
Upon arrival, the first Ultra HD sets already had a wealthy of home-brewed high-resolution still images and 4K movie clips available from a large installed base of high-megapixel digital cameras that produce pictures at a level few monitors could fully resolve.
Ahandful of manufacturers are pulling out all the stops to ensure their leadership positions in the burgeoning Ultra High-Definition TV brand-share sweepstakes, but will the arrival of this new technology provide a reset button for overall TV rankings?
Most industry players and analysts are doubtful, although it could help to put some lesser-known brands on the map.
Anyone buying an Ultra High-Definition TV in the U.S. in 2013 is getting either a projector or an LED-lit LCD set with a panel supporting the 3,840 by 2,160 resolution.
But the field is about to open up with the promised emergence of Ultra HD OLED TVs in both curved- and flat-screen varieties.
The following is a glance at Ultra HD TVs that are available or pending imminent U.S. market introductions:
Hisense has shown Ultra HD LED LCD TVs in the 65-inch, 84-inch and 110-inch screen sizes, but currently no market shipping plans have been announced.
Ultra High-Definition television is here, bringing four times the resolution of today’s FullHD 1080p sets and promising high-quality images tailor-made for today’s big-screen sizes.
At a time when flat-panel TVs are trending dangerously close to commoditization, Ultra HD is expected to offer manufacturers and retailers an opportunity to boost profit margins and deliver consumers what they seek most from a new television purchase — maximum picture quality.