Ultra HD Quality Set to Rock Home Entertainment Space in a Big Way

January 16, 2014, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

The first ever TV format that is driven by Internet video-streaming phenomenon is here and from what we saw at the International CES last week, major players like Netflix and Amazon are even ready to offer movies and even TV shows in this format.

Sharp too introduced an inexpensive TV with near-Ultra HD quality. These moves will certainly urge the consumers to upgrade their TVs sooner.

At present, stats state that Americans buy new TVs about once every seven years. By creating a distinct wave, the TV manufacturers would love to create a surge in sale, like the ones they created during the upgrade from old television sets to flat screens.

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Though the 3-D TV trend faded out as a tech fad, observers say that Ultra HD may actually be the future. Ultra HD is a simple enough upgrade to gain widespread adoption in the next few years.

The 3-D scenes were visually jarring and required costly glasses to go along with it. These even gave headaches to people. Since Ultra HD content will, and can, be delivered over high-speed Internet, it won’t get messed up easily.

Ben Arnold, Consumer Electronics Analyst, has been quoted as saying that you will get the experience only when you see it. Consumers may even be interested in and may as well wait for the price to come down.

Ultra HD is crispier remarkably, rich, detailed and even less pixelated than HD. This becomes more important as consumers spend money on big screens which ultimately amplifies images.

Ultra HD, or 4K, is only being developed and is in its very early stage. The first set that was eligible for consumer use came around 2012 and was really expensive. About 60,000 Ultra HD sets were sold last year in the US because of its price, but this year the estimate stands at 485,000.

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Today, the lowest price of Ultra HD is $500, and the cheapest brand is Toshiba. LG also is set to enter this market soon with its 49 inches 4K screen diagonally, which could bring entry level prices closer to $2,000 for top brands. While those price tags are only likely to appeal to early-adopters, they’re getting closer to prices people currently pay for big screens running only HD.

But that still isn’t enough, according to James McQuivey, principal analyst, with research firm Forrester, who says that the TVs won’t sell as long as they are expensive. However to capture consumers they are working with video content producers who have offered to give exclusive content to 4K buyers.

The emergence of Ultra HD also marks the first time a major TV standard is being clubbed with Internet. You can also download files in no time and this can even work with a WiFi connection. Makers say 4K can be streamed with 8-15 Mbps Internet speeds incorporating the latest HEVC video compression standard.

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