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Seiki Unveils Ultra-Cheap Ultra HD Set

16 Apr, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

The entry-level prices for Ultra HD TV sets are dropping rapidly.

When LG Electronics and Sony Electronics debuted the first retail sets at the close of 2012, the prices were $20,000 and $25,000 respectively. Just in April Sony debuted two Ultra HD sets (55 inches and 65 inches) for $4,999 and $6,999, respectively.

Now, little-known Diamond Bar, Calif.-based consumer electronics company Seiki Digital has dropped the retail price barrier lower, offering a 50-inch LED 4K Ultra HDTV for $1,500, shipping later this month.

4K denotes a screen resolution of 3840x2160, four times the resolution of the 1920x1080 HDTV sets in most homes today, and it was the big thing coming out of the International Consumer Electronics Show with several companies announcing new sets and services.

“The introduction of Ultra HDTV is perhaps the biggest news since the first arrival of HDTV, and Seiki is leading the charge to make the next generation of high-definition entertainment attainable for today’s television buyers at an affordable price,” said Seiki EVP Frank Kendzora. “The Seiki 4K/2K picture quality is stunning with clarity and vivid colors that far surpasses conventional HDTVs.

“At [this] price point, today’s TV buyers can future-proof their next purchase with the latest Ultra HDTV technology, enjoy current high-definition video content, and be ready to experience 4K content as it becomes available in the near future.”

Seiki plans on a 65-inch Ultra HD model later this year.

In terms of content, Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), noted that this month’s NCAA men’s basketball Final Four in Atlanta was the first major U.S. sporting event recorded in Ultra HD.

“These big events provide a platform not just for sports enthusiasts, but for the consumer electronics industry to take steps forward and bring the best technologies into people’s living rooms,” he said. “CEA views Ultra HD TV as a revolutionary experience for consumers, and the first Ultra HD NCAA game is a buzzer-beater.”

Gary Yacoubian, chairman of CEA’s Ultra HD Working Group and president and CEO of Specialty Technologies/SVSound, added, “There are still challenges ahead to deliver Ultra HD content to consumers’ homes.”

Sony is attempting to get ahead of those challenges, debuting a $700 4K media player, a 4K content streaming service and a series of a series of "Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray Discs, all debuting this year.

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