Late last month, the Consumer Electronics Association held its annual CE Week Event in New York City which included market introductions of Ultra HDTVs by Sharp, Toshiba, and others .The showroom presentations were followed by a 5 hour UHD conference featuring representatives from UHDTV manufacturers as well as experts from the image acquisition side of the TV business. Today in Part I we will cover the product side of the Ultra High Definition TV. In Part II we cover the technical revelations and forecasts made at the UHDTV conference.
We’ve already written up the new Sharp 70-inch UHDTV, it’s the first and only model with THX 4K (3840 x2160 resolution) certification. Its an edge lit LED LCD panel. Readers have asked if it has Sharp’s Moth Eye anti-glare screen coating demonstrated at the 2013 CES, it does not. However it is the first 70-inch UHD screen to be offered for sale in the US.
Westinghouse digital showed an UHD 84-inch edge-lit LED LCD for $15,000 with a touch screen overlay so you can write on the screen (in standard definition). No delivery date was given.
Seiki Digital announced and demoed a $699.99 39-inch UHDTV for August delivery. With a UHD screen that size its more use a gaming and/or monitor than a television as you really need to be close. (more on screen distance in Part II)
Leave it to Monster Cable to announce the first active HDMI cable designed for UHDTV signals. It has ISF certification and little lights to tell you if the signal going through it is SD, HD or UHD. However we don’t know (and neither does Monster Cable) if the M2000 series will handle the next generation HDMI standard as still being worked out. Monster counters with its “Cable for Life” guarantee, which as we understand, when its M2000 series cable is incapable of carrying future wider bandwidth UHD signals Monster will replace the cable. How nice of them. No prices were announced at the event. It is expected to ship in August in a variety of lengths.
Toshiba revealed delivery dates and prices of its three UHDTVs as well as details on its 4K upconverting Blu-ray player.
The new 9300 Ultra HDTV series includes a 58-inch ($4999.99 retail), 65-inch ($6999.99 retail) and an 84-inch model ($16,999.99 retail). All models incorporate Toshiba’s Cevo 4K Quad + Dual Core image processor, 3D, Smart TV and use edge-lit LED panels. All three will ship in August. The 65 and 84-inch are passive 3D while the 58-inch is active (due to different panel suppliers).
Toshiba also announced its BDX6400 ($299.99 retail) is the first product to earn Technicolor 4K certification. The BDX6400 has a unique two stage signal processor. Stage 1 improves edge and detail and reduces artifacts. Stage 2 upconverts the original content resolution to UHD (3840 x 2160). If the BDX6400 is connected to a Toshiba UHDTV the second stage is bypassed with the upconversion done by Toshiba’s Cevo engine which Toshiba is does a better job.
In Part II we will be covering the technical announcements made at the UHD conference including which TV manufacturers plan to offer upgrade paths for 1st generation UHDTVs. Stay tuned.
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