Seiki 50-inch UHDTV 580

Less than one week after Sony announced its 55-inch Ultra High Definition TV will retail for $5000, Chinese TV maker Seiki Digital  just introduced a 50-inch UHDTV that is street priced at $1299.99. It is available now for purchase. The Seiki UHDTV has an LED LCD edge lit panel with a rated 120 Hz refresh.  More details after the break.

The Seiki’s model number is SE50UY04. Screen resolution is 3840 x 2160, four times the HDTV standard.  Specifications include 3 HDMI inputs as well as analog RGB. Both types inputs permit the viewing of native UHD content, however it is limited to 24 Hz, 25 Hz (for Europe) and 30 Hz sources (according to their spec sheet). The current HDMI standard does not permit the viewing of content with higher refresh rates and the next generation of HDMI chipsets that will accept higher refresh source material will not be available until later this year.

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The big issue for all UHD potential buyers is the lack of native UHD resolution content. Seiki purchasers have no access to any native UHD (4K) content.  Sony will be offering a 4K media player this summer for $700 complete with 10 UHD movie titles included, however according to a Sony spokesperson, the player will not work any other brand of UHDTV.

Sony, Panasonic and Samsung are now offering  2013 model Blu-ray players that will upconvert native 1080p movies to UHDTV resolution.

Seiki Digital is a division of Chinese TV builder Tong Fang Global. They own and operate several TV factories in China and according to its website they have an output capacity of 10 million TVs a year.

Seiki Digital plans to show members of the press its UHD TV next week. If it goes off as scheduled, we’ll report our “hands-on” experience. The TV is currently available for purchase from Tiger Direct.

Click for the Seiki SE50UY04 spec sheet and the Tiger Direct SE50UY04 webpage.


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