Westinghouse Readies Value HDR-Ready 4K UHD TV Line
Westinghouse Electronics used last month’s CES 2016 to tease show-goers with a line of advanced 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs equipped with quantum dot technology to present a wide color gamut and the ability to show high dynamic range (HDR), presumably at aggressive retail prices. A company executive told HD Guru.com this week that product availability and pricing are still to be determined.
Westinghouse, which is a licensed trademark used for the last year by Tongfang Global (manufacturer of Seiki, Element and other brands of value LED LCD TVs) for North America and parts of Latin America, showed the new advanced HDR-ready 4K UHD TV line to gauge attendee and retailer reaction and come up with a marketing plan.
Read more on the Westinghouse HDR-ready 4K UHD TVs after the jump:
Brett Hunt, Westinghouse Electronics marketing VP, said this week that the previewed HDR-ready products “have not been finalized as of yet. We are working through finalizing their availability and price.”
Since the brand license was first acquired for digital TVs by Westinghouse Digital, it has been used to sell well featured, cutting edge display technologies at value price points, using an approach reminiscent of, though not as successful as, Vizio. Like that high-volume brand, the company distributes products primarily through key national accounts. In Westinghouse’s case those include Target and www.bestbuy.com, among others.
Hunt said the plan is to have the HDR-ready TVs perform up to a level that will qualify for the UHD Alliance’s new Ultra HD Premium logo program (1,000 nits of peak brightness; the ability to handle and map 10-bit and Rec. 2020 color; HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs etc.) “if we choose to use it [the UHDA logo].”
In the meantime, the company is focusing on more basic 4K Ultra HDTVs.
“For 2016 we will continue with our current line of 4K UHD TVs that will be available at Target and Best Buy,” Hunt said. Currently, Westinghouse 4K UHD TVs can be found on www.bestbuy.com in screen sizes of 55-, 65- and 85-inch. He said plans are to offer screen sizes from 50-80 inches in 2016.
The Westinghouse HDR-ready 4K UHD line discussed at CES 2016 featured quantum dot technology; and Wi-Fi internet connectivity with smart TV features including Netflix streaming. Final feature sets will be announced later.
When they finally arrive, Westinghouse said the forthcoming HDR-ready TVs will be Netflix-certified, meaning they will conform to a set of Netflix-required performance criteria including fast startup time, fast playback start of selected programming; and a prominently placed latest version of the Netflix app, among other things.
Model sizes in the proposed line are expected to include: 43, 55, 65, 75, and 85 inches.
Prior to the show, Westinghouse said it expected the models to begin appearing in stores during the third quarter of 2016. That time frame appears less definite now.
HDR technology reproduces a wider range of brightness levels (up to 15 camera stops), delivering more realistic-appearing contrast, detailed blacks, brighter whites and a wider range of colors to help viewers see more details in very black and very white areas of the picture.
“Westinghouse Electronics is excited to bring HDR technology to our popular line of 4K Ultra HD TVs,” said Hunt. “The inclusion of HDR technology into our 4K Ultra HD TVs reinforces our commitment to bring the latest and greatest technologies at a value price to the market.”
We’ll keep you posted as prices are set and distribution plans solidify. Stay tuned.
By Greg Tarr
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