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Television Entertainment Hardware

4K UHD TVs Are Being Adopted Faster Than HDTVs ( 207

Now this may surprise some: 4K Ultra HD televisions are expected to double sales to 15 million units in the U.S. in 2016, and the next-generation TVs are now being adopted at a faster rate than predecessor high-definition TVs. 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players are also selling at a fast rate, according to Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, the big tech lobbying group, VentureBeat reports. From the report: At a press event in San Francisco, Shapiro said that 62 percent of consumers plan to buy a consumer electronics viewing device in the next 12 months; 33 percent plan to buy a smartphone, and 29 percent plan to buy a TV. "Consumers are showing a strong preference for 4K," which has four times as many on-screen pixels as HDTVs, Shapiro said. "It's faster and more robust than HDTV." By 2017, 4K UHD TV sales will hit 20 million a year in the U.S. That number will grow to 23 million in 2018, and 26 million by 2019, Shapiro said. The 2016 growth rate is 105 percent above the units sold for 2015.
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4K UHD TVs Are Being Adopted Faster Than HDTVs

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    TV is still 720. Movies are 1080. What's the point of 4K again?

    • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:21PM (#52919945)

      If you build it, they will come....

      As I understand this. 4K is what you get at many small theaters which use digital projection these days. There is some 4K material available, including streaming sources that actually have noticeable quality differences.

      Will folks notice the difference? Unlikely... Or, as was the case when I saw my first 1080p resolution movie, I got very distracted by the background set and costume issues that now became oh so visible... Made the movie, an action adventure flick, almost unwatchable for me.

      • There's some 4K content from Amazon Prime and Netflix.

        I recently got one of the LG OLED 2016 TV's and man..that thing is spectacular!!

        • There's some 4K content from Amazon Prime and Netflix.

          I recently got one of the LG OLED 2016 TV's and man..that thing is spectacular!!

          I'm pretty sure there is 4k content on youtube and vimeo as well.

          Although there is a ton of 360p which looks crappy even on my HDTV.

          • Also, only ABC/ESPN and Fox are 720. Almost everyone else is 1080. Minor point, I know, but still true.
            • It's up to the cableco, and with most cablecos it's usually 720p unless it's pay per view or local channels. Even premium channels like HBO are usually 720p with most cablecos. Why? Because cable typically lacks the bandwidth for it, and industry standard still considers 720p to be "HD". The interesting thing about 4k though is that there's only one resolution that the industry actually defines as 4k, so they can't even do like what DirecTV does where they have 1440x810 upscaled to 1080p by your IRD and the

              • by Bengie ( 1121981 )
                Fiber ISP uses IPTV to send me 20Mb/s 1080p. I did a side-by-side of ABC's Harry Potter weekend against my Blueray on the same monitor and I could not tell a difference. The TV was distinctly better than my DVD version, even my wife chimed in on the quality differences. My STB does not support 4k. It will be a bit before they start moving in that direction, but bandwidth is not an issue.
              • 4k is just fucking 4k.

                Well, kind of: there is DCI 4K, which is 4096x2160, and there is 4K UHD, which is 3840x2160.

      • by jaa101 ( 627731 )

        As I understand this. 4K is what you get at many small theaters which use digital projection these days

        As I understand it, most digital cinema projectors are only 2K, i.e., essentially the same as "Full HD".

        • Wow, I'm not sure that's true. Standard 35mm film even in Cinemascope has a lot more resolution than that.

          I'm a old projectionist from three decades ago and I can tell you that in my judgment, today's digital theater is roughly about the same quality as the pictures I used to see from the 35mm films (there is no comparison to 70mm, which was *clearly* better image quality at 24fps). Now in my day, screens where much bigger and a house sat 400 or more, which is twice the size I'm seeing today in places,

          • by jaa101 ( 627731 )

            Nobody seems to be telling, which I think means there are way more 2K projectors out there than the industry would like you to know about. According to Wikipedia [], all DLP projectors were 2K until early 2012 when 4K became available, and 2K projectors are still available. This graph of digital adoption in cinemas [] shows that almost half of the projectors were installed by the end of 2011 and so must have been only 2K (apart from Sony SXRD units). Maybe some have upgraded to 4K since then, but you can bet t

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @07:40PM (#52920499) Homepage

        As I understand this. 4K is what you get at many small theaters which use digital projection these days.

        Yes, but cinema 4K is not the same as TV 4K. They use DCI 4K, either 4096x1716 for 2.39:1 or 3996x2160 for 1.85:1, while UHD 4K is 3840x2160 for 16:9. For extra confusion most 4K cameras capture at 4096x2160 and there's some speciality monitors in the 17:9 format too, but usually you'd crop down to one of the three above for delivery. Most of them frame/master for the DCI release, so what you get on TV is mostly an adaptation/rescale for UHD.

        • I so miss the 70mm film days.... Talk about resolution..... Audio wasn't bad considering it was 6 channels of magnetic with Dolby A encoding, though today's audio is MUCH better... But who wants to lug around 400 lbs of film for a 2 hour show any more, even if the visible detail was something to behold.

          Interesting that cinema cameras and production didn't get matched by consumer equipment specs, but you are right, they never have matched. You'd think the consumer market would gravitate towards the film in

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            We used to have a theater nearby that was a palace to early 1960s filmgoing and featured a super wide screen and 70mm projection. It's been torn down 20 years now but that's where you went for big deal movies.

            Anyway, the problem with 70mm was how little was shot in 70mm. Most of the 70mm projection was 35mm blown up. It made for a dramatic picture on that wide screen, but it wasn't true 70mm resolution.

        • If you notice, one of the resolutions is a subset of the UHD 4k. The other one is only slightly sharper and it should be possible to downsample to UHD 4k with no loss of quality.

          Not that most people would be able to tell the difference between a 1080p bluray and a 4k bluray...

          • by donaldm ( 919619 )

            If you notice, one of the resolutions is a subset of the UHD 4k. The other one is only slightly sharper and it should be possible to downsample to UHD 4k with no loss of quality.

            Not that most people would be able to tell the difference between a 1080p bluray and a 4k bluray...

            Simply put it all depends on the viewer and the distance they like to view from as well as the screen size. The following information [] goes into much more detail and is well worth the read. As an example say you as the viewer have a preference for a 55" TV (I am not going to make a comparison just yet) and you prefer sitting at 2.4m (8ft) distance then providing you have reasonably good eyes you probably won' be able to tell the difference between a picture at 1080p on a HDTV to one at 2160p on a UHDTV (

      • by DrXym ( 126579 )
        If you let some idiot build it they will still come.

        I suppose if you were buying a TV any way then it might be worth the future proofing. But buying a 4K without that reason doesn't seem very smart. 4K is still somewhat early adopter and the price of TVs will drop and the capabilities will increase. By the time there is 4K content to speak of they might be hundreds cheaper.

        The difference between 4K and 1080p is also far less pronounced than between 1080p and 480/576. You'd have to have a massive TV be s

    • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:23PM (#52919959) Homepage

      TV is still 720. Movies are 1080. What's the point of 4K again?

      Future proofing. And pretty cheap at that, with a FHD 50" TV selling at €350, and the 4K at €400, it is not that more to pay something that might come in handy in a year or two.

      • I think the critical difference has less to do with the advantages of 4k over 2k and more to do with the fact that 4k prices are dropping rapidly. I waited a long time to get a 37 inch 1080p television because for a long time it cost more than twice as much as a 37 inch 480p television. Today the price premium for 4K is already only 30-40%, sometimes less.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The point is irrelevant. Manifacturers arent offering many non-4k options aside from low end stuff, so of course people are buying lots of 4k.

    • by sdguero ( 1112795 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:29PM (#52920003)
      The upscaling is pretty impressive. A good 4k upscaler looks significantly better on the same 1080 source. That said, 1080p give a pretty sharp picture in it's won right. I don't think 4k is very noticeable in typical size family room (i.e. viewing from 10-14 ft away) unless you have a 75" or larger TV. Similarly, if you have 42" or smaller TV 720p is probably OK unless you are sitting 6 ft away from it.
      • Still, UHD is awesome for gaming if your GPU can hack it. I just dropped 650 bucks on a 27" UHD monitor with FreeSync and the quality increase is worth the money. Just being able to run the game at a resolution where you have built-in AA because some of the jaggies are too small to make out with the human eye is very nice. (Of course it helps that the old one has much worse dynamic contrast and no FreeSync. Still, the resolution makes a difference.)

        Unfortunately, Windows doesn't support UHD very well. You
        • by wbo ( 1172247 )

          Unfortunately, Windows doesn't support UHD very well. You can use display scaling but it completely hoses windowed fullscreen mode in games because Windows cheerfully applies its scaling to those as well, telling them that your desktop resolution is something like 1706x960

          This is primary the fault of lazy game developers and not Windows. Windows only lies about display resolution to applications if the application doesn't signal that it understands how to render to displays that are greater than 96 dpi.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        I have a 55" at the end of my bed. I do not notice any difference between 720p and 1080p. when I run them next to each other. I do see some difference when I run 480p, but not all that much.
        I have a 4K 28" monitor and I do not see any difference in running 4K and 1080p and even 720 is not really noticable, unless I run it at the same time.
        The reason I have the 55" 1080p is because it was cheap when I bought it. 500EUR including all taxes. The 4K screens I bought because I needed to replace my 2 1920x1200 VG

    • by Sique ( 173459 )
      Here around, TV is partly 1080p already.
    • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr.mac@com> on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:49PM (#52920127) Journal



    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Once you see 720p content on a 4K where it's an integer scaling instead of a fractional scaling, that 720p content looks a LOT better.

      4K is a 'sweet spot' where 720p is perfectly tripled, and 1080p is perfectly doubled, so the scalers are a LOT better in general since they don't need to deal with 'fractional' scaling.

      That's the main reason 1080p TVs don't have the "punch" claimed: There's sooo much content that's 720p, and it looks fairly rubbish due to the 1.5x upscaling.

      720p content on a 4K UHD TV looks c

    • PC gaming
      • That's what I use my TV for currently, also a couple friends use their TV for PC or console gaming move than watching a TV shows...
    • The content is coming. The Playstation 4 Pro, which comes out on November 10, has 4k and HDR capability.

      Eventually, either the content or the medium has to move, otherwise both sides will sit around forever waiting for the other.

    • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
      The list of ready content is growing. []
    • by nnull ( 1148259 )
      I've been using a 4k OLED for over a year now as a PC monitor. Works great. Plenty of 4k content, like games and Netflix.
    • It's called the Olympics. And they are over. TVs always sell more in the Olympics.

    • i don't get why anyone wants uhd tvs. why do i want to have blown up views of a persons zits?
    • TV is still 720. Movies are 1080. What's the point of 4K again?

      To persuade everyone who's bought an HD TV to spend again? The market for HD TVs is pretty much saturated so they need some new gimmick to get people to keep buying.

    • by Malc ( 1751 )

      TV is still 720

      Really? I thought they were all 1080i these days.

      • Nope, abc and fox still broadcast in 720p. Also I believe any disney owned channel (which includes abc) is also 720. Im sure there's others out there as well but those are the big ones. Fox does it for sports though, thats their reasoning

  • Not surprising. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mal-2 ( 675116 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:15PM (#52919917) Homepage Journal

    When 1080p TVs hit the market, I wasn't all that excited. I was already using monitors with better resolution than that.

    With 4k, however, I could replace my entire Wall O'Displays [] with a single 4k TV. I'm actually looking forward to doing exactly that. One 43" screen mounted to the wall would be much nicer and much more aesthetically appealing than what I have now. I would continue to use the older monitors with other machines, I don't expect my Chromebook (hacked though it may be) to drive a 4k display.

    • I'm sitting in front of a 4k monitor right now and this is just not the case. I still have a side monitor, although I do often leave it turned off. Yes, technically there are enough pixels, but in practice most apps won't handle it as well as they handle separate monitors.

      • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

        There are many apps where the bezels between monitors make it impractical to allocate more than 2048x1152 to them, but I really wish I could. Notation software with full orchestra scores really benefits, as does Cubase. Image processing also would benefit, though the bezels are a bit less of an issue there. The color calibration not even remotely matching except between the two identical monitors below is a bigger issue.

        I might end up flanking a 4k with the two 2048x1152 panels turned to Portrait, though th

  • On the one hand, great for streaming pickup.... But I've gotta believe that this decision still won't ever be hailed as a good idea -- failing to include a 4kUHD player in it (presumably waiting until the PS5 for that).

    People are picking up 4K TV's. Early adopters are picking up 4K TV's. Some early adopters don't live in areas where massive bandwidth is available (or cheap) for streaming said video services.

    These people who don't already have an XBox One are not likely to go out and pick one up *just* for t

    • by Mal-2 ( 675116 )

      With better compression algorithms than H.264, why is it not possible to fit 4k content onto Blu-Ray discs? They'd need a new name to avoid confusion, but the same physical disc format (and drive) should work fine.

    • I actually think within a year we'll see another version of the Pro with the 4kUHD player in it.

  • With decent quality 43" sets in this kind of price range I'm not surprised. That's nearly disposable level, so a very nice quality one wont be too much more. My plasma 42" was $1300 about 7 years ago and am likely to replace it for a fraction of that price with a 4k early next year.
  • Reasons (Score:4, Informative)

    by Zan Lynx ( 87672 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:20PM (#52919939) Homepage

    They look amazing even upscaled. They make great PC monitors. They're affordable. I recently saw several that were on sale cheaper than 1080 models.

    • The last "HD" TV I bought was 8 years ago and was a 32" 720p. It has long been replaced with digital projectors. I get a much bigger "screen" for about the same money.

      You're much better off with a 1080p digital projector than some TV. Most TV viewing happens in the evening anyway so lighting isn't much of an issue.

      With 4K, a monitor is your most affordable option.

  • by twistedcubic ( 577194 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:21PM (#52919943)
    Hopefully by Black Friday there will be $300 4K monitors. My eyesight will be very pleased.
  • duh, they are cheap (Score:4, Informative)

    by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:26PM (#52919977)

    in 2003 a 40" HDTV cost you right around $3000. You can get a nice 4K unit for less than half that in 2016 with Netflix, youtube and all kinds of other features built in and game consoles that already support it.

    in 2003 cable companies either didn't have many HD channels or charged extra $$$ for them. and blu rays didn't come out until around 2006 so there wasn't much reason to buy a HDTV unless you really wanted one just to sit around, read the blogs and be ready for whenever it was supported

    • by geek ( 5680 )

      I've held off simply because I don't want to deal with hitting my bandwidth cap every month streaming 4K.

    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      comcast still charges me 10 bucks a month for 720 upscaled to 1080i

    • > in 2003 a 40" HDTV cost you right around $3000.

      Close. In 2002 I picked up my first 42" plasma for $2500. It was only ED: 853x720. Since DVDs were still only 480p having only 720p was fine.

  • Come back when OTA broadcast stations are UHD, until then I'm not even remotely interested.
    • Don't put the money into the business that sells them, and you don't have to worry about any of that.
    • by nnull ( 1148259 )
      You still watch OTA broadcast stations? I don't even have an antenna hooked up to my TV anymore.
      • I got rid of cable years ago and never went back; I could no longer justify the expense when out of all the shitty channels offered, there were only a few I even bothered with. Besides which, they recompress the living hell out of everything, so the quality is garbage. I have a DVR and I have more to watch than I have time to watch things. Of course we have lots of local OTA channels and reception is good. I have no interest in streaming, it's just more 'pay TV' which is what I wanted to get away from. I'm
    • OTA UHD requires too much bandwidth, and bandwidth is limited and expensive. It's unlikely to ever become a market success when 3 or 4 2k channels use the same bandwidth, for 3 or 4 times the revenue.
  • by keltor ( 99721 ) * on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:27PM (#52919985) Homepage
    The 4k TVs basically directly replaced the HDTVs, as in they just replaced the same model that was $899 last year with a new $899 model that is now 4k. Instant 4k Adoption. You're also probably getting some generational effects where people with older 480p and 720p flat screens suddenly need new TVs because they hit that magic it's 10 years OLD effect.
  • "It's faster and more robust than HDTV."

    The adoption rate or is there some purported technical advantage?

  • Surprise? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Monday September 19, 2016 @06:39PM (#52920043)

    >"Now this may surprise some: "

    Why is this a surprise? It is what the manufacturers are pushing. Consumers have no idea that 99% of them won't notice ANY difference on their TV's from normal viewing distances between 4K and 2K. They won't know there is little 4K content, anyway. They will just by the one that is "better".

    Same thing with the bluray players. You could say "new- supports popsicle mode for enhanced viewer" and other marketing speak and they will buy it.

  • I have seen uninitiated consumers tricked into buying last year's inventory of 3D or OLED HD 1080p sets for the same price as a 4k TV. They are convinced by the salesman that the they should spend over 1k on a slightly better picture (OLED) or gimmicky 3D TVs that will only work with 3D bluray discs. They are that you cannot see the difference in 4k because there is no content. There is 4k Netflix, 4k Youtube and 4k Bluray already and most sets now do a great job upscaling 1080 content.

    If you have a small

  • This is a marketing mouthpiece, you can make it say anything you want, and when it happens its a loss you pass on to the accountant

  • my 1080P tv has been doing fine for the last 7+ years and unless it burns out it'll do just fine for the next 7+ years. Same with my Olympus E5. The EM-1 is much batter but not enough to really make any difference in how I take photos or want me to upgrade and fork over the $$$$$

  • Duh because video standards don't matter anymore and online delivery of both hardware and media is driving down prices quickly. The consumers are better educated than the previous generation who were still wrapped around the axil over the whole VHS DVD HDDVD Blue ray debacle.

    Customers have switched over to Netflix, Amazon, youtube, and a few others as the method for getting content. No waiting around for the various companies to get on board with a set standard. Want to watch in it 720? Go for it. Wa

  • 62 percent of consumers plan to buy a consumer electronics viewing device in the next 12 months; 33 percent plan to buy a smartphone, and 29 percent plan to buy a TV. "Consumers are showing a strong preference for 4K,"

    Did they just include mobile phones in their 4K penetration data? If so, it seems somewhat misleading.

    I would certainly like more pixels in my mobile phone and computer screen. 4K TV? Not so much.

  • If you'll recall, good HDTVs were over $10,000 while 4K sets can be obtained for under $2,000. Also, many of the cheaper original HDTVs offered HD only over VGA or Component cabling, and then only in 4:3 aspect on CRTs without an anamorphic setting so everything was taller and thinner than it should be.

  • The picture on ancient CRT tubes (black-and-white and colour) tended to shrink as the tubes aged. Manufacturers responded by using "overscan". I.e. the projected picture was a bit bigger than the CRT tube face. As the tube aged, the picture shrank to almost fit into the viewing surface of the tube face.

    Fast forward to 2007, when I got a 50-inch Panasonic plasma. I love it, but... when I tried using it for home theatre via a PC, I noticed a *LOT* of cropping on all 4 edges. WTF is a digital TV doing with ove

    • Most video card drivers default to having overscan turned on when connect to a TV, you need to turn it off in the video card driver.

  • I saw my first HDTV, a 42" Pioneer Elite plasma, during the 1998 winter olympics. It cost $24,000.

    I bought my first HDTV, a Sharp 50" which I still have, circa 2006. It cost $2300.

    4K has been out, what, a year for real? You can get name-brand 60" models at Cosco for $2300.

    So basically what took about a decade to happen with HDTV happened in about a year in 4k.

    So given that 4k is currently at the price point that made HDTV "break through", no, I don't find it at all surprising everyone is buying one. The del

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