by Anton Shilov
01/03/2014 | 11:18 PM
Although ultra-high-definition (UHD) format is rather far from becoming mainstream mainly because there is not a lot of content in 4K resolution (3840*2160) available for purchase, it looks like there are already UHD TV-sets that can hit mainstream price-points. A Polaroid-branded UHD television is now reportedly available for just $999.
At the forthcoming Consumer Electronics Show next week Empire Electronics Corp., which has rights to sell TVs under Polaroid name, will demonstrate 50” ultra-high-definition 50GSR9000 TV that will retail for only $999, reports Cnet News web-site. The device is set to feature “contemporary, modern look” as well as three HDMI ports.
What is uncertain is whether these HDMI ports are compliant with HDMI 2.0 standard, which is unlikely given the budget nature of the device. HDMI 2.0 increases the maximum per channel bandwidth from 3.4Gb/s to 6Gb/s which enables maximum total throughput of 18Gb/s, which allows HDMI 2.0 to support 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps). HDMI 1.4 is sufficient for 4K resolution at 60fps.
It is noteworthy that at present there are almost no UHD players, almost no commercially available movies in 4K resolution and a very limited amount of ultra-high-definition TV channels. Still, there are Blu-ray players that feature 4K upscaling capability.
Select Sony’s ultra-high-definition UHDTVs come bundled with a hard discs drive-based media server that connects easily to the company’s UHDTVs and is capable of playing back content in 4K ultra high-definition resolution. The manufacturer provides ten 4K full-length movies and a gallery of 4K video shorts. Additionally, Sony sells Sony FMP-X1 4K ultra-high-definition (UHD) media player/streamer with integrated 2TB hard disk drive (supports external hard drive with USB 2.0 connection) for $699.99. Sony's 4K Ultra HD delivery solutions are designed to be updated with additional 4K titles and video clips. UHDTVs from LG and Samsung also come with free 4K movies.
The 4K ultra-high-definition format is far from being hopeless, even despite of high prices and limited availability of content. Video codecs for 4K UHD video (such as HEVC/H.265) are ready. Besides, Sony and other consumer electronics companies are working on next-generation optical disc technology to sell UHD movies on physical media.
Cnet News further reports that there is a Seiki-branded 50” UHDTV (model SE50UY04) that can be found online for $700.