TCL announces 50-inch 4K TV with $999 price tag
TCL's new 4K LED TV has a price tag just under $1,000
Ultra high definition televisions are still growing slowly in the market. Generally, they are priced outside of the affordable range for most consumers, but TCL is looking to change that with the introduction of its 50-inch (127-cm) LED 4K Ultra HD TV at a US$999 price point.
In addition to the 3840 x 2160 resolution, which is about four times higher than 1080p, it also comes with SRS TruSurroundHD, so buyers on a budget should be able to get decent sound quality without needing to spend the money on a dedicated audio system.
It also features a 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, which is not as high as top-of-the-line models, but should still offer a solid black to white ratio. The display has a 120Hz refresh rate, which again, is not on par with more expensive models, but it's the trade-off for the higher resolution at such a low price.
The TV also features four HDMI ports, which is pretty standard for modern HDTVs.
Lacking from the device are smart TV features, which is something that tends to come pretty standard on most modern models. However, it does come with something called Mobile High-Definition Link, which allows users to connect smart phones or tablets to the TV to display content.
The $999 LED 4K Ultra HD TV is expected to launch this September in the US. TCL did not announce when it will launch in other territories.
Source: TCL via SlashGear
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Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie.
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This just might be enough to make people buy a 4K TV.
but what about content?
Is 4k heading for the same disappointment as 3D TV?
It's generally true with consumer products that you get what you pay for. How this thing comes in at 1/4 to 1/10 the price of other 4K TVs means that a lot of corners were cut and a lot of concessions were made. Good 50" 1080p TVs cost more than this. I'm very skeptical that this would be worth the money. Also, dynamic contrast ratio numbers are non-standard. Without disclosing how those values were obtained makes them meaningless.
Modern TVs have a lot of software. I find that the cheaper TVs have poor software, which can make for an unpleasant experience in various ways. Especially with these high refresh rate TVs, if the software algorithm that interpolates the motion between frames is poor, you get very unnatural motion which creates a sort of uncanny valley effect. Some people find that kind of unnatural motion to be unwatchable. Good TVs allow you to select different algorithms for interpolating motion. Samsung calls this "Motion Plus" for example.
My advice to anyone with $1000 to spend on a TV, buy a 1080p TV. We don't even have cable companies offering 1080p content yet. It's going to be quite a while before 4K is available. And even then, if your living room isn't optimized to take advantage of the higher resolution, you're probably wasting your money.
This is all pointless, unless they produce content at 4k, which is not happening, the whole industry will have to upgrade their content to accommodate an effective resolution with 200Hz @ 1080p for a moving image, otherwise its just not worth doing , we would not see the benefit, and like 3D if customers don't see the benefit they'll not buy it.
The main use I can see with this would be as a large computer monitor. Having a ridiculous amount of workspace is very handy for many applications (along with having an insane 50" on your desk)
It's great! But at this point I want to have 8K at the price of $499.
that's a cheap beginning with 4k!
In 2009 I got my hands on a 40" LCD TV 1080p TCL, and used the HDMI to my laptop as a second monitor for watching movies. $1600 delivered. No dead pixels. Every other brand at that time at that resolution started at $2400.
Nothing spectacular, but it worked, and after a few adjustments, was very watchable with colors that were a bit cooler. The blacks were not deep, with some banding in low light scenes, and frankly it wasn't that bright.
When I upgraded to a Samsung, a relative inherited the TCL for the second room. TCL still going strong to date, with not one failure, and it runs in a hot room.
TCLs have improved dramatically since to the point where currently equivalent size LEDs are very similar to the Sony models, yet still leave you enough change to buy a low end laptop.
So in my closing statement:
1. Saw 60" LG 1080p plasma TV going out for $1200 (not floor models) with 3 year warranties. So size does not cause high prices
2. An iPad 3 approaches 4k resolution for $400, so pixel density is not a factor in price.
My only conclusion is major brands like making money, and 4k is the new thing, just like 200Hz before it, and 3d, and wireless, and ridiculous contrast ratios.
TCL originates in the poorer more competitive end of China, and is a people's brand. ie - expect to see TCLs and Palsonics in working class living rooms. As such, competition and mass production is extensive. Corners aren't cut. Its just designed without excess corners :)
Sony, Samsung, Pioneer, etc can't or are unwilling to drop their bottom dollar to compete in this space. But be under no illusion about their ability to create a quality product in this price range.
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