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4K LCD TV output to outstrip OLED production

Smart picture tech too late to market?

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An interesting snippet here from market watcher NPD DisplaySearch: the momentum behind 4K x 2K TVs is rather greater than that behind large OLED sets.

At least nine television makers have demo'd - some at the IFA show earlier this month - and said they will mass-produce very large LCD tellies with a 3840 x 2160 even though the 4K format is some way being supported by broadcasters and content providers globally.

Contrast that with the OLED TV scene, home to just two vendors - LG and Samsung - who have both pitching 55in sets since January 2012 but who have yet to provide a solid timeline for their products' availability.

As it stands, LG and Samsung are likely to ship early next year, but only into their native Korea. However, 4K sets have been promised to ship worldwide before 2012 is through.

Vendors lining up being 4k include not only LG and Samsung, but also Sony, Sharp, Toshiba, Haier and HiSense.

The OLED sets may look stunning, and by fully compatible with current 2D and 3D full HD picture standards, but they're going to be too darned expensive: $10,000 for a 55in set. Initially, the 4K TVs won't be any cheaper, but punters will find it easier to justify the high price because the sets are much larger.

This, says DisplaySearch, will drive the market for 4K sets, pushing prices down more quickly than will be the case for their OLED rivals. Smaller 4K sets will be much cheaper to boot.

"A 50in 4K panel is priced at $800, compared to $400 for a full HD panel with slim type LED backlight, while an 84in 4K panel will be priced over $5000," said DisplaySearch.

It also notes that 4K, even when it's upscaling 1080p content, provides a way to encourage buyers to upgrade to larger sets, a move many are unwilling to make because it exposes the limitations of the 1920 x 1080 resolution. That will stir up competition, driving prices down. ®

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