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Here's what your UHD-TV will look like

Lucas Mearian | Jan. 8, 2014
TV sales are picking up as consumers begin to replace their first flat-screen HDTVs, but don't expect a significant surge in sales of UHD-TVs this year.

While buyers still pay north of $50,000 for a 105-in. UHD-TV, the average price for a 55-in. model this year will be around $2,750, according to the CEA. By 2017, that price is expected to drop to $1,850.

"Panel makers have made a lot of strides toward bringing panel costs down compared with 1080p panels," Koenig said.

At the same time, flat-screen plasma HDTVs are expected to fade to black in the U.S., Koenig said. "In the U.S., limitations in screen size and economies of scale with LCD make it difficult to endorse plasma as being part of the industry for very much longer," he said.

Panasonic, one of the largest plasma screen makers, announced late last year that it will end the production of plasma display panels (PDP) and shutter three factories that were building the HDTVs.

Samsung's 110-in UHD-TV.
"We may see Samsung and LG stick with it and fight the good fight," Koenig said, adding that those sales will be small in comparison to those of LCD sets.

Vendors gone wild on UHD-TVs
Meanwhile, manufacturers such as LG, Panasonic, Toshiba and Sony all touted new lines of UHD-TVs or OLED UHD-TVs, with 75b different sets being unveiled — including several 105-in. curved-screen UHD-TVs.

Late last year, LG and Samsung began an expansion of their respective OLED production efforts. LG increased production by 60% to 70% and Samsung boosted its production 40% to 50%, Koenig said. With those kinds of increases, prices could drop by as much as 20% this year, Koenig added.

LG unveiled a flexible OLED TV on Monday, while rival Samsung announced 14 UHD-TVs, including its own line of OLED UHD-TVs. Model sizes included a 77-in. version, a 65-in. model and one with a 55-in. screen.

Samsung also took the wraps off four curved UHD-TVs, including what it called the world's largest: a 105-in. model with a 21:9 aspect ratio and 11 million pixels sporting a 5,120—2,160 screen resolution.

Samsung also displayed a "bendable" OLED UHD-TV. That 85-in flexible prototype has no launch date yet.

Watch closely and you'll see Samsung's OLED UHD-TV bend out and then back in.

Sony announced three UHD-TVs, including the company's new flagship 55-in. and 65-in. XBR 4K Ultra HD sets that sell for $2,999 and $4,499, respectively. An 84-in. version carries a much steeper price tag: $24,999.

While OLED UHD-TVs offer some of the best color, clarity and resolution of the bunch, they will not likely catch on for some time. In fact, by 2017, they're only expected to make up 6% of the UHD-TV shipments or about 2.3 million sets, compared with LCD TVs, which will make up 92% of the market; the other 2% will be projector televisions, CEA said.

 

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