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post #1 of 10 Old 04-08-13, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

$25k may have been a stretch for many for Sony's 84" 4K TV, plus it's probably "too much TV" for the average household. Well, coming this month, available for order on April 21st, are new 4K TVs by Sony that are a little more moderately priced.

Sony is offering a 55" 4K Ultra HD LED television at around the $5k mark, and a 65" for approximately $7k. These sets were first introduced at the beginning of this year at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Vegas. Sony stores in Vegas, New York, Houston, and in Century City, Costa Mesa, and Palo Alto in California have been demo-ing the sets.


"These new models will be arriving in homes just before the summer and are sure to bring the enhanced viewing experience of 4K TV to a whole new audience," said senior vice president of Sony's Electronics Home Division, Mike Lucas.

Sony is pushing 4K technology in hopes there will be a similar upgrade cycle as the one that happened years back when folks began replacing their big bulky tube televisions, with leaner sets that can be hung on the wall.

Is 4K of true or just perceived value?

In an article published on Cnet, entitled "$25K buys a good TV, but 4K's benefits are slim" at the end of February this year, the reviewer talks about how the "extra resolution isn't necessarily visible, let alone worth the extra money."

They were given hands-on access to the 84" XBR-84X900 by Sony, but not in private nor in their own lab. Sony's "engineers hung out with us the entire time," said the reviewer.

How much does 4K improve picture quality?

Based on the material (their own as well as Sony provided material) the Cnet reviewers watched on the 4K TV, they stated that "the benefits of 4K on the XBR-84X900 ranged from extremely subtle to nonexistent to our eyes."

"I entered Sony's demonstration room solidly believing that 4K TVs are stupid. At even massive screen sizes like the 84 inches of the XBR-84X900, science says the human eye can't resolve the difference between 1080p and 4K from normal seating distances. Sony knows the math behind TV resolution and seating distance, obviously, because it had set up our two prime viewing seats about 8 feet from the big screens. That's too close for most viewers, and for most of the palatial dens and living rooms of this TV's target audience."

With that said, I have never sat in front of a 4K TV myself, nor do I have any calibration tools or experience, so I have no personal experience to gauge any real, informed judgements about 4K technology.

Getting past the no 4K content hump


In general, 4K content is lacking, however, there are a few sources and more cropping up all of the time. As one way to circumvent that lack, Sony has available the FMP-X1 4K Media Player, which will be available in the coming months.

The media player will come bundled with video shorts, and 10 feature films all in 4K resolution. It will retail for around $700. Included in the bundle are: "Taxi Driver," "Battle: Los Angeles," "That's My Boy," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "The Karate Kid" (2010), "Bad Teacher," "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Salt," "Total Recall" (2012), and "The Other Guys."

Image credits: Sony

Last edited by keithlock; 04-11-13 at 04:40 PM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-08-13, 12:40 PM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

By making the 4K home server exclusive to Sony only is only going to hurt the 4K push. I don't think this will work in their favor.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-08-13, 04:46 PM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

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keithlock wrote: View Post
Based on the material (their own as well as Sony provided material) the Cnet reviewers watched on the 4K TV, they stated that "the benefits of 4K on the XBR-84X900 ranged from extremely subtle to nonexistent to our eyes."
I'm sorry, but this is the same nonsense that we heard when the push from 720p to 1080p was continuously brought up. The same was said between 480i and 480p, 480p and 720p.

There IS a difference. Plain and simple. Is it perceptible always? No. It depends on the source. Really, it depends on so many things. Making a blanket statement saying the difference is "extremely subtle to nonexistent" is just one of the reason why Cnet reviewers are on the bottom of my go-to list of reviewers when it comes to home entertainment opinions.

Is 4k really worthwhile now? I don't think so. There's just not enough content. Once we get Blu-ray 4K or the next format that has a standard resolution of 4K, then it will be.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-08-13, 08:15 PM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

It is nice to see the 4k tvs coming down in price but i don't think $4-$5k is yet in budget category.

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-09-13, 12:11 AM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

I would never buy a 4K TV under 65" unless they come down to Costco prices. You really need a big screen to benefit from the added resolution.
I had a chance to view the JVC 4K PJ on a 120+ screen and even though it was just up-converted from BD the PQ was by far the best I have seen. I can't even imagine how much better it would look with native 4K content. I really didn't expect that big of an improvement but it really was jaw dropping.
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-09-13, 02:25 PM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

The media server reminds me of the old Sencore box we used to demo/sell some of the first commercial HD sets with back in the nineties. Back then, we at least had the promise that HDTV was coming, but still relied on upconvereted DVD's for the majority of regular demo material. The Sencore was just to show what HDTV could look like.

So my guess is that the media server is for showrooms more than living rooms, otherwise people are blowing a lot of money for 10 so-so films in 4K.

As for the pro's/con's of 4K, well, it potentially makes more sense to me than 3D TV's, in that it at least makes the picture look at least as good and maybe better. 3D makes the image darker, lower res, and with crosstalk (and gives me a headache).

I'd like to see some of the other advantages of 4K come up, but I'm betting they use it to try to revive the losing battle with 3D and just push its marketing "appeal." With no content, or really any promise of content coming out soon, this is going to be an uphill battle.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-09-13, 04:36 PM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

4K will improve 3D viewing and gaming till more content is available. The PS4 will have 4K capability so for those users 4K TV would be worthwhile assuming they can afford the 4K TV.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-09-13, 04:43 PM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

Quote:
Jon Liu wrote: View Post
I'm sorry, but this is the same nonsense that we heard when the push from 720p to 1080p was continuously brought up. The same was said between 480i and 480p, 480p and 720p.

There IS a difference. Plain and simple. Is it perceptible always? No. It depends on the source. Really, it depends on so many things. Making a blanket statement saying the difference is "extremely subtle to nonexistent" is just one of the reason why Cnet reviewers are on the bottom of my go-to list of reviewers when it comes to home entertainment opinions.

Is 4k really worthwhile now? I don't think so. There's just not enough content. Once we get Blu-ray 4K or the next format that has a standard resolution of 4K, then it will be.
I have to agree with you Jon that the cost will have to come down and that many factors are involved: for instance, sure most seating positions are farther away in the ideal zone, but then I have company and some seating is closer-and differences are apparent.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-10-13, 02:14 PM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

Now I just need to add 3000 terabytes of storage to my NAS and get an UNLIMITED 60M Internet connection and I'll be able to see every hair on those hobbit arms.

Last edited by Twooper; 04-14-13 at 01:27 PM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-11-13, 08:27 PM
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Re: Sony now offers 4K TVs with prices that are more on par with the budget-minded

Check out this link on what sony plans to bring to the table http://www.networkworld.com/news/201...4k-268476.html

Sony will soon launch 4K media player and download service, all aimed at bringing the next-generation TV format into the mainstream.

A fee-based download service for 4K movies that will work with the new media player, to go live in the fall of this year. The 4K media player and download service will only work with a Sony 4K TV.

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