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Electronics retailers stuffing shelves with 4K ultra HD TVs as Super Bowl approaches

by on January 30, 2015

Stephan Jukic – January 30, 2015

For fans of high definition sports and entertainment who no longer think high definition is good enough, the major retailers in the U.S are quickly loading their shelves with a convenient solution.

We’re talking about 4K TVs of course and the newest models of these televisions from all the major brands are now taking over the home entertainment sections of every major electronics retailer in the U.S.

In no small part, this is being moved along even faster by the imminent arrival of Super Bowl 2015 this February. Never mind that the Super Bowl itself won’t be broadcast by anybody in ultra HD 4K definition, retailers are betting that the massive football event will be a major spark for a lot of potential buyers who are right on the fence about making the leap into 4K territory.

Already, 4K sets are selling at such a fast rate of speed that they’ve become common in all sorts of places and retail outlets much faster than HDTVs did back when they were just arriving to replace standard 720p HD as the new benchmark in TV technology.

Now, 4K sets are looking more and more like they’ll do the same thing to 1080p Full HD but at at a supercharged pace.

4K, for those of you who might not know yet, refers to a new class of TV resolution that can range between 3840 x 2160 and 4096 x 2160 pixels as opposed to the 1920 x 1080p of normal Full HD screen res. In essence, whether they offer the smaller or the higher of the two categories of 4K resolution, TVs with the technology give their viewers more than four times the picture clarity of 1080p HD.

live 4K sportscasts

Live broadcasting of the Superbowl in full 4K resolution is still at least a year away

So far, total sales of 4K TVs are still just a tiny fraction of all TV sales and in the U.S, only about 1% of new TV buyers have gotten a 4K set in 2014. However, in certain overseas markets like China, this percentage is much higher, at around 10% for 2014 and worldwide, the numbers of 4K TV units being sold are climbing almost exponentially. In 2014 alone, just under 12 million of the TVs sold worldwide, more than twice the sales predicted at the beginning of the year.

Prices for the once extremely expensive 4K TVs are dropping fast too and not just during special promotional sales like those that hit U.S retailers in the runup to Christmas. Currently, even the most recognizable name brands are starting to sell new 4K TVs at extremely competitive prices.

One very recent example being a new 55 inch Samsung UHD TV model that’s retailing for just $1500. The company is even selling a larger 65 inch version for just $2,199. Compared to the prices for Samsung 4K TVs just 4 months ago, these numbers are downright remarkable.

As for the Super Bowl itself, it’s going to have to wait until at least next year for a chance at being broadcast in full 4K resolution to anybody. NBC is planning on using a few 4K cameras during the game but these are going to be there only for filming instant replay sequences that need maximal resolution.

So far at least, TV producers are holding off on investing in new 4K cameras and overall broadcasting infrastructure for the standard until they can see an even larger consumer interest in watching sportcasts and other live events (and paying extra for the privilege of live broadcasts in UHD 4K)

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