The future of 4K TV growth probably lies with web-connected Smart TV

by on November 29, 2014

by Stephan Jukic – November 29, 2014

4K TV works at its very best when it operates inside a full web-connected environment. This is why homes connected to broadband networks and with full access to web-delivered streaming media services like Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and Hulu are the trend which could really push 4K TVs forward as a much more flexible substitute to traditional pay-tv services that don’t change and expand as quickly as content on the web.

This lack of flexibility isn’t a problem for Netflix and other similar services. They adapt and evolve with new entertainment options in a leading way when it comes to 4K video. With Netflix and others like Amazon, the trend is in the direction of new and constantly growing bodies of professionally made 4K movies and shows while with the proliferation of 4K cameras, services like YouTube will see dramatic expansions in their selection of amateur 4K video of all kinds, some of it made to an essentially professional standard of quality.

On the TV end, smart TVs with Ultra HD technology such as those made by Sony, Samsung, Vizio, Sharp and Panasonic among others are being built with all the technologies necessary for the effective streaming of these growing bodies of online content from Netflix and the others.

Movies like “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” along with older 4K remastered classics and also shows like “Breaking Bad” and all of the new content from both Netflix and Amazon are available to the right kind of UHD TVs coupled with the right kinds of broadband connections.

Some brands of TV are also now giving users access to specialized, exclusive content options that go beyond the conventional. One example of this is Samsung, whose 4K TVs let buyers stream pay-per-view movies like “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” from the DreamWorks/Technicolor owned net video service M-GO or from DirecTV.

Popular shows like Breaking Bad are just the beginning of the 4K streaming content revolution

Popular shows like Breaking Bad are just the beginning of the 4K streaming content revolution

Furthermore, both Sony and Samsung are offering set-top hard drive units that go with their 4K TV models, which are preloaded with a selection of 4K films and other content while also being able to download more options from Smart TV applications for both companies on their TVs as the content becomes available.

All of these growing content trends that apply to the 4K smart TVs from the major brands are coupling with massive holiday discounts on the TVs themselves to create a situation in which sales are set to explode. Just in the last quarter of 2014 so far, research reports on worldwide sales of 4K televisions have shown a 500% increase in sales of assorted models. This will only grow as prices for smaller 4K sets decrease to below $1000 in some cases and large discounts on much bigger ultra HD TVs also come into play as they already are doing.

The number of 4K TVs sold in the U.S by the end of this year is already expected to pass the 1 million mark.

One massive stumbling block does remain for the connection between web-enabled 4K Smart TVs and Broadband enabled content to really mesh. This is the slowness of many home internet connections in the U.S and also worldwide. While this is steadily changing, a majority of households still lack access to the speed and power of a web connection that offers at least 20 to 25 Mbps, which is the minimum necessary for effective streaming of 4K content.

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