July 25, 2013, 4:20 PM — The third largest television maker in the world, China-based TCL, announced today that it will sell a 4K resolution, 50-in. Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV starting this fall for $999.
The edge-lit 7E504D LED 4K Ultra High HDTV will launching in the U.S. this September. The set will debut along side TCL's new flagship 5510 LED 1080p HDTV series, which will be available for sale in August with 40-in., 46-in. and 55-in. models.
TCL's 50-in 4K UHD TV will sell for an aggressively priced $999.
TCL's 40-in. 1080p HDTV is priced at $399, its 46-in. HDTV for $499, and its 55-in. Smart TV for $799.
The new 50-in 4K 7E504D Ultra High HDTV is the lowest priced Ultra High HD TV by a long shot, according to analysts, and it could spur a pricing war with consumers being the beneficiary.
Fellow Chinese TV maker Seiki offers the next closest 50-in. 4K UHD TV. The SE50UY04 is priced at $1,499, but can be found on Amazon for $1,100.
The prices are a significant drop for the new TV technology. As recently as April, Sony was selling its 55-in. 4K TV set in its XBR line for $5,000.
"That is the cheapest one I've heard of," said Paul O'Donovan, a consumer electronics analyst with Garteer. "And, it's not really happening too quickly when you look at the personal cameras we have that have resolution that is leaps ahead of where HD TVs are today."
Most smartphones, for example, have cameras with 5 to 8 megapixel resolution.
Ultra High Definition TV technology offers resolution measuring 3840 x 2160 pixels, or 8 megapixels -- four times that of 1080p televisions, which offer 2 megapixels of resolution.
Besides far higher resolution, one advantage pointed out by industry pundits is that 4K TV can show passive 3D better than today's 1080p sets.
"That has to be sold to the consumer, and I think it's starting to come through," O'Donovan said. "3D TV was always a fad or novelty that was going to wear off, but this is actually a technical revolution coming along."
The 7E504D LED 4K UHD TV will come with a 120Hz CMI (Clear Motion Index) engine with 5,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for brilliant color and contrast. The television will feature an ultra-thin bezel with a gunmetal gray finish.