Oct. 1, 2013 at 5:53 PM ET
Major name-brand 65-inch Ultra HD (aka 4K) TVs, with four times the resolution of standard 1080p HDTV, were introduced just a few months ago at $7,000. Prices have dropped quickly and now Sony, LG and Samsung are selling 65-inchers in the $5,000 to $6,000 range. Now, Chinese upstart Seiki Digital announced it would begin shipping its 65-inch UHD model in the U.S. for $2,999. We predict the "street price" will be around $2,500. How do they do it?
While the top-of-the-line UHD models have Internet video streaming and Web browsers — and some even include voice control, gesture control, Skype cameras, 3-D and virtually every TV feature know to man — the Seiki SE65UY04 is bare bones, with no Internet connectivity, very basic picture controls and nothing more. Its panel is an edge-lit LED LCD with 120Hz refresh rate. There will be just three HDMI inputs, one component video input and one composite video input, plus a USB input for MP3 and JPEG photos. The SE65UY04 is built in China by parent company Tongfang Global.
Unlike the Samsung and Sony, this TV isn't future proofed. That is, Seiki has not announced an upgrade to the next-generation HDMI 2.0 standard, so the SEUY04 is limited in input signal to a maximum frame rate to 30 frames per second (fps), while the current models from the name-brand competition will be able to accept future signals up to 60 fps, following a future upgrade.
The Seiki 65-inch UHDTV will be shipping in early December, joining Seiki’s 39-inch UHD TV, now selling for $699, and its 50-incher, now selling for just under $1,000. Read HD Guru's review of the 50-inch version (when it still cost $1,400) here.
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