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Ultra HDTVs Now Available

LOS ANGELES–The next generation of TV sets hit stores with the introduction of Ultra High Definition TVs in the U.S. marketplace. The first set is an 84-inch LG LED TV with a price tag of $19,999 and is now for sale at Los Angeles Video & Audio Center in Lawndale, according (opens in new tab) to USA Today.

The argument for Ultra HD is based on marketers’ assumptions that consumers are looking for even higher resolution content, known in the production industry as “4K.” But in order for 4K to be visible to the naked eye, display sizes will have to be at least 60 inches and higher in order for consumers to notice the difference. Last week the Consumer Electronics Association defined UHDTV as those displays with 8 million pixels of resolution standard.

The steep price tag is a reflection of manufacturers’ confidence that consumers will find the higher resolution to be worth it, despite the current lack of content. However, color and HDTVs originally faced the same hurdle (one that both jumped successfully to create accepted industry standards with little lag time).

Sony is making the same bet as LG and plans to release its version of the technology with a 4K resolution TV set of their own to be released by the end of the year, costing $24,999. USA Today says that Sony advertises these TVs as “4K UHD,” a move that some are concerned will confuse consumers about what products are compliant with the standard.

Until more broadcasters tailor content for Ultra HD, Hollywood is predicted to lead industry in converting to the standard of 4,000 horizontal lines of resolution, according to the article. Consumers will see the main benefits when the watch Blu-Ray discs or 3D content initially and will likely also soon see a difference in their content when it is downloaded or streamed or purchased via pay-per-view.