4K TVs

Unlike OLED, another new display technology shown off at CES this year, 4K TVs are actually on the market. There's just one catch.

LG's 84LM9600 UHD television.
LG's 84LM9600 UHD television. Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Both OLED (a new display technology) and 4K (twice the standard HD resolution) TVs made appearances at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, but it was 4K that won the race to store shelves. Two 4K TVs are available now, the LG 84LM9600 and the Sony XBR-84X900, while OLED remains a no-show. The catch? Both of the 84-inch LED TVs cost around $20,000 -- not exactly an impulse purchase.

But make no mistake: 4K, aka "Ultra HD," will begin edging down in price, even as more screen size options appear. Billed as the successor to 1080p, the technology offers significantly more pixels, promising a sharper picture than ever. Never mind that current 1080p TVs are sharp enough that you can't tell the difference unless you sit close to a huge TV, or that actual native 4K content is years away. As Apple's Retina campaign proved, resolution sells, and TV makers are hoping 4K can help revive a stagnant market.

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About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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