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CNET Top 5
Most-anticipated 4K TVsThe 4K revolution is coming, but which of the new Ultra High Definition TVs due out this Fall are we looking forward to the most? Donald Bell counts down the 5 most-anticipated 4K flat screens.
The next big trend in TVs is 4K -- screens with four times the pixels of today?s 1080p TVs. And whether you?re convinced this is the next big thing or the next big fad, manufacturers are hedging their bets and coming out with a wave of 4K TVs for Fall. Personally, I don?t know enough about the technology or the players here to know which of these next-gen TVs to get excited about, so I asked CNET?s Senior Editor David Katzmaier to reel off five of the 4K TVs coming out this Fall that he?s looking forward to the most. Starting off at #5, the Seiki SE65UY04, a 65-inch 4K TV from one of China?s No.1 domestic TV brand. The price? $2,999, undercutting Sony?s 65-inch 4k TV by two grand. Is it a great TV? We have our doubts, but we haven?t seen it yet. It?s also not the cheapest 4K TV out there. The same company makes a 39-inch 4K TV for $699, but to really see the effect of 4K, the larger screen size is critical. So a 65 incher at 3 grand is a sweet spot we?d like to see the other guys try to match. At #4: the Panasonic TC-L65WT600. On CNET?s current list of the best TVs on the market, the first four are made by Panasonic. They also happen to be plasmas, which this TV is not. This guy is a 65-inch LED LCD 4K TV with a price tag of $5,999. The claim to fame here is that the TV will come with HDMI 2.0 connections out of the box. The other sets sold so far have promised to be upgradeable to HDMI 2.0, but details are still scarce. If you want tomorrow?s 4K resolution along with tomorrow?s HDMI standard, the Panasonic looks like the way to go. ( That said, for the same amount, you could go with #3: the Sharp LC-701DU. Like I said before, to really appreciate the benefits of 4K you need a big screen -- and that?s what Sharp delivers. This is the first 70-inch 4K TV on the market, and also the first to get the new THX 4K display certification. But if you?re tempted to go even bigger, well Sony does have an 84-inch 4K TV on the market? for $17,000. Yeah, I think 70 inches is fine too. #2 is one of the least-expensive 4K TV from a major maker, the Sony X850A. The 55-inch 4K TV version is priced at $3,500, here?s a TV you might actually buy. On paper, it looks a lot like the Sony W900 series, which we already love, only upgraded to 4K. But one of the best reasons to throw your 4K money at Sony is content. Sony is the only company out there with a 4K video player that can access numerous 4K films you might actually want to watch, today. And the player only works with Sony products. No company is working harder at getting this technology off the ground. That being said, there are good reasons to just say no to 4K. Aside from the lack of content, and the hefty price, most people just aren?t going to see the difference until you get to that 70-80- inch screen size, which are totally impractical for most people. You want to be blown away by a new TV technology, check out the new OLED TVs. These things are gorgeous. But because they?re difficult to make and it?s harder to sell people on screen contrast compared to the allure of quadruple pixels, the 4K hype is going to drown out one of the best advancements in the industry. But before you get too bummed out, there is one last 4K contender that I think we should all rally around. At #1: the Sony VPL-VW600ES -- a 4K projector. Instead of knocking down a wall in your living room to fit a 100- inch 4K TV, this makes a lot more sense. Not cheap at $15,000, but still cheaper than Sony?s 84-inch 4K TV and you?ll get a lot more screen size for your dollar. HDMI 2.0 out of the box, which means faster frame rates that can keep up with a Sony?s real flagship product this Fall, the Playstation 4. Pair these two up with a nice screen, some Call of Duty, an IV drip and a bulk pack of adult diapers, and I?ll see you in 2014. If I?m not eaten by my cats. CLOSE ----------------- So there you go, five of the most anticipated 4K TVs we?re looking forward to playing with this Fall. Visit CNET.com for David Katzmaiers full list, as well as Geoffrey Morrison?s bracing tale of why 4K is mostly stupid. Until next time, I?m Donald Bell, and you can find more me over on Top5.CNET.com.