In the five months since LG launched a $22,000 84-inch 4K Ultra High Definition TV at home in Korea, the company says it’s sold about 300 units. That’s right, despite costing as much as a mid-sized car, about 70 people a month have decided to plant the early adopter flag. The company told us at CES that all of the LCD makers are eager to move from cheap volume production to premium products, and being the first to move in 4K could go a long way to cement the image of a higher-end LG in consumers’ minds.
Consumer applications for 4K are still very much in their infancy
LG isn’t the only company trying to stake its claim in this space by any means — Sharp, Panasonic, Toshiba, Samsung, and Hisense were all showing off new UHD TVs at CES. But it was Sony CEO Kaz Hirai that presented the most cohesive vision for the new format we’ve seen yet, saying that he’s exploring digital distribution models, and stressing the need for industry standardization. Consumer applications for 4K are still very much in their infancy (we’re just now seeing prototypes of Sony’s first 4K consumer Handycam), but seeing that there are actually people willing to part with their money for first-generation panels (despite the virtual non-existence of content) has got to be heartening for TV makers.