The same LG TV is selling in the USA for $22,000, while Sony offers its 4K 84 inch television for $24,000. LG’s aggressive pricing puts pressure on Samsung and Sony as they are due to launch new TV technologies before the Christmas rush this year.
Analysts SmartHouse has spoken to claim Sony will struggle to match LG’s pricing.
The LED-backlit LCD television ushers in a new standard of content. Currently top-tier televisions support Full HD content, which has a resolution of 1080 x 1920. In comparison, LG’s Ultra Definition (aka 4K) has a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. This large screen is populated with 8 million pixels, and that’s the equivalent of four Full HD 42 inch TVs condensed into one crisp panel.
With a Full HD television, it’s easy to spot the different pixels up close, but with an Ultra Definition television the individual pixels cannot be discerned, producing one coherent image that looks life-like.
At a Sydney launch event, LG’s Marketing General Manager, Lambro Skropidis, claimed Ultra Definition is the future of television.
“Every few years the industry reinvents itself and continues to raise the bar in terms of picture quality and today is no different. Today we celebrate that the future of television just got clearer.”
LG anticipates the new technology will stimulate growth in the market, which in the last 12 months endured a 6 per cent decline in sales.
“Full HD TV has become the norm, and the opportunity now exists for a new standard to represent a new price premium in the market,” continued Skropidis.
“Take up of new technology has long been the hallmark of Australian consumers, and we hope in the next six months we’ll reenergise consumer interest in the TV market place and return the market to growth.”
When 3D technology was made available in TVs, there was constant debate and criticism regarding its glasses, a loss of brightness, incoherent motion (ghosting) and if it was actually practical. Ultra Definition enhances the image quality of a television, giving the 2D image depth through unprecedented detail, and as a viewing experience it’s hard to think of a drawback.
That is apart from the elephant in the room.
Currently there is practically no real 4K content readily available in the market. Worse yet, the 4K movies available range from 400GB to 600GB in size, come on a hard-drive and cost between $99 and $299 each. Additionally 4K players remain a notion of the future, forcing LG to play content on ‘specially developed PCs’ for in store demos.
LG contends “hardware leads to content creation” and asserts the release of its 84 inch 4K television will see the format adopted by professionals who create content. Unfortunately the biggest problem with 4K isn’t content alone, but rather the developing of infrastructure to support it.
The current format has seen the proliferation of video on demand services, but who will download a movie that measures 600GB? For most people, that outrageously exceeds their monthly data allowance.
To circumvent this, LG has equipped the TV with 4K upscaling technologies. These don’t necessarily imbue the content with the same attention to detail as native 4K movies, but they do present Full HD contentâ€”content that would otherwise look stretched on an 84 inch screenâ€”impressively.
Currently Sharp offers an 80 inch LCD TV with a recommended retail price of $10,999, with their yet-to-be-released 90 inch television expected to cost even more. Samsung’s largest TV in Australia spans 74 inches and retails at $9,499. For a superior big screen TV, which will enrich everyday available content thanks to four times the pixel count, the 84 inch LG TV begins to make much more sense.
The TV’s $16,000 price tag naturally positions it beyond the reach of the average consumer. LG is using a strategy it describes as “sniper marketing,” which involves one-on-one dealings with potential customers. Those who purchase an LG UD TV will be part of what Skropidis describes as “almost like an exclusive club.”
The exclusive television will be available “in only 30 handpicked stores across the nation” as of November 19th, just ahead of the peak Christmas sales period.