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UltraHD TV Not As Ultra Expensive

January 21, 2014, 10:05 PM by Angela Kennecke

UltraHD TV Not As Ultra Expensive

While TV sales have remained flat, this is still the big time of year for retailers as we head into Super Bowl Sunday.  UltraHD TVs, also known as a 4K TV, are expected to be the hot seller this year.

Last year at this time, there was one 84-inch 4K TV in town and it was selling for $17,000; it's now down to $15,000. 

Linda Haugan and her daughter Mikaela are shopping for a TV for Mikaela's first home.  And while they're not looking for a 4K set, it caught their eye.

"Everything seems to be that much sharper; images are that much clearer. I think consumers are always looking for something that's bigger and better," Linda Haugan said. 

"4K is basically taking four televisions and putting them together.  You get a higher resolution,” Tom Johnson at Karl's TV said.

But you may need the latest digital player to get the same kind of picture in your family room. 

"You're still going to have a marvelous picture, but it's not going to be the same as what you saw on the showroom floor; simply because the content's not there.  The delivery methods aren't there," Johnson said.

Maybe that's why only six percent of consumers who plan to buy a TV say they'll get a 4K TV.  But while the infrastructure may not be there quite yet, the smaller-screen versions, 50 to 55-inches, are becoming affordable. 

"Vizio has dropped below the $1,000 mark.  And why do they do that? I guess so they can have the largest number of share," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Smart TVs, those with Internet connectivity, now make up 50 percent of new TV sales. 

While 32-inch screens are still the most popular.  The fastest growing sales are in the 50-inch screens. This is the most popular seller in this store.  People aren't buying as many smaller screens because they're investing their money in smartphones and tablets instead. 

"Smaller televisions have now gotten to have the smart TV applications in them, so you can have a kitchen television where you can have access to the Internet," Johnson said.

But whatever the size or features, you’ll find the best deals in the first half of the year to make way for new models that land in showrooms in the spring. 

Manufacturers expect that 4K TVS will make up the majority of screens in homes 50-inches or more in less than five years.

Consumer Reports TV Buying Guide

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