LAS VEGAS—It was only one year ago that 4K was the freshest TV technology on the block with incredibly high prices that only a die-hard early adopter could love. How times change.
Just one year later, 4K monitor and HDTV prices are coming down from the multiples of thousands of dollars to the more manageable sub-$1000 prices.
The latest entrant into the sub-$1000 4K market is Vizio. At CES 2014, the company is showing off its P-Series UltraHD SmartTVs (one shown above) with prices starting at $999 for a 50-inch set.
Here’s a Vizio video introducing the TVs:
Okay, $999 barely passes the sniff test for the sub-$1000 category. But most 4K TVs (at least the ones worth buying) are currently priced around $3000 or more. So getting a 4K set that is just under a grand from a respected TV maker is definitely a move in the right direction.
Vizio’s LED backlit P-Series HDTVs come with a quad-core GPU and dual-core CPU, as well as the new HEVC codec for streaming UltraHD video like House of Card Season 2 from Netflix.
For networking, the sets come with an 802.11ac dual-band MIMO wireless network card and Vizio’s complement of SmartTV apps. The P-Series will also work with Vizio’s second-screen browsing and remote-control functionality for Netflix and YouTube on Android and iOS devices.
The company says P-Series screens offer improved light uniformity compared to edge-lit LCDs and that this will enhance contrast and create deep black color levels.
Beyond the 50-inch P502ui-B1 priced at $999, Vizio’s P-Series 4K sets will also include 55-, 60-, 65-, and 70-inch models priced from $1400 to $2600.
Vizio is the second company at CES to announce a $999 50-inch UltraHD set. Polaroid is also showing off a budget 50-inch UltraHD set in Las Vegas this week.