You can now buy this Skyworth 50E780U 4K HDTV in China for under $1500. It’s for sale right now. $1453 (8999rmb) is just the official suggested retail price, it seems to be sold for as cheap as $1323 (8198rmb) online at taobao (which I think is kind of China’s Amazon).
This 4K display is made by Taiwanese Chimei Innolux, it’s sold by the Skyworth brand, the number 1 TV brand in China (in front of Samsung in China). The only sad thing about this 4K display is that you are only getting a 50″ size, not 55″ nor 65″, I have been talking about my wish of seeing sub-$2000 4K 55″ during 2012/2013, now we’ve got sub-$1500 4K, but for now it’s 50″. I’m seriously considering buying one of these for myself, if I can somehow have it safely shipped to myself in Europe with UPS or some other shipping method, do you think that would be a good idea or will I regret not having at least a 55″ screen size for my 4K home screen resolution? Maybe if I wait another 2-3 months, sub-$2000 55″ 4K screens are going to be broadly available? I am very excited about the possibilities of 4K displays, simply because the demonstrations of 4K at trade shows that I have seen over the past few years have always been the highlights of the shows for me. 4K is way, way more interesting than 3D. I also expect to be able to buy sub-$2000 4K camcorders later this year, maybe Panasonic is working on a GH4 with 4K high bitrate video recording resolution. And I am convinced that YouTube, BitTorrent and other online sources for above 16mbit/s compressed 4K video streaming or downloading can provide for awesome 4K video content online in the months and years to come. So I am not worried about 4K content. I am sure Hollywood already has digitized most of their movies in 4K resolution and it wouldn’t be hard for them to release them all in 4K as soon as the home movies industry decides how to release them, I’d say they should just turn on 4K video-on-demand right now. $20/month for unlimited 4K movie streaming/downloading/progressive-downloading, I’d pay for that Hollywood! To save on bandwidth costs, Hollywood should just use BitTorrent for their 4K VOD movie distribution. All 8 megapixel pictures can already provide for great 4K slideshows today. I would consider placing my 4K display on an adjustable arm that easily allows the display to be used for office use, home cinema use and when raised a bit higher it can be a constant amazing 8 megapixel slideshow display in the living room. I wonder though what will be with the 30fps limitation of HDMI 1.4a that is the 4K interface used by these new 4K displays, I wonder if a firmware update can transform those to a possible HDMI 1.5 with at least 60fps or maybe 120fps support and maybe also higher bitrate if needed. I’m also worried about the built-in ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core M-star processor system not being user-replaceable once faster processors get available, because the solution to the limitation of HDMI 1.4a would be to directly stream all the contents from Ethernet or USB, but if the built-in processor needs update for the user interfaces, the 4K Google TV UI that I am expecting and perhaps especially the video decode performance being upgraded in the future. There, I’d prefer if the ARM SoC platform was easily user replaceable in all new 4K TVs, that I think would make the 4K panels more future proof regardless what happens with the eventual limitations of HDMI. What do you think is the future-proof 4K solution to the current 30fps@4K limitation of current HDMI 1.4a?