A View from David Zax
Who Needs An 84-Inch TV?
And more to the point, who can afford it?
Like cowboys revealing the sizes of their guns at a shootout, Sony, Toshiba, and LG all whipped out jumbo TVs of the exact same size at IFA in Berlin this week. These colossal sets are each 84-inches, and each is a so called “4K” TV, which basically means their resolution is ridiculously high–four times that of full HD.
Sony whipped out its gun first, report Wired and others. The totally-easy-to-pronounce XBR-84X900 is an LCD TV with a 3840 x 2160 resolution. It’s a “smart” TV, meaning it has built-in WiFi for all that web content that’s increasingly forming the core of your viewing experience, and it packs a 10-speaker audio system for you to build a home theater experience with. By “you,” of course, I mean somebody richer than you. The rumored price is around 25 grand.
CNET took a video look at the Sony set.
LG also debuted a 84-inch 4K set, an Ultra-Definition 3D TV, says the Verge. LG reportedly will be putting the set out in Korea first, at a price that’s equivalent to about US $22,000. The set is rumored to see a September-ish debut stateside.
Finally, not to be left out of a good old-fashioned gunfight, Toshiba unholstered an 84-inch set of it’s own. (The metaphor is no longer working; no holster could possibly fit this thing.) The Toshiba modle has that same 3840 x 2160 resolution, and is expected to launch early next year, per Engadget, which also shot this video.
There’s not a ton of 4K content being made right now, but arguably that could change. YouTube, of all things–you thought it was just fuzzy cat videos?–has a 4K channel. And Sony put up a list of 4K movies; you can now see Channing Tatum strut his half-naked stuff in an 8-million-pixel-friendly version of “Magic Mike,” for instance.
Now, I don’t regularly host massive parties, nor do I suffer from gigantism, nor am I fabulously wealthy, so perhaps I can’t understand these things. But I’m getting by just fine on the 32” Westinghouse flatscreen I bought about a year ago for a couple hundred bucks. Nevertheless I suppose all these fabulously wealthy hard-partying giants need something to spend their money on, so I’m happy for them.