First Tests Of $20,000 TVs

If you think you've got the latest and greatest TV out there, wait till you see what's coming-Ultra-HD televisions. They promise the best picture ever on huge screens.

But with mega-price tags that start at 20-thousand dollars, we know people won't be rushing out to buy one anytime soon.

Nevertheless, Consumer Reports had to get a look at the first wave of Ultra-HD TVs.

This 84-inch Ultra-HD television from LG is the biggest flat-screen TV that Consumer Reports has ever had in its test labs.

It dwarfs the 65-inch set next to it. But a huge screen isn't all that Ultra-HD sets have to offer.

Jim Willcox of Consumer Reports says, "Ultra-HD TVs are a new breed of high-resolution TVs that promise even more detail and sharper images than conventional 1080p sets."

Consumer Reports testers looked at the LG as well as the first Ultra-HD sets from Sony and Samsung.

When the sets are showing UHD content, the picture is indeed breathtaking, with crisp images and more detail than testers have ever seen.

However, there isn't much UHD content. But these sets can take regular HD content that's been up-converted.

And, not surprisingly, that looks great.

Testers also used test patterns to assess these new Ultra-HD sets and found some drawbacks.

All three had problems common to most LCDs, such as motion blur and black levels that aren't quite black. But the biggest problem is not technical.

Willcox says, "The TVs that we've seen so far cost around 20-25 thousand dollars, and that's going to be prohibitively expensive for most people."

So while UHD looks great-and the huge screens are impressive-Consumer Reports says this technology is far from ready for prime time.

You don't have to spend 20-thousand dollars on a new TV. Consumer Reports recommends a 65-inch plasma TV from Panasonic.

It's the VIERA TC-P65VT50. It delivers excellent image detail and color as well as deep black levels.

At 33-hundred dollars it's not exactly cheap-unless, of course, you're comparing it to the cost of an Ultra-HD TV!


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