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Displays

LG's 84-inch 3840 x 2160 Television Doesn't Come Cheap: $17,000 152

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the pixels-worth-more-than-latinum dept.
An anonymous reader writes "LG held a big launch party today for its highly anticipated 84-inch Ultra HD TV. The launch was held at Video & Audio Center in the L.A. area, which sold six sets within two hours. The MSRP had been set at $19,999 but we now know the street price: $16,999. 'My wife would rather I waited,' said one of the buyers." The article claims a couple of times that "Ultra HD 4K" has ~4000 vertical lines of resolution, but that's not true: the (unimplemented?) 8K spec is the one with 4320 lines of resolution confusingly enough. In any case, that's a lot of pixels. Maybe this means we'll finally see computer monitors break through the "HDTVs are the dominant consumers of LCD panels" barrier of 1920x1080.
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LG's 84-inch 3840 x 2160 Television Doesn't Come Cheap: $17,000

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  • It is ~4,000 lines (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 26, 2012 @02:19AM (#41774757)

    From wikipedia [wikipedia.org]: "The name 4K is derived from the horizontal resolution, which is approximately 4,000 pixels."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Osty (16825)

      That's not normally how "lines" is interpreted. A "line" is generally expected to be the same as a "row". Each line is 4000 pixels long (well, actually 3840 pixels), but there are only 2000 (really 2160) rows. 4000 refers to the columns. I guess we could start referring to 1080p as 2K, 720p as 1.5K, and 480p as 1K, but since we already have the row-based naming convention it seems silly not to call this 2160p.

      • by beelsebob (529313)

        Last I checked, a line was a straight thing, with ends that went in any direction it liked.

        • He's talking about the contextual meaning. In the context of video displays, 'lines' go from left to right, as that's the way CRTs TVs scan, one horizontal line at a time.
          • Or, I should say for clarity, a single 'line' goes from left to right, and the 'lines' are stacked vertically. So the number of 'lines' gives the vertical resolution.
        • by hawk (1151)

          last I checked, lines didn't have ends . . . :)

          hawk

      • by pscottdv (676889)

        It isn't today, but it will be going forward. Samsung can't have their equivalent product claiming when 2160 lines when LG is claiming 3840!

      • That's not actually the case. In the TV world, lines are a horizontal measurement of resolution, dating back to analog days - the concept being that the resolution of a particular display was measured in the maximum number of individually distinguishable black and white lines before bandwidth or similar issues lead to the lines blending together into gray.

        Outside of the industry, it generates some confusion because of the unrelated concept of "scanlines", that CRTs have, but while scanlines also imply a

      • That's not normally how "lines" is interpreted

        I'd be careful about this, since "vertical lines" in the context of TV traditionally meant something different than what you probably think it means. If you want to display a picture of a series of vertical lines, you need at least twice as many pixels, as per Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem. This is why 8K (8000 pixels horizontally) can display 4000 vertical lines and 4K (4000 pixels horizontally) can display 2000 vertical lines. (The term is a little bit antiquated, since it was used for measuring

    • From wikipedia [wikipedia.org]: "The name 4K is derived from the horizontal resolution, which is approximately 4,000 pixels."

      You did not read far enough, 4K UHD [wikipedia.org] is 3840 x 2160. It's not actually related to the rest of the article and goes off to it's own article talking about some of the history behind the development of UHD television displays.

    • by Jonner (189691)

      From wikipedia [wikipedia.org]: "The name 4K is derived from the horizontal resolution, which is approximately 4,000 pixels."

      Since standards have almost always used vertical resolution in naming until now, this is confusing to the point that I suspect it was motivated by the intent to mislead.

  • the 3D is amazing! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Saw this live here in Australia at the windows 8 Harvey Norman launch.
    I'm not kidding you, a butterfly nearly landed on my nose, the 3D is that immersive. LG and passive specs will dominate the 3D home market in a decades time when 4k becomes cheap enough. I've owned a 55" active shutter samsung for 2 years now, the LG blows it out of the water.

    Note, LG needed 4k to be able to produce full HD passive glasses 3D

    • by lxs (131946) on Friday October 26, 2012 @02:39AM (#41774815)

      Let me be the first to welcome the LG marketing department to the thread.
      Keep up the good work guys!

    • by Dahamma (304068)

      While it's true passive 3D requires 2x horizontal lines to get the same resolution, that is so far from the reason 3D has failed in the home market it's barely even worth mentioning...

      • 3D doesn't add that much for TV's. 3d works best when the TV takes you entire field of vision. Most TV's are placed 8-12 feet away from the viewer, so they get a smaller field of vision, and 3d isn't as immersive.

        Also people don't watch TV as intensely as they do a movie. When watching TV you are more often than not distracted, doing other things, talking to other people. Getting up... 3d with glasses doesn't allow normal TV viewing habits.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          There are a couple of things you didn't consider.

          Most TV's are placed 8-12 feet away from the viewer

          This particular TV is seven feet diagonal.

          Also people don't watch TV as intensely as they do a movie.

          I watch mostly movies on my TV, as do many others. Your idea of "normal" TV watching doesn't match everyone's idea of "normal" TV watching, and I'd posit that there's no such thing as "normal" TV watching.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          Yeah, that was actually my point - passive 3D uses horizontally polarized lines on the screen so technically it's interlaced (540 lines) for each eye - but that's not the reason 3D in general has been such a bust.

          The reason is partly as you say because it's not that great an experience at home, partly because wearing silly glasses at home sucks, and partly because most 3D content is just plain awful. I've seen maybe 10 movies in the theater in 3D and only 1, maybe 2 were actually enhanced by the experience

    • Saw this live here in Australia at the windows 8 Harvey Norman launch.
      I'm not kidding you, a butterfly nearly landed on my nose

      I'm afraid the caterers went foraging for their own mushrooms to meet budget. Sorry 'bout that, and your shoes are waiting for you down at the station, along with the platapus you tried to staple them to while going on about the new LG gear.

  • My living room. I don't think I have 84" of wall space.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Then you have a really small living room. 84" is big for a TV, but not for a wall. In portrait mode you'll be able to mount it to a regular door.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        In portrait mode it would be (assuming 16:9 aspect ratio) about 41.2 inches wide, which is quite a bit wider than most doors.

      • Then you have a really small living room. 84" is big for a TV, but not for a wall. In portrait mode you'll be able to mount it to a regular door.

        You probably haven't seen the size of some studios in NYC or SanFran.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      That's nothing, wait until a 2000 inch TV [youtube.com] comes out.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Thats seven feet diagonal. Do you live in a closet or something?

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Friday October 26, 2012 @02:39AM (#41774817)

    ...for average use in the home 1920x1080 (1080p) *resolution* is not the problem for a ~60-70" TV (still considered high end!) from 10' away. The limiting factor for quality is still the encoding rate for anything less than BD bitrates. So, for anything other than physical media 4K is not even remotely practical, and even for physical media it's such a diminishing return few consumers will care. Combine that with the fact physical media is in decline and I don't see 4K adoption any time soon...

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Is there any content in such high resolution available?

      Regular blu-ray is 720p or 1080p. And I'm not aware of higher-resolution physical media.

      The only source of such high-res content I can think of is cinema-type media, and I don't think those media are so easily accessible by consumers.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        There really isn't anything displayable on a TV with available hardware that I know of - probably the closest a consumer could get is something decoded on a PC with mulit-monitor and/or special hardware.

        And what's even more telling is that most digital theater projectors in use are still 2K (2048x1080) - and in fact a lot of (new and old) movies are still digitized at 2K, so there may not even be 4K sources for most current movies anyway.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          Too lazy to search but I do expect that the higher-end video cards have no problems decoding such resolution. And modern quad-plus-core processors are commonplace nowadays. At least nothing someone who is happy to put down $17k for a TV won't be able to afford.

          The problem will be the content itself... maybe 2K is just good enough? Or at 4k the file sizes become prohibitively large?

          • by Dahamma (304068)

            With multiple video cards, maybe.... (this would basically be displaying 4 1920x1080 screens). Possible but seriously not mainstream.

            But yes, why bother without the content. A BD averages 25-30Mbps. Multiply by 4 and that's over 100Mbps. That's 90GB for a 2 hour movie. Gets to be pretty large... [also compare with the highest end 1080p streaming from a service like VUDU of up to ~9Mbps or 8GB for 2h. Would be 36Mbps / 32GB for a 4K movie, which is way beyond most people's home Internet connection, o

            • by wvmarle (1070040)

              A properly encoded movie (not low compression like MPEG) is more like 5-10 GB for a 1080p movie. So 20-40 GB for a 4k resolution. A lot but not too bad.

              Oh and not everyone lives with those silly restrictions on Internet... in HKG many homes can get up to 1,000 Mbit nowadays. So 20-40 GB is no problem, a minute or two downloading on that speed. It's the availability of content that's probably the biggest issue.

              • by Dahamma (304068)

                Yes, H.264 can look good at 9Mbps for 1080p, but it's still noticeably better in some scenes (lots of motion, subtle gradients, etc) at twice that w/ significant VBR range. Thing is, there is not a lot of motivation to bother with 4K at a compromised bitrate when you could do 1080p with no noticeable artifacts, and most people can't tell any difference.

                And that's great that HKG has unlimited high bitrates like that, but the studios and consumer electronics countries don't target that market, they target th

                • by wvmarle (1070040)

                  You mean, they will not provide anything for download to begin with?

                  I wonder how else they're going to distribute 4K type video. Blu-Ray can't handle it. And I can't imagine it's going to be sold on hard disk, which is the only medium I can think of that has the capacity.

                  • by Dahamma (304068)

                    I wonder how else they're going to distribute 4K type video.

                    Yes, that is exactly why - along with the fact that human eyesight can't really resolve more than 1920x1080 from average viewing distances on mainstream (= 3840 x 2160, there isn't a point. For reference, 35mm film maxes out at about 1400 useful horizontal lines when digitized, and the most common digital film camera in use (the Arri Alexa) has 2880 x 2160 resolution (which would be cropped/matted to ~1550 lines for 1.85:1 widescreen or ~1220 for

          • by Rockoon (1252108)

            Too lazy to search but I do expect that the higher-end video cards have no problems decoding such resolution.

            The problem isnt the processing of that number of pixels, its getting content that uses it. For instance, HDMI 1.2 and earlier support a maximum resolution of 1920x1200 at 60 FPS

            HDMI 1.3 (June, 2006) maxes out at 2560x1600 at 75 FPS, and HDMI 1.4 (May, 2009) maxes out at 4096x2160 at 24 FPS. Note that the signal rate of both 1.3 and 1.4 are exactly the same, so all that changed was supporting more pixels at the expense of a lesser frame rate.

            The television under discussion supports up to 3840 x 2160, w

            • by Kjella (173770)

              The HDMI 1.4 specification wasnt even finalized until 2009, so nobody was even considering producing more than 1600p before then, so good luck finding > 1600p content.

              And when they moved from NTSC/DVD to HDTV/BluRay, none of that old content was available in HD.... oh wait, it was. For example here [sony.com] is a list of some of the 4K Digital Cinema releases dating back to 2004. Granted, it's probably not that many but the lack of a 4K consumer standard didn't stop them filming in 4K.

        • by Chrisq (894406)

          There really isn't anything displayable on a TV with available hardware that I know of - probably the closest a consumer could get is something decoded on a PC with mulit-monitor and/or special hardware.

          And what's even more telling is that most digital theater projectors in use are still 2K (2048x1080) - and in fact a lot of (new and old) movies are still digitized at 2K, so there may not even be 4K sources for most current movies anyway.

          A lot of blockbusters say "filmed [sic] in 8K" on the posters. True but misleading if your cinemas are 3K or 4K, though a multiplex in a city hear us has 8K on its premier screen and there is not too much difference objectively

      • You tube has some stuff and there are some PC games that out put that high. . I guess he 17k price tag means you can afford all the movie making stuff too. So you can also buy a home 4k camera and make your own.
      • While completing my Kurosawa collection on TPB I was made aware of some super high resolution videos that are apparently sold in Japan. Not sure about the details, but apparently they are crazy for pixels.

    • by BeanThere (28381)

      I think that if it can become more common in consumer video recording devices, I can imagine that a lot of people would like to have that kind of resolution for recording personal events ... e.g. weddings, childbirth, etc.

      Oh, and not to mention Ultra HD porn.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        Oh, and not to mention Ultra HD porn.

        No thanks, it will become even more like visiting a clinic specialising in bad skin ailments.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      Indeed, 20/20 vision dictates that at 10 feet we can see things 0.875mm apart. That means that 1080p is enough for anything up to a TV 1680mm by 945mm – that's 1927.5mm diagonal, 75 inches. Given that the ideal angle from corner to corner (according to the THX spec) for a screen is 36 wide, and at 10 feet, a 75" screen makes a 34.7 angle, we're already pretty much "there" – there's really no reason to double resolution at this point, other than epenis waving.

      • Does the definition of 20/20 vision really mix imperial and metric units?

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Does the definition of 20/20 vision really mix imperial and metric units?

          No, the definition is a visual acuity of one arc minute (1/60th of a degree). When you figure out how much that is at 20 feet you can use any unit you want.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        1. It is not the ideal angle, it's the worst seat in the cinema that can call itself "THX recommended" - very big difference. What most people would call an ideal seat in the middle of the cinema is well in to the 40s with the closest seat - which most people find too close - over 50 degrees. Then again that is also because those seats are so far down so you have vertical issues looking at the screen, but no doubt there's a thing as too close.
        2. Here's a quote [mdsupport.org]: "Dr. Colenbrander also emphasizes that, contra

    • by JDG1980 (2438906)

      No, you don't really need anything above 1080p for TV or movie content unless you have a giant front projection screen. But I would really like higher pixel density on my monitor, so I hope that Ultra-HD becomes mainstream for that reason. (Some video cards – and Intel's newest integrated GPUs – already support this resolution, so that's a good start.)

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      ...for average use in the home 1920x1080 (1080p) *resolution* is not the problem for a ~60-70" TV (still considered high end!) from 10' away. The limiting factor for quality is still the encoding rate for anything less than BD bitrates. So, for anything other than physical media 4K is not even remotely practical, and even for physical media it's such a diminishing return few consumers will care. Combine that with the fact physical media is in decline and I don't see 4K adoption any time soon...

      Actually, for

  • by kbob88 (951258) on Friday October 26, 2012 @02:54AM (#41774883)

    I can see people eventually using these as 'windows' on interior walls. Now we just need 4K video feeds from scenic locations like Yosemite Valley and we can all enjoy the view!

    • by Osty (16825)

      It's been done. [rationalcraft.com] The problem is 3D tracking. To be convincing windows you need to have parallax movement of the images, but because the monitors aren't actually far away it can only work for one person at a time. If you don't have parallax movement, you may as well just mount it as a "digital painting" rather than a faux window.

  • Go outside (Score:5, Insightful)

    by boundary (1226600) on Friday October 26, 2012 @03:03AM (#41774919)
    An 84 inch television is a massive waste of wall space, and of life.
    • by Neil Boekend (1854906) on Friday October 26, 2012 @04:02AM (#41775201)
      Outside lacks Iron Man and other awesomeness. Until they fix that in 2.0 I am not using it.
    • An 84 inch television is a massive waste of wall space, and of life.

      Unless you're in a teaching or conference space trying to use a projected computer program for a room full of people. In those cases, $17k is probably less than the audio system that is installed in the room.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      Are you a 58 year old woman? because you sound like my little sister. Ten years ago they bought a fifty two inch LCD TV. She asked me "do you think it's too big?"

      I said "there's no such thing as a TV that's too big."

      She said "That's what David said." David's her then 25 year old son.

      "Waste of wall space", sheesh. I guess the giant paintings on my walls are a "waste of wall space" as well.

  • 17000 is expensive, but not excessive for a new piece of technology like that. 17000 today is dramatically less purchasing power than 25000 14 years ago for a medium sized plasma screen and people bought those, probably mostly companies bought them and the wealthier individuals.

    This is another case in point for supply side economy (which is what all economy is). A company makes a product, which is expensive because the costs are high and few products are made and the production line is new and it's not fu

    • by Ksevio (865461)
      But if you think about it, you can buy an HD (1080) LG 42 inch TV for around $500. So $2000 gets you the screens, plus we'll add $1000 for the frame, and $2000 for the processing unit, now we have an 84 inch Ultra HD TV for only $5000, There's no real increase in pixel density here, just support for this larger format.
  • by The Master Control P (655590) <ejkeever&nerdshack,com> on Friday October 26, 2012 @03:04AM (#41774933)
    Screens past 1920x1080 have been available for a while. Hell, you can get CRTs from the late 1990s that go past that (though they were the high end).

    It really baffles me why, after the resolutions of screens improving so much from the first composite video text monitors up to HD, they just... goddamn stopped. I want my 4K VR goggles from Snow Crash damnit! As it is, I settle for 2560x1600 @ 30". It's potentially problematic, in that I now find 1920x1080 (or God forbid 1280x1024) unspeakably cramped. What do you mean, I can't open two consoles, a web browser, a circuit layout program and irc all at once?

    And just to get it out of the way, Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com].
    • by Sique (173459)

      The IBM T220 came out in 2001 and had 3840x2400 pixels, so yes, larger resolutions have been available for some time already.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Because improving the resolution of an LCD is not like improving the resolution of a CRT, and there is a lot of price pressure.

      To make a CRT support higher resolutions you need use better components capable of supporting high frequencies. You can go way beyond anything a computer can display, it is merely a question of cost. For LCDs you have to re-tool your factory to produce higher pixel densities, shrink the transistors and so forth.

      Another problem is that operating systems don't scale well. Apple avoide

      • by hawk (1151)

        Also, apple is making a move to vector, rather than pixel, graphics with the iPad3 and retina macbook. (I bought both for the reduced eyestrain from things being that much rounder, but I depend on my vision and lots of screen reading for my living . . .)

        As more programs adopt the vector rendering, scaling other than 2:1 will become practical.

        When you get down to it, though, characters are already too small before this thing can't render them.

        hawk

  • by subreality (157447) on Friday October 26, 2012 @03:18AM (#41775013)

    2560x1440 is already widely available in 27" IPS monitors for $400 (ebay imports) to $800 (brand name). So what are you complaining about? There's no 1080p barrier. Just be willing to spend more if you want nicer stuff.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have one, too. It is great, but not the next step in DPI we are waiting for. It is just more pixels on a proportionally larger surface.

    • Not only are they available, but they've been available for like 5 years or more. The poster is an idiot, and the editor is an idiot by proxy.

    • 2560x1440 is still pretty low res on anything bigger than a handheld device. I work with text all day and I want at least a 300 dpi display.

    • by toddestan (632714)

      They need to start putting that resolution into something like a 19" form factor. 27" is just too damn large.

  • Is it just me, or does this thing really looks like four fullHD 42" panels put together in a single frame? Granted, it needs some new electronics to control it, but it does not strike me as something revolutionary, just an application of existing technology.

  • Sure, they're only 2880x1800 or whatever, but hey, I could build a frickin' Beowulf cluster of 'em for the cost of this TV!

    On a more serious note, a hypothetical future 21.5" panel (the smallest size used by the most popular desktops right now) with a "Retina" display (say, 200px) would be able to handle this kind of resolution natively. C'mon, panel manufacturers, get the yields up already, so we can have 'em by the time there's any content worth mentioning? /I'd also settle for a 4K projector I could hoo

    • The first 50" plasma cost about the same as this thing. The first flat panel TVs sold for even more, and those were tiny by today's standards. History's lesson is that this sort of tech will come down in price fast; I expect that in a few years you can get a similar set for $4000 or so.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Well it's a 84" TV, the only 1920x1080 resolution TV I know of with equal or greater size is Sharp's 90" LCD which also has a $10k price tag. In that sense $17k is not bad for 6 less inches and 4 times the pixels. For monitors Intel has predicted 4K monitors for 2013, they've upgraded Ivy Bridge with 4K support and video acceleration (over two cables) and Haswell will support 4K over one cable. I bet they're not doing this without good hints from Apple, who probably won't let their MBPs have better resoluti

  • Yeah, that 1920x1080 barrier is really annoying. Can't wait to get higher resolution in a display.

      - Posted from a 2560 x 1440 27" display that is 3 years old, with the web browser window sized to 1920x1080.

    • by gr8_phk (621180)
      Why is you web browser sized so wide? My display is 1680 and I only use 2/3 of the width for this. I suppose if you go to jumbo fonts it might be OK, but then resolution is not what you need.
      • Any website properly using CSS will stretch the content portion, putting more onto each line of text. Less scrolling.

  • by gelfling (6534) on Friday October 26, 2012 @07:21AM (#41776237) Homepage Journal

    Now that Maybach is going out of business, any self respecting wannabe is going to have to get 12 of these for his house.

  • The price will come down quickly. A significant percentage of the population, after the price drop, will still feed it SD and rave about how wonderful it looks.
  • TV sucks no matter what resolution and size you watch it in.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      TV sucks no matter what resolution and size you watch it in.

      I'm sure there's a pr0n joke in there somewhere.

  • I don't see any real need for Ultra-HD for TV or movie content, except for wealthy videophiles; unless you have a massive front-projection screen, it's not going to make much of a visible difference. (And even then, 1080p at a good bitrate is more than adequate for the average home theater setup.)

    But it's really time that the average pixel density on monitors went up, and the prevalence of Ultra-HD would be a good thing for this reason. I currently use a 32" 1080p HDTV as my PC monitor, and it works well, b

    • Umm it will make a visible difference because the contrast range in UHD is higher.

      That's really where an improvement is needed, not the number of pixels.

  • LG's 84-inch 3840 x 2160 Television Doesn't Come Cheap: $17,000

    Not even with Bluray.

  • From the spec sheet: (Score:5, Informative)

    by GerbilSoft (761537) on Friday October 26, 2012 @08:54AM (#41777257)
    http://www.lg.com/us/tvs/lg-84LM9600-led-tv [lg.com]

    Just Scan (1:1 Pixel Matching): HDMI: 1080p/1080i/720p, Component: 1080p/1080i/720p, RF: 1080i/720

    If I'm reading this correctly, the TV doesn't actually support anything higher than a 1920x1080 ("1080p") signal input. So while it might in fact have a 3840x2160 panel, that panel is absolutely worthless, since it has to upscale everything that's being displayed.

  • by guttentag (313541) on Friday October 26, 2012 @12:38PM (#41780453) Journal
    The Chinese produced [wikipedia.org] a 77,460,000 x 50-pixel display ages ago to lock their competitors out of the marketplace. Eventually you get to a point where you can't see the whole thing from land, and you can't see it from space, so what's the point? All the pixels were stuck anyway, and whenever you lit it up there'd be smoke!

    Costs have really come down, though. By some estimates, 1 million workers gave their lives building it. That's 3,873 pixels per life. Foxconn's averaging several trillion pixels per life these days.

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