It’s an open question whether you actually need a 4K television, for various reasons. But considering the stagnant television market, manufacturers are really hoping that you think you need one. And thanks to Vizio, even if you don’t, you won’t have to sell organs to buy one.
No 401(k) For A 4K
No need to bury the lede, here: Vizio is introducing a 50-inch, 4K television for $999. If you want a seventy-incher, that’ll run you $2600 or so. True, those are hardly what you call “cheap” for a TV, but on the other hand, consider that to this point, most 4K sets have cost as much as a nice used car… or as much as a nice luxury car. These prices put it more in line with high-end HDTV sets.
But Do You Need One?
Still, it’s an open question as to whether or not you actually can use a 4K set. The 4K content out there is limited, although Netflix is going to start streaming some content in 4K. The bigger question, though, is whether you’ll notice a difference. See, most people can’t tell the difference between a dull old standard-definition DVD and an HD transfer on screen smaller than five feet, and those that can have been specially trained to spot it. Upping the resolution by four times is a case of diminishing returns; you may be able to tell the difference on a fifty-inch set, but just barely.
High Resolution, Low Price
That said, there’s no kill like overkill and honestly, if the prices are in line with the other sets you can buy, there’s really no reason not to pick up Vizio’s new TVs. Just remember what we told you about resolution; you can have fun messing with your more pretentious friends if you time it right.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.