Vizio - well known in the US but almost completely unknown in most of the rest of the world - has launched an incredibly cheap 4K TV range (starting at $999 for 50") and a "Reference" series that includes 4K at 10 bit
It's beginning to look like cost is not going to be any sort of obstacle to the adoption of 4K. While you can still pay $25,000 for a set if you want to (and if you do, it will be a very good one), you an also pay as little, almost, as you like. Very soon from now, you will barely have to pay any sort of premium for a 4K set, if at all.
And at that point, why would anyone buy an HD set?
So, in reality, the way that 4K will be adopted is that you won't be able to buy anything else. Arguments about the lack of 4K material won't matter because that won't be a factor in buying choices. This, in anyone's book, is a revolution.
And it really doesn't matter if you have to watch HD on a 4K screen. It's exactly four times the pixels of HD so there's no rescaling to be done. Clever upscaling can probably improve things but whatever happens, an HD picture on a 4K screen is never going to look worse than HD, so, if there's no price premium, then there's no issue, at all.
Vizio has announced two new 4K TV ranges. One, the "Reference" series, is aiming for the top. No prices have been announced yet, but these are certainly not budget models. The range starts at 65" and goes up to 120". That, officially, according to us, is huge.
There are reports that Dolby were involved in the technology that goes into these reference screens. They have a maximum brightness of 800 nits and colour depth is 10 bit. The Reference series is probably a few months from release.
At the other end of the scale, the P series are aimed at everyone. Starting with $999 for a 50" screen and at $2,600 for a 70" one, these are priced like mainstream HD screens a couple of years ago.
It's a pity these aren't available around the world, but we have a feeling that Vizio will sell so many of these in the US that it won't matter very much to them!