CEDIA Expo 2012: Huge, Flat, and 4K

Both Sony and LG had 84-inch edge-lit LCD TVs on display at CEDIA. What distinguishes these sets from other oversized TVs from companies like Sharp, etc. is that they have a resolution of 4K (actually, 3,840 x 2,160, or “Quad Full” HD).

Along with being able to take in and display 4K video, Sony’s XBR-84X900 ($25,000) and LG’s 84LM9600 ($20,000) are passive 3D TVs that — unlike current passive sets on the market — can display 3D content at full 1080p resolution. Sony’s model also has a Simulview mode that lets gamers indulge in dual-view gameplay on the set’s expansive screen.

With no 4K video content readily available, a consumer who buys one of these TVs will find themselves primarily watching upconverted regular HD video from a Blu-ray player, cable box, etc., and that’s where differences between the two may arise. To my eyes, it seems like both companies have work to do on that front: 4K images on the Sony looked amazing, but upconverted 1080p images that were screened appeared soft and somewhat noisy. Same thing with the LG, which the company didn’t even bother to demo using actual 4K material.

Both sets are expected to be available in limited quantities sometime this fall. Folks on a budget looking for a high-quality — if not 4K-capable — option might be better off checking out Sony’s new flagship HX-950 line of full-array LED-backlit LCDs, which the company also brought along to CEDIA to show off.