China Makes its Move

It's been suggested that the next manufacturers to break into the HDTV market will be Chinese. That's not surprising as many current sets branded by manufacturers from Japan and Korea are often subcontracted, in whole or in part, to Chinese factories.

There were some impressive exhibits from the likes of Haier, Hisense, TCL, and Changhong (the latter shown in the photo--Changhong also showed plasma sets—deja vu all over again!). But serious product launch announcements were slim. Many of the sets on display looked very good, including a 55-inch OLED and several 4K LED/LCDs from Haier, for example, but still need to incorporate important capabilities, such as H.265 decoding and HDMI 2.0.

But it could also be suggested that manufacturers more established in the U.S. market are jumping the gun on Ultra HD, when source material is still sorely lacking, the quality of the forecast 4K downloads and streaming using marginal bandwidth is still an open question (4K streaming that looks worse than 1080p Blu-ray, anyone?), and decisions such as whether to incorporate such things as enhanced bit depth and higher color sampling are still in the talking stages. Perhaps the Chinese are simply watching how it all shakes out. They may be biding their time for now, but their time may come soon enough.