January 3, 2014

Polaroid Announces Their (Really) Affordable 4K TV

Polaroid 4kWith Netflix now streaming in 4K and Amazon releasing their original series in it, along with a plethora of UHD monitors finding their market, it looks as though 4K adoption is steadily on the incline. Maybe another indication of this is that a very unlikely contender in the 4K TV market has made themselves known. In a departure from their expertise in film and instant photography, Polaroid announced their very own UHD TV, which is one of the most inexpensive sets yet and is large enough to appeal to most consumers. Continue on for more info.

The TVs may actually be "Polaroid TVs" in name only. According to Polaroid's announcement, a U.S. company called Empire Electronics has licensed the Polaroid brand and will be the manufacturer.

That aside, Polaroid will be debuting two "contemporary, modern" looking LED TV models at this year's CES (Consumer Electronics Show): the first being their 1080p 50-inch set ($600), which has a built-in Roku Streaming Stick that allows users to stream movies, shows, music, and games. The second, and surely the most anticipated is their 50-inch 4K TV. It comes with three HDMI ports and will cost $1,000. Also, there are plans in the works to include screens ranging from 32" to 69".

Though "inexpensive" is a relative term, the price for their 4K TV is a third (if not more) of the cost of others like it, unless you're talking about the 50-inch Seiki 4K set that retails as low as $700. As more of these TVs hit the market, the price for UHD sets is sure to continue to drop, which means that watching UHD at home is all the more closer to becoming the norm. That's great news for those of us who shoot 4K and want our audiences to be able to enjoy all of that ultra-HD splendor.

What do you think? Will Polaroid's 4K TV win you over with its low price, or are you still holding out? Let us know in the comments.

Link: Polaroid Announces Exceptional Quality, Affordable Home Entertainment Line at CES 2014 -- Polaroid

[via The Verge]

Your Comment

42 Comments

Can't argue with that price. I would be in for a 32" should it happen.

January 3, 2014 at 1:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Micah Van Hove
Writer
director, producer, dp

its all B.S. because even though they are 4k they still use the 8bit REC.709 protocol instead of the new REC. 2020 protocol that SMPTE hasn't implemented yet. So all your going to see is really high definition blocks of color since it can only show 255 different shades of grey where as the new REC.2020 is a MINIMUM of 1024. So all the gradients in images will be blocky. Hence why they are so cheap as its the exact same thing they did when HD came out and sold you a set that was 720i

January 3, 2014 at 2:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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logan

You hit the nail on the head, right there.

January 3, 2014 at 2:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Richard Wilcox

is it the same with the seiki sets?

January 3, 2014 at 3:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Very interesting!

January 3, 2014 at 3:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Raul

6-bit would be problematic, but 8-bit can deliver perfect gradients and no blocking. That is: you'll have the same gradients and blocking of a bluray.

I still have no use for 4K, but 8-bit for delivery is perfectly fine if you ask me (note: for delivery, not for acquisition).

January 3, 2014 at 6:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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You are correct! Dolby appears to be thinking correctly. This is the direction TV manufacturers should be going. "Not more pixels, better pixels."

http://variety.com/2013/digital/news/dolby-high-dynamic-range-imaging-de...

January 3, 2014 at 11:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Higher Dynamic Range is not mutually exclusive of the 4K and Dolby's HDR is not the sole HDR approach available. But this HDR improvement might serve as a major weapon in the hands of the Japanese manufacturers, as they are attempting to battle the eventual arrival of the South Korean OLED sets, which are currently priced in the stratosphere.

January 3, 2014 at 12:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

Awesome Connor!
Great to see Dolby putting tech and R&D dollars where it counts, instead of where it's popular.

January 4, 2014 at 7:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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The image quality of this particular model is yet to be seen, obviously, but the 4K TV sets are expected to drop in price at a rate of about 40% annually and the global shipments expand from just over 1 million units in 2013 to over 14 million in 2014 (OK, most of it goes to/stays in China but nonetheless). The high end manufacturers will also include better upscalers (off SD/HD) and an improved dynamic range. If an addition of an inexpensive streaming box like Roku can result in the delivery of 4K content off the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube, then even the lower tier TV's like Seiki, Hisense and Polaroid will have an impressive picture. I suspect the major TV networks will also make a plethora of 4K content available online beginning with the 2014 fall season, as the 4K acquisition has been steadily on the increase with the release of 4K cameras such as Red Epic, Sony F 55 and Canon C500.

January 3, 2014 at 4:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

No secret that YouTube is on the 4K (and VP9) bandwagon too.
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http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57616481-93/youtube-2014-is-the-year-of...
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Quote : "YouTube has announced that it will be demonstrating high-definition video streams at the Consumer Electronics Show next week, thanks to the relatively new Google video codec VP9. The new format is advantageous for YouTube and other video streaming sites because it allows them to transmit high-definition, 4K quality streams without slowing down your network."

January 3, 2014 at 5:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

Yes, because they are a Google company. It would be shocking if they WEREN'T using VP9. If Vimeo and Netflix jump on VP9 then that's news.

January 9, 2014 at 4:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I was eyeballing this one:
http://www1.la.dell.com/bz/en/corp/peripherals/dell-up2414q/pd.aspx?refi...

99% AdobeRGB and 100% sRGB coverage sounds good to me and you can calibrate it via X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter:

Should be around 1300 $

Any thoughts on that one in comparison?

January 3, 2014 at 5:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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John Wahoo

You might also want to consider a 10-bit Eizo or NEC display for that price. Apparently the Dell is an 8-bit monitor which uses AFRC to achieve higher color resolution. Having said that, if you are on a Mac you can't get 10-bit color support anyway, which makes the Dell a valid choice.

January 3, 2014 at 11:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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@ Adriano

I´m keeping an eye on those as well, but Eizo and NEC do not offer a 4k device yet and if the dell could accurately redroduce color in that kind of price range, it would be like killing two birds with one stone ;)

January 3, 2014 at 1:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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John Wahoo

I agree, on paper the Dell is quite impressive.

January 3, 2014 at 3:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Will i have to wave this tv around before the picture gets clear?

January 3, 2014 at 10:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kevin

It took me a minute to get this joke, but that was funny.

January 3, 2014 at 5:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I really, really wish that manufactures would focus more on delivering affordable sets with better contrast rendition and dynamic range. I spent 1,100 on a discounted sony TV (a friend works for retail, normally 1600$) and am disappointed with the terrible way that it washes out blacks.

They have a new technology (edge lit array) and are pitching it as a high tech, when the reality is this tech is a step down from full array. I wish I didn't jump the gun because I was getting a deal. I regret not going for a panasonic plasma.

High resolution means jack if the TV doesn't render terrific range. The sad fact is, that consumer's have terrible taste when it comes to images, hence the popularity of these terrible "motion flow" features.

January 3, 2014 at 11:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Inzitari

+1

January 4, 2014 at 7:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dear no film school. Can you please change the tenba ad's to not have a (nearly) naked sumo guy on a bike appear. I was eating when I clicked opn this article, now I am not hungry. :(

January 3, 2014 at 12:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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David

I wonder if it will be 60khz, not 30khz like Seiki. Seiki flickers in progressive 4k display.

January 3, 2014 at 2:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Radim Schreiber

Its hz, not khz. Never mind :-)

January 3, 2014 at 2:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Radim Schreiber

Idk. I think the 4k thing at this level is a gimmick (no offense) I mean the whole 8 bit, 30 kHz specs are comsumer numbers. Christ, look at the galaxy note III, would anyone shoot a film with that over a c100 because it's 4k? I don't think so. What excites me more than resolution is what comes with it (professionally speaking). More latitude, higher DR, sharper image etc. Hey I'm not bashing this unit, it can certainly work for anyone viewing 4k material, even Red promoted the Seki. But beyond this, 4k/UHD means more than just a technological advancement. I could be wrong but I was under the impression 4k is closer to a 35mm film negative with a lot more under the hood than 1080p. What benefit does 4k at 8 bit deliver over 10 or 12 bit 1080p 444? I think I'd rather have the 444 or even 1080p RAW for that matter over an 8 bit 4k image. Am I wrong? I think the next step regarding the big guys is putting the technology into the hands of consumers, as for filmmakers go the difference is as obvious as shooting 1080p with a flip camera vs shooting it with the f3/f5. I'd like to see a side by side comparrisson between the new canon oled 4k vs these guys. Who knows we might be surprised. Thanks

January 3, 2014 at 4:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anthony Marino

I think what is happening right now is that 4K is both easier to engineer (fewer than 100 PPI on a decent size TV set) and easier to sell. Everything else - higher HDR, higher frame rate, higher color bit sampling and even greater than 4K pixel density - is percolating in the background and will be released by the individual companies on a "per set" basis. Certainly, high HDR is available already on the OLED's but then you're looking at $8,999 (for a 55" 1080p Samsung). The best buy, btw, for a high contrast set is currently with the top Panasonic plasma sets that go for about $2K.

January 3, 2014 at 9:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

^^^ I don't believe that 4k necessarily promotes a higher dynamic range, someone please let me know if my assumption is wrong.

The blackmagic 4k actually has less dynamic range than the BMC.

January 3, 2014 at 4:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Inzitari

Because of global shutter not 4k. Don't mislead people Daniel.

January 3, 2014 at 7:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Heather

Sorry for the "misleading" part.... wasn't attacking you Daniel. My bad.

January 3, 2014 at 7:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Heather

No worries. I don't understand how a shutter effects the dynamic range though. I have heard this before, but I always thought the the image processing (sensor thru compression + gamma curves) is what determines a cameras range sensitivity.

January 19, 2014 at 2:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Inzitari

All 4k is not created equally

January 3, 2014 at 4:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jaye

My thoughts exactly.

January 3, 2014 at 11:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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50 inch 4K kinda small... Why not just go all the way:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R1HFGHQE5PBV74/ref=cm_cr_dp_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASI...

January 3, 2014 at 6:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juhan-i

Anyone studying comedy writing should read this guy's UHD 85" Samsung review on Amazon, then click on his name and plow through the others - kinda brilliant.

January 3, 2014 at 11:57PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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AlanM

If you search his name, you'll find out that he is a pro with several children graphic books to his credit.

January 4, 2014 at 3:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

The irony of your suggestions is that the more expensive 4K TVs are the ones that are actually selling. The cheaper ones are generally not selling nearly as much. Although no 4K is really selling that much. Less than 1% total market saturation currently. They hope to get to 5% in the next few years.

January 4, 2014 at 7:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I must admit. One year ago didn't think that the market would be talking 4k at the level they are now. Technology is speeding along at rates that most of us can't keep up with. Nice though. I hope we find a "4k standard" soon.

January 3, 2014 at 11:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I wonder with streaming 4K and IPS are putting caps on monthly bandwidth. How is this going to play out?

January 4, 2014 at 7:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Michael Bishop

There's a lot of political pressure from the content creators/owners to do away with caps. On the technical side, the current system is actually capable of far greater speeds anyway. The next standard - already approved, now waiting for the gear to be manufactured and distributed - can handle up to 10 Gbps downstream, a 1,000 times faster than what an average household has today.

January 4, 2014 at 9:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

More 4k for 4k haters to hate.

January 5, 2014 at 1:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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AAIM

If it cannot do the UHD specs outlined by ITU like a fair representation of the REC 2020 color gamut and reproduce high frame rates, 10 and 12 bit depth, etc., and cannot be calibrated to pro standards then the TV has no use to me.

Hell, even HDMI 2.0 cannot transmit what the ITU has outlined for UHD and 8k standards because it too was announced long before the broadcast rules were set.

Cheap, junky 4k isn't going to wow anyone. We have another cart before the horse scenario with TV's being introduced before the standards are ratified.

January 9, 2014 at 4:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan H

4K at present is a novelty like 1080 3D was a few years back. If u ran and bought a 3D anytime betwwen then and now u ended up with nothing but bragging rights that u had a 3D TV. This is so since there is very little 3D content out there and because the cell phone, tablet and camera industries have not taken any sinificant steps to make 3D a desirable or ubiqutous standard. The same will likely soon be the case for 4K... let's face it: we already see every wrinkle and makeup line on an actors face... when true hi res 4K becomes a reality we'll be able to see an actor's DNA. Thanks, but no thanks... most the content being produced out there ain't fit for the living room. Keep it at 1080 and provide technology that makes the old stuff look as good az the new. Make my smartphone the processor formy TV and let me stream from it to my 60" and interphase with a wireless keyboard and touch pad....oh wait I already do that! I'll get a 4K 5yrs from nowwhen the tech is standardized and the 80" is $600 of course I might just hold out for the 16K by then!

January 9, 2014 at 5:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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sierra

interestingly enough, film might make a comeback. all the filmmakers have to do is transfer to what ever is the standard and all the producing equiptment stays current , like the old times only one master and let tech take care of distribution

January 16, 2014 at 7:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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emilio murillo