In anticipation of broadcasters and TV distribution services offering ultra-high definition 4K content next year, Japanese consumer electronics manufacturers are ramping up marketing campaigns to create awareness for their own 4K television products. Digital TVs with 4K resolution offer image quality four times that of the regular high-definition images.
Sharp Corp., Sony Corp. and Toshiba Corp. will soon start marketing their 4K TV products priced at around 10,000 yen (97 US dollars) per inch. On May 21, Sharp released marketing information that it will be putting out two models of 4K television sets under the Aquos brand at prices below 1 million yen. Sharp’s 70-inch model will hit the market by June 15 at 850,000 yen (around 8,300 US dollars), while a 60-inch model will be sold starting Aug. 10 for 650,000 yen (around 6,300 US dollars). Japanese consumer electronic rival Sony plans to come up with 55-inch and 65-inch 4K models arriving in the market in June, priced at 500,000 yen (around 5,000 US dollars) and 750,000 yen (around 7,300 US dollars), respectively. Toshiba on the other hand wants to sell cheaper models, releasing a 58-inch and 65-inch model this summer at prices lower than the competition.
U.S.-based research company NPD DisplaySearch forecasts that sales of 4K TV sets in Japan will surge from 32,000 units in 2013 to 388,000 in 2016. Broadcasting services are also set to begin offering 4K TV content by the time the soccer World Cup in Brazil begins in July 2014.