4K TV Makers Competition Heats Up

Competition among manufacturers of 4K ultra-high-definition televisions is heating up further following the start of 4K and 8K broadcasting.

Major Japanese electric appliance makers have already boosted their release of 4K-compatible TV models ahead of the full start of the 4K and 8K broadcasting.

“People who became interested in 4K TVs and come to stores are increasing,” said a public relations official at major electronics retailer Bic Camera Inc. Almost all TVs with 40-inch-or-larger screens at large-scale retail stores are now compatible with 4K.

To watch 4K and 8K programs, dedicated turners or TVs with built-in tuners are necessary. The built-in models cost ¥20,000 to ¥30,000 more.

In the 4K TV market, the three major Japanese TV makers — Sony Corp., Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. have been vying for the lion’s share.

Amid the intensifying competition, the average price for 55-inch 4K-compatible TV sets has dropped by some ¥70,000 since October 2016 to less than ¥150,000, private-sector research firm BCN Inc. said.

New entrants, such as foreign makers and retailers, are fueling the price reduction race toward the year-end shopping season, industry people pointed out.

Hisense Group, which has acquired the TV business of Toshiba Corp., will soon launch the A6800 series, which has a built-in tuner to receive 4K broadcasting, hoping to sell a 50-inch model for ¥107,784 including tax.— The Japan News

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