Sharp Unveils 64-Inch UHDTV With $31,000+ Price Tag: Not For Mere Mortals

By Alexandra Burlacu | Dec 16, 2012 10:55 AM EST

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Sharp has unveiled its ICC Purios, a 64-inch Ultra HD TV that will only be made-to-order starting in February, and will cost about $31,400.

With such a hefty price tag, the ICC Purios is definitely not for everyone, but it is the world's first THX-Certified Ultra High-Definition television. It sports a whopping resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, and it will be available in Japan starting February at a cost of 2.6 million yen. It is not yet certain when the TV set will make its way to the U.S.

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The ICC Purios aims to compete with Sony's 84-inch UHDTV, which costs 1.68 million yen (about $25,000) and Toshiba's 55-inch model, which is priced at 750,000 yen ($9,000). The Purios is obviously at the more expensive end compared to its competitors, and the mere fact that one has to pay a premium in order to get one proves that the TV set is not intended for the average consumer.

A number of companies are planning to launch 85-inch UHD televisions in the near future as well, and although the price is yet unknown, it's certain that they won't come cheap either.

UHD doubles both the width and height of 1080p, meaning it is virtually equal to the "4K" video footage professionals use. Instead of the 4K video footage spanning 4096 pixels across, the industry has decided to make 3840 pixels the next standard for consumer equipment.

On the other hand, although UHD sounds very exciting and seems to herald great things to come, there will be one major challenge to owning a UHD television set: finding UHD content.

Blu-Rays are still universally capped at just 1080p, though a UHD Blu-ray standard does appear to exist. Meanwhile, current digital broadcast signals don't have adequate bandwidth to deliver UHDTV content, which means consumers won't see any native UHD broadcasts at least for a good while. Moreover, while HDMI cables are physically capable of delivering UHD video, an HDMI standard has not yet been set. In other words, early adopters may spend a fortune on a UHDTV set without being able to enjoy UHDTV content yet.

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