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News Update
Seiki's 55-inch 4K TV Goes Exclusively to Sears
By Swanni


Washington, D.C. (November 12, 2013) -- This is an update on our earlier coverage of Seiki's less expensive 4K TVs. (See earlier stories below.)

Seiki, which is becoming known as the maker of low-cost 4K TVs, is now making available a $1,499 55-inch 4K TV at Sears.com and at 500 Sears retail outlets.

The set, model
SE55UY04, joins Seiki's 39-inch and 50-inch 4K models, which carry a suggested list price of $699 and $1,499 respectively, although both are available for less online.

Click to see Amazon page for the Seiki 50-Inch 4K TV

"In June, Seiki and Sears teamed up to introduce the 39-inch class 4K Ultra HD TV model, and demonstrated how it can be used for 4K digital entertainment as a TV or a PC monitor," Seiki said in a statement. "Sears will be an exclusive authorized retailer offering the Seiki 55-inch class 4K model."

The Seiki 55-inch 4K set features a thin piano-black finish bezel, a 54-.6 inch diagonal panel size, built-in digital and analog channel tuning, USB port for displaying 4K photos via a USB flash drive.

The set is also packaged with an HDMI 1.4 standard cable.

For Sears and Seiki, the exclusive pairing could help drive interest in 4K TVs during the holiday season. Consumers looking for bargains may take a chance on the less expensive model.



See earlier articles on this subject below.
____________________________________________________________________________

News Update
Seiki to Launch 39-Inch 4K TV For $699
By Swanni


Washington, D.C. (June 24, 2013) -- This is an update on our earlier coverage of Seiki's less expensive 4K TVs. (See earlier stories below.)

Seiki, which is becoming known as the maker of low-cost 4K TVs, is doubling down on that marketing strategy with the introduction of a 39-inch 4K set for just $699.

Earlier this year, Seiki launched a 50-inch 4K TV with a suggested retail price of $1,499, although Amazon.com has offered the set for as little as $949. But now Seiki says it will target "smart savvy (4K) and PC monitor buyers" with the 39-inch set.

The company said it will ship the $699 set to dealers by the end of the month.

The 4K TV purports to offer a resolution four times greater than today's 1080p HDTVs, but set prices from name brand TV makers range from $4,999 to $40,000. Seiki clearly hopes it can attract TV shoppers intrigued by the publicity surrounding 4K, but can't afford the more expensive sets.

“The first SEIKI 50-inch 4K model was the most talked about Ultra HDTV this year with its stunning picture quality and incredible price point,” Frank Kendzora, executive vice president for SEIKI Brand, said in a press release. “With the introduction of the SEIKI 39-inch 4K model, SEIKI has made 4K Ultra HDTVs even more affordable and ideal for PC users wanting to experience next-generation 4K computing. SEIKI will continue to expand its 4K Ultra HDTV line in 2013 to help accelerate the adoption of 4K digital entertainment and make it accessible to every consumer in the U.S. market.”

The Seiki 50-inch set has received mixed reviews with Gizmodo.com praising it and CNET and Consumer Reports calling it not much better than the average LCD TV.

Many display experts also say that consumers will have difficulty seeing any difference between a 4K TV and a 1080p TV unless it's at least 60 inches.



See our earlier coverage of Seiki 4K TVs below:
_____________________________________________________________________________
News Update
Is the $1,500 Seiki 4K TV Any Good?
By Swanni


Washington, D.C. (May 30, 2013) -- TV shoppers have been wondering whether the incredibly low-priced Seiki 50-inch 4K TV is, well, any good. At a suggested list price of $1,499, the set is $3,500 cheaper than Sony's 55-inch 4K TV, the closest comparable 4K TV on the market. How could it be of top-quality at that price? (It's now $1,271 at Amazon)

Well, Consumer Reports has weighed in and its verdict is that the Seiki 4K set is not very good. In fact, the consumer watchdog writes that
"unfortunately the Seiki turned out to be a mediocre to below-average LCD TV, albeit one with a higher-resolution screen."

Mediocre to below-average LCD TV. That's not exactly what you would expect when you buy a TV that purports to offer a resolution four times greater than today's 1080p HDTVs.

Consumer Reports adds: "The set does have a 120Hz refresh rate, but we didn't see much improvement on our motion-blur tests so this TV performed much like a regular 60Hz model. And unlike the larger LG, Samsung and Sony TVs, the company didn't invest in a more robust sound system. The TV also lacks a backlight control, which can be used to adjust brightness to compensate for ambient light conditions."

The publication did say that the Seiki picture looked better when displaying native 4K content

"The images we saw looked sharp and detailed, with image smoothness and depth. And there was no visible pixel structure, even when we moved close to the TV," Consumer Reports writes.

But it adds: "
However, when you consider that there is really no commercially available Ultra HD content, we believe most people would be better served by buying a regular 1080p set that delivers excellent HD picture quality, as high-definition programs look better on these sets than they do on the Seiki."

CNET, of course, had a similar verdict, giving the set an overall score of 5 out of a possible 10.

But one Gizmodo writer was impressed with the set.

"The price is so low, in fact, and the brand name is so unfamiliar, that you had to wonder if this television was a joke—or worse—a piece of garbage. I'm one of the first people in America to see this mythical creature, and I'll tell you right now: I can't believe my eyes," the Gizmodo reviewer said.

But now it looks like Gizmodo is outvoted, 2-1.

See our earlier coverage of the 4K TV reviews below:
_____________________________________________________________________


TV Answer Man

Is the Low-Priced Seiki 4K TV Any Good?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (May 9, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to swann@tvpredictions.com

Q. Is that low-priced 50-inch Seiki 4K TV any good? Seems like the low price is too good to be true. Your thoughts? -- Frank, Statesville, North Carolina.

Seiki has launched a 50-inch 4k that retails for $1,499, although you can find lower prices at online sites like
Amazon. The price is considerably lower than current 4K sets on the market, which cost up to $25,000. It's even lower than the upcoming Sony 55-inch and 65-inch 4K sets, which will be priced at $4,999 and $6,999 respectively.

(By the way, if you are not familiar with 4K TV, it purports to offer a resolution four times greater than today's 1080p HDTVs. For more information on 4K, click:
4K.)


When Seiki first announced that it would sell a low-priced 4K set, industry skeptics immediately pounced, saying it couldn't be of top quality. But Gizmodo.com reviewed the TV and came away impressed.

"
The price is so low, in fact, and the brand name is so unfamiliar, that you had to wonder if this television was a joke—or worse—a piece of garbage. I'm one of the first people in America to see this mythical creature, and I'll tell you right now: I can't believe my eyes," the Gizmodo reviewer said.

However, this week, CNET.com, which arguably has considerable more experience in reviewing new TVs, offered a more sobering assessment of the Seiki 4K set. The site gave the TV an overall score of 5 out of a possible 10.

And what about the picture quality?

"
The Seiki's picture just can't compete in those areas compared with other (non 4K) TVs in its price range. Black levels are poor, shadow detail murky, color relatively inaccurate, and the screen less than uniform. Its color isn't terrible, however, and there's nothing spectacularly wrong with the way it converts normal high-def content, like 1080i and 1080p, to fit the 4K pixel array. Yes, given 4K content it can look more detailed as long as you sit close enough, but conversely, at those close distances its imperfect video processing makes the best 1080p content look less detailed than on a 1080p TV. And at this point in time, nearly everybody will be watching 1080p content on the Seiki," CNET wrote.

So it seems that the jury is still out on the Seiki set. One vote yes from Gizmodo and a qualified no from CNET.

Consumer Reports said yesterday that it's now testing the set in its lab so maybe the watchdog publication can shed more light into the quality of the new, low-priced Seiki 50-inch 4K TV.

See More Answers from the TV Answer Man

Also see:
Top 100 TVs
TV's Over $1,500

TVs From $1,000 to $1,500

TV's From $500 to $1000

TV's Under $500

Top 100 Blu-Ray Players

Today's 10 Best-Selling Blu-ray Titles

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of TVPredictions.com. He has been quoted in dozens of publications and broadcast outlets, including CNN, Fox News, Inside Edition, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Financial Times, The Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter. He can be reached at
swann@tvpredictions.com or at 703-505-3064.



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