The holiday season saw positive sales for ultra-high definition 4K television screens, and retailers saw legions of discounted screens travel off the shelves and into living rooms across the country. But now that the holiday sales have passed and the roll-out of 2015’s 4K content is still months away, is there any reason to buy into the UHD lifestyle anytime soon? In lieu of a putting down the money for a 4K television, savvy consumers could easily purchase a extra-large, last-generation OLED HD screen at a reasonable price and spend the difference on better bundle from their cable provider. Though the hyper crisp picture of 4K television has its allure, there are some legitimate reasons to put off the upgrade for another year.
“The hyper crisp picture of 4K television has its allure, but it might benefit you to be patient.”
Technology improves while barriers deteriorate
Wired noted that the current 4K marketplace is strictly split between television manufacturers vying for a secure piece of the UHD pie. Only some 4K televisions will be Netflix compatible – the company has recently released a recommended television list for consumers looking to access the streaming company’s ultra-high definition archives. Set-top-box companies like Roku are still behind on the curve in terms of releasing a universal solution for getting 4K content on any UHD-capable television, so consumers are forced to choose from a short (but growing) list of specific screen models if they’re interested of watching 4K content at all. Thankfully, UHD’s slow crawl toward relevancy has an upside for patient consumers. Consumer technology dramatically improves over short periods of time, so the longer a family waits to upgrade, the more advanced their 4K television will be.
Content still just a trickle
Brand wars that restrict access is just a part of a the problem for 4K adopters – the large pool of premium content that would justify the purchase of a UHD television is far from complete. TechHive pointed out that the major networks have little interest in 4K broadcasts, noting that the small number of 4K adopters makes the project a big expense with little immediate payoff for investors. 4K Blu-Ray discs are on their way later this year, but this delivery format adds an extra expense (a compatible player) to the cost of an UHD television. These issues, like the overall quality of 4K televisions on the market, will only improve over time.
Local infrastructure is far from 4K ready
One of the biggest reasons that consumers should avoid rushing into the purchase of a 4K television is the simple fact that most of the world’s infrastructure isn’t read for ultra-high definition broadcasts. 4K.com warned that less than 20 percent of American households have an Internet connection sufficient to stream UHD content. Until this number begins to steadily rise, there may be an unavoidable cap on 4K adoption. With new regulations aimed at internet and cable providers later this year, more Americans may have access to broadband and this chain of events will put 4K in a better position to succeed. Until then, consumers may want to spend their entertainment budget their channels selection.