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4K TVs: Will There Be Small Screens?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (July 24, 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

Q. I read your article about the pros and cons of 4K on sets less than 60 inches. Do you think TV makers will sell 4K sets 42 inches like HDTV? Or even smaller? -- Brownie, Marina Del Rey, California.

Brownie, there is a growing consensus in the industry that 4K TVs look best on very large screens, such as the 84-inch sets now offered by LG and Samsung. 4K offers four times the resolution of current 1080p HDTVs, but to actually appreciate all those extra pixels, you need a large screen and you need to sit closer to the TV.

However, there's a problem with that little fact. At 84 inches or larger, the 4K set will be too expensive for the average consumer for years to come; they currently are going for nearly $20,000.

So to generate interest among the masses, TV manufacturers are now launching 55-inch and 65-inch 4K sets that can be priced at $5,000 or less. Although display experts have doubts about whether consumers can detect the difference in a 4K set that "small," the TV makers are determined to find out.

And they won't stop there. You can bet on 4K sets in the 40-inch range sooner than later. And even smaller.

In fact, Dell is now showcasing a 32-inch 4K monitor at industry conferences with plans to bring it to market in the fourth quarter. No pricing has been announced, but you can bet Dell will charge a pretty premium for it. ( notes that Asus is selling a 31.5 inch 4K monitor for $3,500.) Still, it will be far less expensive than those 84-inch monsters, which could attract status-conscious consumers who won't be able to resist the lure of owning a 4K monitor.

I don't think the smaller-screen 4K sets will help sell 4K in the long run. But it wouldn't be the first time that TV manufacturers did something I disagreed with, would it?

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Phillip Swann is president and publisher of 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 or at 703-505-3064.

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