Tech giants Intel
and Samsung are joining forces to bring the price of 4K panels to under $400 by the end of 2014. Even so, the 4K market may not explode because of the lack of available 4K content. The partnership and Intel's plan were introduced at Computex 2014, an annual industry event in Taipei.
Intel's own research has shown that the majority of people are still using 1080p monitors and the price reduction could convince them to move to 4K panels by the end of this year.
During Intel's announcement, the chip maker focused on its partnership with Samsung but it will also be working with other companies in the 4K display market. Budget monitors will come from partnerships between Intel, ViewSonic, and TPV rather than just one company.
Monitors And All-In-Ones
Affordable 4K monitors were at the center of Intel's announcement but Intel will also be working with companies like PC OEM MSI to come out with all-in-one desktops that could cost as little as $999. Intel refrained from mentioning any specific release dates, though the monitors and all-in-ones are on track to be released this year.
Intel is working with Samsung specifically to manufacture 23.6-inch PLS 4K panels. Those monitors will hit the $399 price point. which means that they will cost around 50 percent less than the PLS (plane-to-line switching) and IPS (in-plane switching) monitors currently on the market. The PLS displays are not low-quality, as they are generally regarded as being similar to IPS, which is at the top of the display market.
All-in-one desktops have received a surprisingly large amount of attention at Computex 2014 and Intel's announcement focused on them as well. The company said that 4K Intel-based, all-in-ones could be released by the end of this year at $999, which is just slightly more expensive than most 4K monitors.
The Content Conundrum
People who have been waiting patiently for the cost of 4K monitors to come down may finally be able to buy them later this year. However, the 4K content is limited. The average person who watches a large amount of online video content will visit YouTube, Netflix, and maybe a handful of other Web sites. Since the vast majority of people on YouTube could never afford to create 4K content and most Netflix movies and TV shows are not shot in 4K, the benefit of spending $400 for a monitor is minimal.
Original content from Netflix is being released in 4K but outside of a select few shows, the majority of TV shows, movies, and videos are not in 4K and will therefore not look any better on a more expensive monitor. Until affordable 4K cameras begin to reach stores -- many of them currently cost upwards of $3,000 -- there may be very few reasons for someone to purchase a $400 4K monitor.
Posted: 2014-06-05 @ 11:46pm PT
This is great. Don't forget 4K cameras are being included in phones, like the Samsung S5, so lots of people will have their own 4K content. Games, photo editing, video editing all of this benefits from 4K too. Even text applications look better as the letters are sharper, crisper, clearer to read and cause reduced eye strain. I use my 4K monitor at a smaller size because it's easier on my eyes than my old 1080P and I can thus fit even more in to the screen. Windows 8.1 scaling at 150% works great for me.