New technology is expensive. It’s the stuff of the rich, the indebted, the geek elite, the early adopters who are eager to spend their money, to be the first on the block to test the waters, and let the rest of us know if it's time to take a dip.
When it comes to 4K TV, the data shows that the water is just fine.
Televisions manufacturers have been trying to tell consumers for years that 4K television is the next big thing in video and, like other new TV technology, has been prohibitively expensive. That’s no longer the case.
In fact, according to our data, the average price for a 4K TV dropped around 40% - from around $1,000 to just $600 - over the holiday season at retail giant Target ($TGT). Not only is that a massive dive in average price, it’s also signaling a landing point under $1,000 for 4K TVs that makes the technology not just affordable, but ulimately ubiquitous. In fact, when looking at new inventory of televisions at online retailers, most (more than half) are 4K capable.
Why should you care? Number one, because 4K video is beautiful, especially when paired with HDR (high-dymanic range). The mix of high resolution (4K) and realistic lighting variances (HDR) makes for a home entertainment experience jump that we haven’t seen since the jump to high definition over a decade ago.
A price trend of this magnitude shows that the technology is costing less to manufacture while marketers are determining that the price point should entice more mainstream consumers. While a dip in consumer electronics prices is normal for the fall holiday season, a drop this precipitous is not. Expect more drops - if not as severe - next fall for the 2018 line of 4K televisions, and expect 4K to be commonplace by the 2020 Olympic games.
That’s all good news for the electronics and content industry, too. As streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple, and Vudu continue to churn out new programming, they’re increasingly releasing new shows and movies in 4K HDR. A healthy entertainment and home electronics industry is good for all of us, at least if it means we’ll be well entertained on our couches for years to come.