Are ultra-high definition TVs ready for prime time?

Dr. Skott Ahn, LG Electronics Chief Technology Officer, speaks during a press conference during the 2013 International CES on January 7, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nev.

You've heard of HD TV, but now you'll be hearing a lot more about 4K TV, which is an even higher-definition TV. That's partly because TVs are getting bigger and bigger, when not too long ago a 46-inch TV was considered a 'big-screen' TV.

Samsung had one of these super-massive TVs on display yesterday at the International CES that was 85-inches -- that's 7-feet. As screen sizes increase, the problem becomes image sharpness.

"As TVs get bigger and bigger the screens and the pixels -- the distance between those pixels starts to grow and the picture quality can start to deteriorate, so it's time for a new high level of resolution," says Joe Stinziano, an executive vice president at Samsung.

But the problem is that not a lot of TV networks are using 4K cameras. This is the same problem HD TV ran into -- the technology came out before the networks switched over to HD cameras. So, viewers will not be able to see the full glory of 4K even if they buy one right now.

As for when the new product will hit shelves and how much it will cost? The 85-inch is coming out “sometime this year," and the company is staying mum about the price.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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