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4K TV makers’ competition heats up

Jiji Press

New models of 4K ultra-high-definition TVs are displayed at a home appliances store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, on Friday.

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Competition among manufacturers of 4K ultra-high-definition televisions is heating up further following the start of 4K and 8K broadcasting.

Major Japanese electric appliance makers have already boosted their release of 4K-compatible TV models ahead of the full start of the 4K and 8K broadcasting on Dec. 1.

“People who became interested in 4K TVs and come to stores are increasing,” said a public relations official at major electronics retailer Bic Camera Inc. Almost all TVs with 40-inch-or-larger screens at large-scale retail stores are now compatible with 4K.

To watch 4K and 8K programs, dedicated turners or TVs with built-in tuners are necessary. The built-in models cost ¥20,000 to ¥30,000 more.

In the 4K TV market, the three major Japanese TV makers — Sony Corp., Panasonic Corp. and Sharp Corp. — have been vying for the lion’s share.

Amid the intensifying competition, the average price for 55-inch 4K-compatible TV sets has dropped by some ¥70,000 since October 2016 to less than ¥150,000, private-sector research firm BCN Inc. said.

New entrants, such as foreign makers and retailers, are fueling the price reduction race toward the year-end shopping season, industry people pointed out.

Chinese major electronics manufacturer Hisense Group, which has acquired the TV business of Toshiba Corp., will soon launch the A6800 series, which has a built-in tuner to receive 4K broadcasting, hoping to sell a 50-inch model for ¥107,784 including tax.Speech

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