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TV makers woo millennials with high-def sets

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The local electrical shop in Ena is about 10 times the size of the one my parents have outside Northampton. Those HD screens are incredible, by the way. flickr/Gilgongo

AFP – Bigger, more beautiful and better connected: At the Consumer Electronics Show, which kicked off Tuesday in Las Vegas, TV makers flaunted top-notch models meant to lure a generation weaned on the internet.

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LG, Samsung, Sony and others touted the visual grandeur of new 8K super-high-definition screens, which are suited for TVs larger than 65 inches in diameter, a fast growing segment of the market.

The luxury sets are meant to appeal to millennials and Generation Z with features such as video streaming services, plus smart home and video games capabilities.

Samsung’s Sero TV, for example, pivots from landscape to portrait modes, the same way a smartphone or tablet lets a viewer flip a screen while watching a YouTube video, eliminating the black bands on the side.

“Screens have become lifestyle products,” said JH Han, president of Samsung’s  visual display business.

“It has never been so clear that the role of the screen is changing right before our very eyes.”

The newer sets go beyond the current 4K or ultra-high definition displays — already an upgrade from the first generation of flat panels – to 8K, with more pixels for the massive screens now becoming popular.

Rich 8K definition is meant to woo owners of huge flat screens, by packing more colour to fill larger viewing areas.

Networks and content creators alike are beginning to come together to cater to viewers with such screens.

Samsung, for example, is working with YouTube and other partners to stream 8K content directly to its most expensive TVs, according to Joe Stinziano, Samsung Electronics America executive vice-president.

He predicted 2020 would be a “tipping point” for 8K going mainstream.

Skyworth, a well-established TV maker in China, unveiled premium television models meant to break into the US and European markets.

“Only when the whole industry works together can it realise the full value of 8K to users,” said Skyworth TV chief executive Tony Wang.

“The entire 8K industry chain is reaching its full development and now is the best time to launch an 8K screen, when users can fully benefit from it.”

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