Would you buy a $20,000 TV?

Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-29 18:39:25-04

If you think you’ve got the latest and greatest TV out there, wait till you see what’s coming—Ultra-HD televisions.

They promise the best picture ever on huge screens, but with mega-price tags that start at $20,000, people won’t be rushing out to buy one anytime soon. Nevertheless, Consumer Reports had to get a look at the first wave of Ultra-HD TVs.

The 84-inch Ultra-HD television from LG is the biggest flat-screen TV that Consumer Reports has ever had in its test labs. Consumer Reports’ testers looked at the LG, as well as the first Ultra-HD sets from Sony and Samsung. When the sets are showing Ultra-HD content, the picture is indeed breathtaking, with crisp images and more detail than testers have ever seen.

There isn’t much UHD content. But those sets can take regular HD content that’s been up-converted. And, not surprising, that looks great, too. Testers also used test patterns to assess those new Ultra-HD sets and found some drawbacks. All three had problems common to most LCDs, such as motion blur and black levels that aren’t quite black.

OK, you don’t have $20,000 to spend on a new a TV. Consumer Reports recommends a 65-inch plasma TV from Panasonic, the Viera TC-P65VT50. It delivers excellent image detail and color, as well as deep black levels. At $3,300 it’s not exactly cheap, unless, of course, you’re comparing it with the cost of an Ultra-HD TV!