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Check Out a Hands-On Video of the $699 39-inch Seiki 4K TV

Posted by Jim Tanous on July 22, 2013

After announcing it in June, budget television manufacturer Seiki has released its highly-affordable 39-inch 4K TV and the fine folks at PC Perspective have a first-look hands-on video.

The 39-inch 16:9 panel carries a retail price of $699 and sports a resolution of 3840-by-2160. It features HDMI, VGA, and component input, along with analog audio ports for both input and output. You’ll need to use HDMI or Component for 4K, but all inputs also support lower resolutions such as 1080p and 720p, which are then upscaled internally.

Although marketed as a television, the Seiki 4K TV shows much promise as a desktop computer monitor. Traditional monitors top out at resolutions of 2560-by-1600 and new 4K monitors from companies like ASUS and Sharp cost up to $4,000. Compared to that, the Seiki’s $699 price tag sounds too good to be true and, unfortunately, it is. At least, in one important way.

Like its 50-inch sibling, the 39-inch Seiki 4K TV is limited to a 30Hz refresh rate at 4K resolutions. Comparatively, the more expensive 4K monitors can be configured for a rate of 60Hz and traditional desktop monitors can reach as high as 144Hz.

While a 30Hz refresh rate may be acceptable for certain kinds of video and desktop productivity applications, tasks that involve quick on-screen motion — such as gaming, fast motion video, and even user interface animations – will appear noticeably less smooth compared to displays with faster refresh rates, something that the PC Perspective video demonstrates.

Still, the incredibly cheap price of the Seiki 4K TV may be too hard to pass up, and those with certain usages in mind, such as a massive space for desktop productivity or fans of slower-moving strategy games, will be far less affected by the 30Hz refresh rate limit.

It’s clear that 4K is the future, and prices on higher-end models will eventually come down. Until then, those who want a taste of 4K on the cheap can check out Seiki’s 39-inch 4K TV today. The larger 50-inch model, released earlier this year, is also available for around $1,100. The company also expects to have a 65-inch model ready to ship later this year.

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