Sapphire joins the 2160p LCD TV party

Posted by Theo Valich

Taipei (Taiwan) – Not that you could really take advantage of the resolution of a quad HDTV today, but just in case you want to run a video game in 8.3 megapixel resolution – four times what current 1080p TVs offer - on a 56” display, Sapphire will be the second company we know of that is actually selling such a display. The bragging rights of owning such a TV come at a hefty price, of course.

Westinghouse was the first company to offer a commercial quad HDTV, which apparently has been available since January of last year. Since Blu-ray is stuck at 1920 x 1080- pixels at this time and most of consumers are perfectly happy with 720 x 480 pixels offered by DVD, there is virtually no market for a 2160p display, translating into a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution. However, as graphics cards get much more powerful, more industry applications that rely on high image quality and the deep-pocketed gamer crowd may find these TVs worth their attention.


At Computex, Sapphire showed its “4K”, a massive 56” quad HDTV. There were no further technical specifications available, but we did hear that the device will be selling for just under $60,000. We recently heard that Westinghouse’s 52” version can be purchased for somewhere near the $40,000 mark, while you should count on spending six figures on Samsung’s 82” model, if the company decides to put it out on the market this year.  

Sapphire also had its traditional batch of graphics cards on display, including the existing ATI Radeon 3870 Atomic Edition 3850 Ultimate and upcoming models such as Radeon 4850 and 4870 models. Any single one or even combination of these products will be challenged by Sapphire’s 4K TV.

Another interesting product the company showcased was a 3D LCD monitor. It seems that 3D started to get quite some traction, since Zalman recently expanded its portfolio line with a huge 3D LCD TV. However, I personally consider this technology obsolete and expect more to come from Dolby 3D. We are still waiting for a PC/Display manufacturer to come forward with a LCD monitor and $50 glasses, instead of the cheap $2 goggles most manufacturers use today.