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Ultrahigh-definition TVs steal CES spotlight

Wednesday, 8 Jan 2014 | 5:05 PM ET
CES 2014: The 4K moment
Wednesday, 8 Jan 2014 | 2:00 PM ET
CNBC's Jon Fortt and Mashable Technology Editor Pete Pachal discuss whether ultrahigh-definition TVs are worth their steeper price tags.

Ultrahigh-definition televisions may have grabbed more of participants' attention than curved screens at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but consumers probably need further persuading to shell out for all those extra pixels.

So-called 4K TVs, which have four times the resolution of other HD TVs, are being displayed by LG, Sony, Samsung and many other manufacturers at the show.

An attendee poses next to Samsung's 110-inch 4K television at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas.
Getty Images
An attendee poses next to Samsung's 110-inch 4K television at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas.

"I would say this is the year of 4K," said Mashable Technology Editor Pete Pachal. "Last year it had a big breakout, but this is the year it's finally getting real."

There are always early adopters who want to brag about having the latest and greatest technology, he said. But even those enthusiastic enough to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for 4K resolution on a 70-inch screen will find a relative dearth of 4K-quality content to choose from.

Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and the lesser-known M-GO streaming video service are developing more content to take advantage of the technology, however, according to Pachal.

Some manufacturers, such as Vizio, are pricing a few of their 4K TVs at about $1,000, he added, but "to really see the benefits of 4K, you're going to want a 70, 80, even larger set, and that's when you get into those higher prices."

—By CNBC's Althea Chang