New York (TheStreet) -- The Consumer Electronics Show is always a chance for major electronic companies to show off what they think is the next big thing in TVs, and this year that trend is undoubtedly the rise of 4K or Ultra HD TVs.
4K is the next step up from 1080p, with 4K TVs holding more pixels than current 1080p HD displays. More pixels typically result in better, sharper images. Unfortunately, it also means higher prices for TVs. But with 4K content coming from the likes of Netflix (NFLX), Amazon (AMZN), and even Comcast (CMCSA) this year, this collection of 4K TVs might be enticing enough for those with deep enough pockets.
For everyone else, this list of TVs can help show you what your next TV will look like when prices start to come down in a year or two.
LG 105UB9 (105-inch Curved Ultra HDTV)
The LG 105UB9 is almost impossibly large with its gigantic 105-inch ultra-wide curved LCD display. To put that into perspective, the curved display measures 8.75 feet diagonally. The ultra-widescreen display has an aspect ratio of 21:9, and resolution of 5120x2160, far greater than the typical 4K resolution of 3840x2160. The ratio makes it great for watching movies in their native ratio, though finding content to fit the screen may be difficult at first, even with companies like Netflix and Amazon supplying 4K content.
Like a lot of high-end TVs, the LG 105UB9 won't be cheap. The company is expecting to price the set at $70,000.
Vizio Reference Series (120-inch)
Vizio wants to say it's created some of the best TVs ever with its new Reference Series which comes in both 65-inch and 120-inch models. The new 4K TVs use Dolby's new HDR technology for what should be the best lighting and color quality possible. The sets also have an integrated 5.1 soundbar with a wireless subwoofer for a quality surround sound experience out of the box. Vizio also built in an 802.11ac Wi-Fi receiver for the best possible Internet connection for apps like Netflix, Pandora (P), YouTube, and Hulu Plus.
Vizio hasn't announced pricing for the Reference Series yet, but plans to have the TVs out in the second half of 2014. The company is known for its surprisingly low prices, so these could end up being slightly more affordable than others on this list.
For a long time Panasonic was revered among home theater fanatics for keeping plasma TVs alive. While the Panasonic AX800 series uses LED panels, the Japanese electronics company claims the picture is as good as a plasma display. It's a bold claim to make for the first line of 4K TVs. The AX800 series will use Panasonic's new Viera Life+Screen Smart TV platform which has some unique Xbox One-like features like facial recognition and voice recognition in addition to media apps.
The Panasonic AX800 series will come to stores this spring with 58-inch and 65-inch models, with an 85-inch model coming later in 2014. There's no pricing available for any models of the new series.
Sharp Aquos 4K Ultra HD
Sharp's top-of-the-line TVs at CES this year are also some of the more inexpensive 4K TVs shown off at the show. The Sharp Aquos 4K Ultra HD Series comes in 60-inch and 70-inch models that are priced at $5,000 and $6,000, respectively.
Sharp is one of the few companies willing to put 3D into their 4K TVs with two Bluetooth Active 3D glasses included with every set, though they glasses are entirely optional. The TVs use dual-core processors to power Smart TV apps, and even have the option to split the screen between TV and a web browser. It's hard to imagine using a web browser on a TV when you have a smartphone or tablet readily available, but at least it's an option.
As the company responsible for TV shows like Breaking Bad and a wide range of movies, Sony is uniquely suited to push 4K TVs complete with content. The Sony XBR-X950B will be able to access 4K content from Sony's Video Unlimited service, and will support Netflix's new native 4K streaming. Of course, Sony will also include other features such as screen mirroring, near-field communication (NFC), and built-in Wi-Fi. It also comes with a trifecta of Sony buzzwords in X-Reality Pro, Triluminos, and ClearAudio+ -- just Sony's way of saying the TV has high quality picture and sound.
The Sony XBR-X950B will come to stores this spring in 85-inch and 95-inch models. There's no pricing available yet, but don't expect them to be cheap.
Samsung claims its U9000 is the "world's largest curved UHD TV," though it has the same size panel as the LG 105UB9. While Samsung would like you to remember the TV for its Auto Depth Enhancer feature which is supposed to let viewers see 3D effects without glasses, that's probably not how it will be remembered. Instead, the Samsung U9000 is probably best known as the TV that director and producer Michael Bay tried and failed to talk about on stage before getting too flustered and abruptly departing the stage.
With content partners such as Amazon, Comcast, Netflix, EA (EA), and Gameloft, and a unique multitasking feature, the Samsung U9000 promises to be an interesting high-end TV, even if Michael Bay can't manage to talk about it. The TV will come out sometime this year, and will probably be quite expensive.