At the 2014 edition of CES Unveiled, Chinese TV manufacturer Seiki showed off a fairly amazing little accessory: The U-VISION 4K Upconversion HDMI Cable. While the name might be a mouthful, the concept behind this cable is so simple it seems bound to find success.
4K UHD TVs are all the rage at this year's CES—yet the impressive displays also tend to cost a rage-inducing amount of money. Seiki itself debuted one of the most-affordable 4K TVs last year; the 50-inch SE50UY04 was only $1,500 at the time of its release.
Unfortunately, that relatively affordable TV suffered immensely from a glaring lack of native 4K content at the time. Enter the U-VISION cable, a $40 solution that—assuming it works as it appears to—could save savvy consumers thousands of dollars.
I watched Seiki's upconversion cable in action, and was pretty impressed. Blu-ray footage on the 4K demo display looked crisp and detailed—much more so than it normally would have. The cable uses an integrated chipset—the Technicolor-certified Marseille VTV-1222. The conversion chip does the work of upscaling content before it ever gets to the display, a process that's normally part of the integrated hardware of UHD TVs.
Not only does the U-VISION 4K Upconversion HDMI Cable upscale 1080p content to 4K, it can also allegedly upscale 720p content—the standard used by most cable TV providers—to 1080p. The little cable that could should be available by Q1, 2014.