At CES 2013, the name of the game is 'ultra HD'

Ultra HD displays will arrive on both TV sets and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones in 2013. 

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs speaks at the Qualcomm pre-show keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show, or CES, in Las Vegas, on Jan. 7, 2013. Qualcomm is introducing a new line of 800 chips capable of supporting so-called 'ultra HD' video playback.

Forget regular old HD. The name of the game at CES, the annual electronics confab in Las Vegas, is "ultra HD" – a video resolution approximately quadruple that of current television sets. 

In a keynote address yesterday, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs unveiled a new line of smart phone chips, including the Snapdragon 800, which he said would be fast enough to record and playback ultra-HD video.

So exactly what kind of screen clarity are we talking about here? Well, Ars Technica reports the chips could support resolutions as high as 4096×2304. (To put that in perspective, the new iPad, with retina display, boasts a resolution of 2048x1536.) Crystal clear, in other words – so much so that we wonder if the less hawk-eyed among us will even notice the difference. 

Qualcomm says the 800 series chips will hit mobile devices in the second half of this year. 

Meanwhile, the South Korean manufacturer LG said at CES that it would soon launch a new line of ultra HD TV sets in the US. According to the AP, the sets, which will come in 55-inch and 65-inch varieties, will get a resolution of 3840x2160 – a whopping "8 million [pixels] in all."

LG, it's worth noting, released an ultra HD set last year – back when it was called 4K – but that device measured 84 inches, or 7 feet, and was priced at $20,000. The new, smaller sets will likely be priced at under $10,000. 

Not exactly cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but cheaper. 

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