Although interest in 4K television is understandably lukewarm at best–high definition only arrived about 15 years ago, the standard it replaced lasted half a century, few people are itching to replace the sets they’ve bought in the last decade when they still work, and there’s precious little 4K content–39-inch 4K televisions are proving to be popular.
But they aren’t going in living rooms. They’re going on desks, connected to computers.
I’ve heard from three different independent sources in the last two days about this. People will buy a $500 39-inch 4K TV like this Seiki, and use them to replace multiple monitors. You get roughly the viewing space of 4 20-inch monitors, but with a lot more vertical space than you get with a multi-monitor setup. They’re especially nice for coding or web development, or so I’m told.
The display yields a modest 112 ppi, but that’s a comparable pixel density to a 22-inch display running at 1600×900.
And the people who do it rave about the results.
I won’t be jumping on this bandwagon anytime soon. Some of the work I do from home would benefit tremendously from a display of this size, but I don’t know how much longer I’ll be doing that specific type of work from home. I also have no idea whether Citrix would support a 3840×2160 display. But I usually connect to remote servers via terminal services at 1280×1024 or 1440×900 resolution, so I could work on four servers at a time the way I’m used to, and tuck portions of two more sessions strategically under the four active ones so I can keep an eye on something.
I can also see it being a big boon for spreadsheets. Now that I’ve gotten used to spreadsheets at 1600×900, I hate doing them in 1024×768.
For me, right now, $500 seems like the high side of justifiable, but I’m not having a difficult time at all finding uses for it. If I’m still doing a lot of 11PM server deployments or reconfigurations in six months I’ll have to give it more consideration. Especially if prices keep falling. Amazon sold them for $405 for one day during the Christmas buying season, so that’s possible.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.