Seiki Introduces 40-Inch Ultra HD Monitors, Muse Streaming Service

Two years ago, Seiki challenged major display manufacturers like Sony and LG when it introduced a 50-inch Ultra HD television for only $1500 at a time when the competition was asking $5000 for pretty much the same thing. Of course, it was a bare-bones TV without any connectivity features or even 60 Hz operation, but many consumers put them in their living rooms and some users even pressed them into service as computer monitors.

At CES 2015, Seiki introduced two new computer-specific monitors with the SM32UNP and SM40UNP 32- and 40-inch Ultra HD displays.

We've been hoping to see VA technology and 4K in the same product, and it looks like Seiki is the first to provide it. VA, which stands for "Vertical Alignment," promises the color quality and wide viewing angles of IPS but with significantly higher contrast. In our last review of a VA screen, BenQ's BL3200PT, we measured almost two-and-a-half times the contrast ratio of the next-best IPS monitor. That's mainly thanks to deep black levels, which make images look more three-dimensional while retaining excellent shadow detail in the darkest content.

High contrast makes the most impact on gaming and movie-watching. You know how blacks often look grayish and flat on most computer monitors. VA comes much closer to a high-quality HDTV's greater image depth, and in our experience, color accuracy can be at or near the professional level.

Whether Seiki can deliver that kind of accuracy in a budget screen remains to be seen, but we are hopeful. The SM32UNP and SM40UNP also offer 350cd/m2 brightness, 12-bit color depth, HDMI 1.4 (upgrading to 2.0 in Q2), DisplayPort 1.2 (going to 1.3 in Q2) and up to four sources in its picture-by-picture mode. 60 Hz operation is supported over DisplayPort at the outset. Also included is a four-port USB 3.0 hub. Initial availability will be in Q1 at an as-yet undisclosed price.

Muse Streaming Media Service

Remember the Ultra HD TV mentioned above? Seiki has not left that line alone. For 2015 it's adding connectivity in the form of its Muse Streaming Media Service. Added to both its HD and Ultra HD TV lines, it will bring in popular services such as Netflix, YouTube, VUDU and others.

Seiki now markets Ultra HD TVs in 40-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch sizes, and all will incorporate Muse by the second quarter of 2015. Muse is also being added to Seiki's HD line in 32-, 40-, 42-, 50-, 55- and 65-inch sizes in Q1. The Ultra HD models will come with HDMI 2.0 connections for full 60 Hz support at a resolution of 3840 x 2160. Networking is possible either through a wired Ethernet jack or built-in WiFi.

No pricing has been announced yet, but we expect Seiki to undercut the major display companies by a significant amount.

Christian Eberle is a Senior Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware, covering Monitors and TVs. Contact him at Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Christian Eberle
Contributing Editor

Christian Eberle is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware US. He's a veteran reviewer of A/V equipment, specializing in monitors. Christian began his obsession with tech when he built his first PC in 1991, a 286 running DOS 3.0 at a blazing 12MHz. In 2006, he undertook training from the Imaging Science Foundation in video calibration and testing and thus started a passion for precise imaging that persists to this day. He is also a professional musician with a degree from the New England Conservatory as a classical bassoonist which he used to good effect as a performer with the West Point Army Band from 1987 to 2013. He enjoys watching movies and listening to high-end audio in his custom-built home theater and can be seen riding trails near his home on a race-ready ICE VTX recumbent trike. Christian enjoys the endless summer in Florida where he lives with his wife and Chihuahua and plays with orchestras around the state.

  • CaedenV
    Toms! Please review these monitors on release! Spec-wise the 40" monitor is exactly what I am looking for to replace my old 28" monster. It will offer slightly higher pixel density, and a lot more real estate than my current monitor. Plus with newer backlighting technology I will finally be able to get away from the bleed issues I have had to live with for the last 6 years.

    ... I suppose I will also need a GPU to power the thing. I wonder if the 970 is going to come down in price between now and then.
  • toddybody
    Im so excited for the 40inch computer monitor 40inches, the 110dpi is in the sweet spot shared by 27" 1440p displays. Combine this with G-Sync and (pipedream) OLED...stick a fork in me,, display heaven
  • soldier44
    If the price is right for the 40 incher Its my next upgrade over my aging 5 year old 30" 2560 x 1600 HP.
  • lancelot123
    I've been waiting for a 40-42" UHD monitor to come out for some time now. Ideally it would be the same height as a vertical U2412M so I can put the two I have on the sides of it. I might need to wait for 16:10 versions to get the perfect size though. If they will even make them.

    The other option would be to wait for a 21:10 monitor with the same height as the U2412M. This seem even more unlikely though. Would probably need to settle for a 21:9
  • Thor God Of Thunder
    I use a 40" Toshiba LED for my monitor right now. 1920x1080. It will be nice to see monitors and or 4K tv's with 1080P,1440P and 4k resolutions. That way people can go in steps up to 4k gaming depending on their graphics card capability.
  • velocityg4
    Can't wait for the HDMI 2.0 version. Why would I buy one that is limited to 30hz when in a couple of months it'll be 60hz? Assuming this has good refresh rates for gaming. I'd love to replace my old 24" 1920x1200 display.
  • chumly
    12-bit refers to the monitor's processing, and not the color depth.

    10 bit (8+2) is the highest you can actually get on a monitor.

    This monitor, according to other sources is actually 6-bit, in other words, crap.

  • remosito
    > We've been hoping to see VA technology and 4K in the same product

    You mean like the Philips 40" 4k monitor?
  • fuzzion
    having just tested the oculas set, not really too excited.
  • Xivilain