Finlux drops 4K prices to take on Chinese

Finlux, the consumer electronics brand owned by Turkish OEM manufacturer Vestel, has slashed the prices of its latest UHD 4K TV range to combat the growing threat of low-cost offerings from Chinese rivals such as Hisense, writes Steve May.

Speaking to ERT, Vestel CE product manager Amrit Kalher said: “Prices are only going one way, so we’ll be holding our Black Friday price points at least until the end of the year.”

Mr Kalher conceded that any increase in the New Year was “unlikely – after that, we’ll see”. He said that Finlux was determined to remain competitive.

Finlux is retailing its flat 55in 55UT3E310B, 49in 49UT3E310B and 43in 43UT3E310B 4K models at £600, £500 and £400 respectively. The curved 55in 55UX3EC320S is positioned at £800.

Said Mr Kalher: “Curve continues to be seen as a premium proposition and 3D also continues to be a wanted feature among our buyers.”

The specification for the newly-released Finlux HD screens is high. HDMI inputs are HDCP 2.2 enabled, allowing them to work with UHD content sources, such as the Amazon Fire TV streamer and the upcoming 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray players, which use the next-generation copy-protection system. Netflix 4K and YouTube 4K apps are also provided, as well as BBC iPlayer, Twitter and Facebook. The company says it is “in discussions” with Amazon.

Mr Kalher refused to be drawn on a likely release date for Android-powered smart 4K sets, first teased by Vestel at IFA, but confirmed that it would also introduce Freeview Play-enabled TVs in 2016.

Finlux has also announced a partnership with US audio specialist DTS, incorporating DTS TruSurround HD audio processing into its sets, said to improve dialogue clarity and maximise bass response.

“When you have a high-quality image, it makes sense to offer high-quality TV sound too,” said Mr Kalher.

Audio is increasingly an area of interest for Finlux. The brand has started to sell Phorus-branded PS5 wireless multi-room speakers, which use the DTS Play-Fi platform (“It’s a toe in the water for us…”), as well as a range of low-cost Bluetooth headphones.

The compact PS5 speakers support stereo pairing, enabling two to play in a two-channel configuration, and support Hi-Res Audio up to 24 bit/192 kHz. Music can be played to all speakers simultaneously, or different tracks streamed to individual rooms. The Play-Fi app also offers a variety of built-in music services, including Spotify, Deezer, Tidal and internet radio. In addition to wi-fi, users can stream content via Bluetooth.