Sony 55" and 65" 4K UHD TVs competitively priced, arrive this summer

By on April 8, 2013, 2:00 PM

Sony announced yesterday that its 55-inch (XBR-55X900A) and 65-inch (XBR-65X900A) 4K UHD LED televisions will retail for $4,999 and $6,999, respectively. The company says it will be taking orders for the new consumer TVs as early as April 21, although they won't actually ship until this summer.

Additionally, the electronics maker will be debuting a new line of professional 4K UHD OLED monitors both next month and in 2014. Prices were not announced, however there is little doubt they'll be considerably more expensive per inch than either of the LCD-based consumer models mentioned above. Neither the XBR-55X or the XBR-65X are OLED, which gives them an intrinsic advantage in terms of price. 

According to Sony, their consumer offerings will include:

  • All content is viewed at the highest resolution possible with enhanced images reaching near 4K with Sony’s proprietary two-chip  4K X-Reality PRO picture engine
  • All colors, including difficult blues, greens and reds, are delivered naturally and accurately through TRILUMINOS™ Display
  • An immersive picture draws in viewers with blacker blacks and excellent contrast produced with dynamic edge-lit, LED backlighting
  • Amazing sound from the integrated 65 Watt, front-facing, magnetic fluid speaker system complements the stunning picture
  • A cinematic experience is brought to life through Full HD 3D and passive glasses
  • Entertainment choices are endless with WiFi™ connectivity, including access to the full Sony Entertainment Network suite of services

Ultra High Definition displays boast a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels; that's about four times the number of pixels found on typical HD (i.e. 1080p) equipment. In professional circles, "4K" had long been shorthand to denote visual media that is 4096 pixels wide; however, companies and consumers alike have adopted the term to include 2160p even though it technically falls a bit short. Similarly, 8K and UHD's high-end 4320p standard have also been crossed, now labeled as "8K UHD".

With UHD-capable equipment arriving, there still remains a shortage of UHD media. Interestingly, Sony is set to take on the challenge of providing UHD content by releasing its own UHD content delivery service this fall. Additionally, Sony's own UHD player is slated for release this summer, possibly alongside its UHD televisions.

Japan also announced plans to make 4K UHD broadcasts the norm by 2014 and even 8K by 2016. ExtremeTech took an interesting look at the challenges of broadcasting UHDTV signals




User Comments: 17

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howzz1854 said:

Wow... that's actually quite a reasonable price consider it was just $40K a year ago. kudos to SONY for making it more attainable, maybe not for the majority of consumer just yet, but at least to some.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I read something about competitive prices in the headline so I opened the post. Seeing the prices I thought my glasses needed cleaning so I cleaned them. I reexamined the prices but they hadn't changed. The only other conclusion I can come to is my screen may be playing up or maybe even my graphics card (I don't think my GTX 670 is powerful enough to display such big numbers) because the prices I thought I saw don't exactly look competitive to me... I'll wait for these 4K contraptions to become mainstream thank you. You'll get more for less.

1 person liked this | Guest said:

Ultra High Definition displays boast a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels; that's about four times the number of pixels found on typical HD (I.e. 1080p) equipment.

It's not "about" four times the number of pixels of 1920x1080 standard HD, it's exactly four times the amount of pixels. Sloppy writing.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Talk about the speed of price drop! HDTV-s took 30 times longer for the prices to collapse like this!

50k, then 30k a month later, 25k a month later, 10k - 2 weeks later, 5k another week later. We should see UHDTV under 4k (ironically) by summer.

This will also give a nice kick to 4K Monitor manufacturers who sell their products for way too much now. The cheapest one is from Sharp for $5500 just won't do. It's not even that good.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Wow... that's actually quite a reasonable price consider it was just $40K a year ago. kudos to SONY for making it more attainable, maybe not for the majority of consumer just yet, but at least to some.

Huh? It was 40K 3 month ago. Check the pricing history!

Correction, 2 month ago, check this: [link]

Samsung wants 40,000 euro for their 85" panel. Who will ever buy it, if there is already a 65" for 1/6 of that price on offer? That's insane. 6 times for the extra 20 inch - I don't think so, it doesn't add inches to your... to pay that much...

JC713 JC713 said:

When Netflix begins to stream 4K, the prices will drop like a rock.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

America is 15 yrs behind in broadcast technology.... Da Ya Think....

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

When Netflix begins to stream 4K, the prices will drop like a rock.

More like when 4K content is readily available (without a $700 4K media player), and the average speed of internet in North America leaves the 2-3mbit range is when the prices with "drop like a rock". You can't even stream 1080p with those speeds without buffering for 5mins+ first.

The price is probably low because the tech isn't as expensive as say, OLED, and because they know it's going to take a low price to get existing customers to leave 1080p for 2160p. What I do know for certain, is I'm not excited at all about this tech one bit, and I love tech.

Guest said:

I rarely find 1080p streams, always 720p, no point in 2160p just yet for video. However release a 30 inch 2160p desktop monitor, I'll buy that...

JC713 JC713 said:

I am excited for this. But I agree with you. Internet must improve first before 4K becomes mainstream. What is interesting though is that my old ISP Cablevision gave me slower speeds but I Was still able to stream a 1080P video no problem. Now with FIOS, buffering takes forever despite having double the upload and a bit more download.

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

When the prices come down below a $1000 and in Walmart then most people will get one. Not before then. The way it is. Sad but true. But really why do I want to get one of these only to watch everthing the cable broadcast in 1080i? Some in 720p still? 4K disc players? Movie cost for one shot in 4K native for that player? I'll wait thanks.

JC713 JC713 said:

I was able to get a Samsung 55" 240Hz LED Smart TV (2011 model) + a Blu Ray player + wireless adapter combo back in 2011 for like around $1200. By far one of the better deals I have gotten.

Footlong Footlong said:

I'm trying to figure it out. The avarage house in Japan is much smaller than the american one. How on earth the 65" screen will respect view. You will be to close to the tv or you will have to unfurnish your house to get away from such monstrosity.

stbecker said:

This is another iteration of number of pixels when we should be focused on density. I can tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on my 70" now. Going to UHD (4K or 8K) is an awesome step, and realistically should mitigate clarity issues for anything below 100". But again, you can stretch something wide enough to eventually see the difference in pixel size. Using a density reference, like dots per inch, would take care of that. We do it with monitors. We "should" do the same with televisions.

Somewhat separately, I am impressed by the price point. That first 85" from Samsung looks sweet but cost more than both of my vehicles combined. When comparing these new models, the price is suddenly reasonable, albeit still expensive enough for me to avoid for awhile. What I expect to see is the larger models (70" and beyond) to fall in line at some point -- a year or two. I'll wait that long to upgrade my 1080 70" to a 85" 4K (or higher) if I can snag it for $5K or less.

Price will come down, but what we're not seeing yet is ANY "relevant" content. I'm not interested in having only video on demand for full length theatrical productions. I want over the air broadcast of my local channels (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, etc) during primetime in the native resolution before I upgrade.

If Netflix can shove 1080p content across the wire at under 6 Mbps, then we'll see UHD content within 15-20 Mbps. And that's with little improvement on compression. I'm not so concerned here. Broadband "should" also get cheaper/faster as time goes along.

Overall, I am keenly watching where we go with price, content, and delivery. This represented a solid step in the price category.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ultra High Definition displays boast a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels; that's about four times the number of pixels found on typical HD (I.e. 1080p) equipment.

It's not "about" four times the number of pixels of 1920x1080 standard HD, it's exactly four times the amount of pixels. Sloppy writing.

Some "typical HD" equipment only go up to 720P. (But usually in the 32" range or lower.) So, it's correct in the article.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This is another iteration of number of pixels when we should be focused on density. I can tell the difference between 720 and 1080 on my 70" now. Going to UHD (4K or 8K) is an awesome step, and realistically should mitigate clarity issues for anything below 100". But again, you can stretch something wide enough to eventually see the difference in pixel size. Using a density reference, like dots per inch, would take care of that. We do it with monitors. We "should" do the same with televisions.

You make a good point with density, especially when considered against distance. You lose detail the further you sit back from the screen. At some measurable point the details will blend together and the screen size will matter as much as the resolution. I picture the 55" here would look good up close as though it were on a desk. But when viewed from a distance as if were in a living room you would need to move your couch up to see these fine details.

I do hope that these sets drive down the costs of existing televisions. Also, create a demand for larger displays as well. I'd like to purchase a 80"+ set for under $800 at some point.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Prices for 4K seem to collapse even faster than I was predicting: [link]

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