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