Ultra HDTV sets were the eye candy at January’s Consumer Electronics Show and no matter what acronym you use to describe the technology — 4K TV, UHD or Ultra HDTV — the picture offered by these new flatscreens is drool-worthy.
But the cost! The 85-inch S9 Ultra HDTV that Samsung (SSNLF) unveiled at CES (the one with the suspended frame) was blasted in just about any 4K TV review for its price tag, which was estimated at $35k. By the time Samsung actually got around to releasing the S9 UHD TV, that sticker shock was even worse, at an astronomical $45k MSRP.
The good news is that if you happen to be in the market for a big screen TV from a leading manufacturer that offers Ultra HD resolution, Sony (SNE) has you covered with its 65-inch LED Ultra HDTV, the XBR65X900A. While not quite as immense as the Samsung behemoth, it’s still a big flatscreen and it offers the same 4K TV pixels, at a fraction of the cost.
The Sony has an MSRP of $5,500. Sure, it isn’t exactly cheap, but for a high-quality set from a premium manufacturer, it’s a heck of a lot less that expected. If you’re looking for an Ultra HDTV on the cheap as a holiday gift, Chinese manufacturers like Seiki are flooding the U.S. market with sets under $1k, but they’re much smaller and a 4K TV review that compares these bargain sets to premium versions will point out the compromises like lower picture quality, cheaper plastics, fewer ports and bare bones remotes.
Here are the details on Sony’s ‘affordable’ 4K TV: