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Sony's 4K TVs get priced

Sony has announced the official price and availability for its new XBR 4K Ultra HD LED TVs. The line includes the XBR-55X900A and the XBR-65X900A, which have screen sizes of 55-inches and 65-inches respectively. While some other manufacturers have offered ultra HD television sets at prices ranging all the way up to $20,000 or more, Sony is actually offering “reasonable” prices, at least comparatively.

The 55-inch TV will sell for $4,995 with the 65-inch version going for $6,999. Both TVs will be available for pre-order on April 21, but the final shipping date is unannounced. Along with pricing and launch information for the TVs Sony is also unveiled its 4K Media Player called the FMP-X1. This device will deliver movies and video shorts in 4K resolution for $699. The media player will be available later this summer.

55" XBR-55X900A
The media streamer itself will come bundled with 10 feature-length films and users will be given access to a fee-based distribution service offering a library of titles from Sony Pictures Entertainment and other production studios. The films that are included with the purchase include Bad Teacher, Battle: Los Angeles, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Karate Kid (2010), Salt, Taxi Driver, That's My Boy, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Other Guys and Total Recall (2012).

FMP-X1 4K Media Player

Sources: Sony [1], [2]

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They are selling these at useless sizes
By mcnabney on 4/8/2013 9:57:25 AM , Rating: 1
A 4K HDTV at 55 or even 65 inches is useless since a typical installation won't allow a sharper picture to be visible under normal use than 1080p is providing.

Why? Because the ideal viewing distance for that 55" display is about 4' and the 65" display is about 5'. How many typical living room arrangements puts the sofa that close to the TV? None.

4K should be either much larger (75"+) for the living room or much smaller (30-40") for the desktop to be used by a computer.

RE: They are selling these at useless sizes
By quiksilvr on 4/8/2013 10:00:18 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. It's just like having 1080p 32" TVs when you are sitting over six feet away. You can't tell between 720p and 1080p at that distance and are just wasting money and electricity for pixels that don't even benefit you.

By FITCamaro on 4/8/2013 10:02:05 AM , Rating: 2
Heh. Beat me.

RE: They are selling these at useless sizes
By lagomorpha on 4/8/2013 10:05:13 AM , Rating: 2
Do more smaller pixels actually draw more electricity than fewer larger pixels?

By mcnabney on 4/8/2013 10:14:22 AM , Rating: 2
Having to turn more pixels on/off will slightly increase power. Also, having a tighter grid will require a brighter backlight (LED) to provide the same number of nits since less light gets through. It will be an increase, but not that big.

HOWVEVER, playing games at a higher resolution will require a MUCH more powerful (and power hungry) GPU.

RE: They are selling these at useless sizes
By FITCamaro on 4/8/2013 10:01:33 AM , Rating: 2
A 32" 1080p TV is also largely unnecessary at the standard viewing distances. 720p is fine. Didn't stop the largely phasing out of 720p TVs. It's all about people being able to say "I have a 4K TV". Nevermind they don't know what that really even means or that it will likely make standard definition content look even worse than it does on 1080p TVs.

By mcnabney on 4/8/2013 10:20:05 AM , Rating: 1
However that 32" screen at 4K would look fantastic attached to my workstation! If they can sell that for $1000 - they will OWN the high end display industry (assuming IPS or equivalent technology is used).

What is sad is that IBM released a 4K monitor over a decade ago. So much for progress.

By marvdmartian on 4/9/2013 7:58:27 AM , Rating: 1
THIS. It's more about bragging rights than anything else, with most people.

I've got a 1080P set, and will likely stick with that until one of two things happens:
1. it DIES
2. they come out with holographic, life-sized, 3D, HD projection. Think of R2D2 doing the Princess Leia projection, only full sized, and in HD quality. THAT will be worth upgrading to!!

RE: They are selling these at useless sizes
By bug77 on 4/8/2013 10:38:52 AM , Rating: 2
Not an issue when there's no content available. By the time there is, this TV will be obsolete anyway.

RE: They are selling these at useless sizes
By mcnabney on 4/8/2013 10:47:44 AM , Rating: 2
Why would it be obsolete? Unless 4K 3D, a very high frame rate, or a new connector becomes dominant I don't see why it wouldn't be just as useful in 10 or even 20 years. 4K is a resolution plateau. It allows a 60 degree viewing angle - which is huge and truthfully just too big for many people. Home use of 8K is just never ever going to happen unless people start turning their entire wall into a display.

RE: They are selling these at useless sizes
By bug77 on 4/8/2013 11:48:22 AM , Rating: 2
Because by then, TVs will offer better contrast, more uniform backlighting, lower power usage, better signal processing. You name it, there is so much to improve on current LCDs...

RE: They are selling these at useless sizes
By mcnabney on 4/8/2013 12:28:23 PM , Rating: 2
Regular consumers don't drop thousands of dollars to replace a display in order to save a few bucks a year on power or to increase contrast a tiny bit. They do it to buy important features. For example - OLED (when it finally arrives) will provide great color and black levels, but people won't buy it for that reason alone. Most sales will be people with lots of disposable money that want a TV that is half an inch thick that they can hang on the wall. So really, the next killer TV function after 4K is going to be super slim and not anything directly related to the image. Look at how horribly 3D has done in the home setting.

By inighthawki on 4/9/2013 11:18:24 AM , Rating: 2
I've wanted an oled tv for years. I couldn't care less about 4k res, but I'd shell out thousands for an oled tv.

By Shadowself on 4/8/2013 11:00:00 AM , Rating: 4
I hate how so many people have bought into the "you can't see any difference in anything better than one arc minute" crap.

This concept assumes the only thing that goes into resolution is the angular resolution of the individual rods and cones of the human eye and assumes the standard "20/20" vision concept. It takes into account NONE of the other things that goes into true vision and what people can perceive in their sight.

There have been countless studies over the years that have shown there are many, many things that go into vision acuity ranging from edge effects (you can see a long straight line that is much, much narrower than one line of rods/cones could possibly see using the "one arc minute rule") to vernier effects (you can see the offset in two lines that are offset by much less than the "one arc minute rule" allows) to angular effects (you can see the difference in rotations of regular objects to a much finer degree than the "one arc minute rule" would allow). The list of additional things that go into the full range of perceived visual acuity is quite long.

Some studies have shown that reproducible, perceived resolution is more than 10 times better than that dumb one arc minute rule.

So if you want to pay for a display that you cannot distinguish from a form of continuous media (e.g., a painting) then even an 8K display is likely not high enough resolution.

The only real question is, "What resolution is worth it to you?" If you do not care about resolutions above 720p (and don't think you, personally, can see anything better than 720p) then don't bother buying 1080p displays or anything higher. If you're like a friend of mine with 20/10 vision and who can actually see the flicker in a standard TV set, a higher resolution and higher refresh rate is definitely worth it.

However, just don't be so naive as to run around telling the world that anything better than one arc minute cannot be seen. It's just not fact.

Also, just as an aside, I hope people really stop misusing the "4K" nomenclature. The term 4K is a Digital Cinema standard. It is 4096x2160. This is quite different from Ultra HD which is 3840x2160.

RE: They are selling these at useless sizes
By euler007 on 4/8/2013 11:04:18 AM , Rating: 2
And then Apple sells 2048 X 1536 that people hold 18 inches away from their face and people say praise about the high dpi display.

I for one would love a 4k 24inch monitor, I definitely CAN see the pixels on my 1920X1200 monitor.

By TakinYourPoints on 4/9/2013 1:24:05 AM , Rating: 2
I have a 27" 2560x1440 monitor sitting next to a 24" 1920x1200. The 27" has only about 10% higher pixel density than the 24" but the difference is massive, things are much sharper and cleaner.

The 15" retina Macbook Pro is a look at the future. Fonts are ridiculously good on that thing, totally accurate, no need for aliasing or smoothing, they're just how they should look. Same with images, UI, etc. Crisp and clean.

Bring on the ultra-high pixel density desktop monitors, I want it! :)

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