Nov. 20, 2013 at 1:20 PM ET
It's not even Black Friday yet, and already big-name electronics manufacturers have begun drastically dropping the price of their Ultra HD TVs. These sets, also known as 4K TVs, offer four times the resolution (3840 x 2160) of a regular HD TV. Sony, LG, Sharp and Samsung began offering discounted deals this week. For the ultra-budget conscious, Seiki is dropping prices on some models to well below $1,000 beginning on Thanksgiving.
Samsung dropped the price of its flagship LED LCD model by 50 percent. This top-of-the-line UN55F9000, now $2,997.99, debuted at $6,000. The 55-inch 4K TV includes every feature in the company’s long list, including built-in Skype HD camera, cable box control, voice and gesture control, guide information, LED edge lighting with micro dimming and more. The 65-inch version, the UN65F9000, drops $500 to $4,497.99. That's a 40 percent drop from its summer debut price of $7,500.
In addition, Samsung offers a free 500GB hard drive loaded with 4K movies and other content. Samsung will not reveal how long the promotion will last.
Effective through Dec. 28, Sony has dropped its price on two 55-inch and two 65-inch 4K TVs. The XBR-55X850A is now $2,998, down from $3,499, while the 65-inch XBR-65X850A is now $4,498. The 55-inch with built-in large side speakers, the XBR-55X900A, is now $3,998.
Sony is also offering its 4K Media Player Bundle for $200 off at $498 when purchased with the TV.
Sony’s top-of-the-line 65-inch XBR-65X900A has a list price of $7,000, but recently dropped from $5,500 to $4,998. A bundle deal includes the $700 Sony FX1 4K Media Player for free when ordered with the 4K TV.
LG just dropped the price on its four 55- and 65-inch Ultra HDTVs. The 55LA9650 was $3,500, and is now $2,999. The 65LA9650 was $5,000 and is now $4,499. The higher-end 55-inch 55LA9700 was $4,500, but now it's $3,999, and its sibling, the 65-inch 65LA9700 was $6,500, but now costs $5,999.
Sharp just lowered the price of its 70-inch 4K THX Certified UHDTV from $6,000 to $4,997.99. The LC-70UD1U lists for $9,000, making this a 44 percent-off deal. No telling how long this promotional price will hold.
Seiki’s budget line of 4K TVs is far more basic than those from Samsung, Sharp LG and Sony. The Seiki sets lack any Smart TV streaming, Skype video cameras, gesture control or voice control found on the Samsungs and others above, as well as the sophisticated standard-definition and high-definition upconversion. However, for native 4K sources — right now are YouTube, PC video games and other computer content, plus some dedicated streaming devices — they do offer 4K viewing up to 30 frames per second (fps).
The 39-inch SE39UY04 that was selling for $699.99 dropped to $519.99 on Amazon this week and will be at $499.99 at Sears (and maybe Amazon) on Thanksgiving. The 50-inch SE50UY04 currently sells for $1,220.69 on Amazon, but will drop to $749.99 on Thanksgiving at Sears, and possibly Amazon. The 55-inch Seiki 4K SE55UY04 is a Sears exclusive and debuts at just $849.99 on Thanksgiving.
Note: prices are correct as of posting and may change at any time; please verify by searching model numbers at Amazon and other reputable price-aggressive retailers.