In news that will surprise exactly no one, Samsung announced prices and availability for the lineup of Ultra HD and curved TVs the company unveiled at CES, and—spoiler alert—they’re pretty expensive. But prices of 4K TVs continue to inch down, so you might not suffer too much shock from these sticker prices.
If you want to get your paws on the 55-inch U9000 Curved UHD TV that we named the best entertainment product of CES, that’ll only set you back $4000; it goes on sale this month. The 65-inch model is $5000, and the 78-inch behemoth hitting stores later this year will be $8000. Samsung says its 105-inch Curved UHD TV will arrive in the second half of the year, but didn’t disclose a suggested retail price. (As the saying goes, if you have to ask you probably can’t afford it.)
But the upcharge for a curved screen isn’t really so bad when you compare it to the prices for Samsung’s U8550 series of flat UHD TVs. The 55-inch flat TV is $3000, and a 65-inch model is $4000, both out in March. The line also has a 50-incher for $2500, a 60-incher for $3500, and a 75-incher for $6000, all arriving in May.
These aren’t the cheapest UHD (aka 4K) TVs that we saw at CES 2014. That honor goes to Vizio’s impressively designed P Series, which starts at $1000 for a 50-inch set. But Samsung’s TVs do have a clever future-proofing feature that adds a lot of value: the Samsung UHD Evolution Kit.
Samsung puts the “brains” of the TV (computery components like the CPU and GPU) in what it calls the One Connect Box, which detaches from the back of the TV in one piece. That lets you swap in a new UHD Evolution Kit to upgrade your television without having to buy an all-new set—you’ll be using the same screen but with newer components. Today the UHD lines use the current standards (HEVC, HDMI 2.0, MHL 3.0, and HDCP 2.2) but those standards will evolve quicker than most people will want to upgrade their entire TV. We weren’t able to get hands-on with the UHD Evolution Kit at CES to find out how easy this swap is, but it’s a great idea that we hope Samsung can execute.
We still haven’t heard official prices and release dates for the webOS-enabled 2014 TVs from LG, or from Sony, although SonyRumors.net recently posted allegedly leaked prices for the entry-level XBR-X850B series, the step-up XBR-X900B series, and the top-of-the-line XBR-X950B series.