Panasonic’s 4K TV lineup is no longer made up entirely of mid- to high-end offerings as the company announced its first set of “value-priced” models for the U.S market last week, just ahead of the Black Friday shopping madness. It finds itself better positioned to win over budget-minded holiday TV shoppers as a result.
The new models are currently available only from the company’s own website, but are scheduled to go on sale from a slew of retailers next month, including ABC Warehouse, Brandsmart U.S.A., Curacao, Electronic Express, RC Willey, and Video Only. Additional retailers will be announced later, the company says.
There are two models available in a number of different sizes: First up we have the black-bezeled CX400U, which is available in 50-, 55- and 65-inch sizes priced at $800, $1000, and 1500 respectively. Then there is the silver-bezeled CX420U, which comes in 55- and 65-inch varieties that cost $1000 and $1500, respectively.
“Panasonic has a rich history and expertise in delivering category-leading HD and 4K Ultra HD TVs to consumers,” said Julie Bauer, President, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company, in a press release announcing the new TVs. “We have brought the same technological know-how to our first line of value priced 4K ultra HD TVs opening the 4K experience up to an even wider range of consumers who want Panasonic picture quality that fits their budget.”
The entry-level models—all of which are Wi-Fi-enabled—come with a number of built-in smart-TV apps, including Netflix, YouTube, Toon Goggles, Pandora, and AccuWeather. It does not appear, however, as if these new CX-series sets are running the Firefox OS smart-TV platform that can be found on several of Panasonic’s higher-end 2015 4K TV models.
Why this matters: 4K TV sales are booming, and the sub-$1000 price segment is where the bulk of the action is. According to market research firm NPD Group, almost half of all TVs sold during the three-month period ending October were UltraHD TVs priced below $1000. Unlike last year, when sub-$1000 UltraHD models from top brands were still a rarity, there are quite a few options to choose from this holiday shopping season.