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Price comparison: Every current 4K TV

This time last year there was a grand total of two 4K/Ultra High Definition TVs on the market. LG’s 84LM9600 and Sony’s XBR-84X900 sold for $20,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Now there are more than 20, ranging from 39 inches for barely more than $500 all the way up to 85 inches for $40,000.

On November 17 numerous major-brand models dropped their prices another $500, creating at least a $1,000 gap between the current selling price and what was originally announced. Retailers can now say stuff like: “You Save $3,501.01 (54%).”

Most 4K TVs are still very expensive, however. The lowest you’ll pay for a non-Chinese TV brand is $3,000 for 55 inches. Those prices might fall yet again before the holiday season or afterward, as the inevitably larger wave of 2014 4K TVs makes its way onto store shelves.

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In the meantime, if for some reason you want a first-generation 4K TV, we’ve compiled the following list of every one we know about that’s available, or soon to be available, in the US this year.

We’ve had the opportunity to review three of them so far, the $999 50-inch Seiki and the expensive Samsung F9000 series and Panasonic TC-L65WT600. So far, 4K doesn’t seem worth the extra money (and that’s an understatement).

The only non-LED-based entries on the list below are the two Sony SXRD projectors. They still represent the only true 4K projectors, JVC’s e-shift models notwithstanding, at the “normal consumer” level. Based on the quality of the non-4K VPL-HW50ES we reviewed earlier, I expect both to be superb performers.

On the table below, pricing is current at Amazon or, if unavailable there, at BestBuy.com as of today. If pricing isn’t available, the lowest announced price is listed. Click through to the links for our write-ups and further information on each TV. This table will be updated throughout 2013 to reflect any new models or large price drops. Last update: November 19, 2013

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Manufacturer Model Size Price
Seiki SE39UY04 39-inch $496
Seiki SE50UY04 (review) 50-inch $791
TCL LE50UHDE5691 50-inch $999
Seiki SE55UY04 55-inch $1,499
Hisense 55XT880 55-inch $1,999
Toshiba 58L9300U 58-inch $2,729
Sony XBR-55X850A 55-inch $2,998
Samsung UN55F9000 (review) 55-inch $2,998
LG 55LA9650 55-inch $2,999
Seiki SE65UY04 65-inch $2,999
Sony XBR-55X900A 55-inch $3,498
Toshiba 65L9300U 65-inch $3,729
LG 55LA9700 55-inch $3,999
Sony XBR-65X850A 65-inch $4,498
Samsung UN65F9000 (review) 65-inch $4,498
LG 65LA9650 65-inch $4,499
Sony XBR-65X900A 65-inch $4,998
Sharp LC-70UD1U 70-inch $4,998
Panasonic TC-L65WT600 (review) 65-inch $5,499
LG 65LA9700 65-inch $5,999
Sony VPL-VW600ES projector $14,999
LG 84LM9600 84-inch $16,999
Toshiba 84L9300U 84-inch $16,999
Sony XBR-84X900 84-inch $24,999
Sony VPL-VW1100ES projector $27,999
Samsung UN85S9 85-inch $39,999

The future of 4K TV pricing: Bold predictions
So how soon before the difference between a flagship 1080p TV and its like-size 4K TV brother becomes “affordable?” Already that difference is down to $500 for the 55-inch Samsung F8000 and F9000 models. I would be surprised if by the end of 2014 that difference weren’t down to $200 or so, or about $2,000 for the least expensive 55-inch 4K TV from a major maker, and $3,000 for a 65-incher. Not exactly affordable, but getting there pretty fast.

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