Sony launches smaller, less-expensive 4K Ultra HD TVs

Sony will begin selling smaller, less-expensive versions of its new XBR 4K Ultra HD TVs.

The Japanese tech company was one of the first to roll out 4K Ultra HD sets late last year. That technology is supposed to offer quadruple the resolution of current HD TVs and an even more crystal-clear image than before.

Sony's first foray with the new TV technology was an 84-inch set it began selling in November for $25,000. But starting Thursday evening the company's new 55-inch and 65-inch models will go on sale at Santa Monica's Video & Audio Center. The two models cost $4,999 and $6,999, respectively, and will be available at other retail stores this weekend.

Although the 55-inch and 65-inch 4K Ultra HD TV models are much more expensive than regular HD TVs, Sony's model marks a significant price drop for the 4K Ultra HD technology. Sony's rivals, Samsung and LG, also sell sets, but theirs are only available in models larger than 80 inches with price tags of nearly $40,000 and $17,000, respectively.

Sony officially unveiled the two sets this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but Thursday marks the U.S. launch of the two TVs. The company's U.S. launch of its latest tablet, the Xperia Tablet Z, also will take place Thursday.

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