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Samsung, Sony cut 4K Ultra HD TV prices in the US

Both Sony and Samsung have slashed the prices on 4K Ultra HD in the US. Will this mean cost cuts for Australian consumers?

According to industry publication Twice, Samsung has joined Sony in reducing the prices of its 55-inch and 65-inch 4K Ultra HD televisions by US$1000 and US$1500, respectively.

Samsung's F9000 4K TV gets a US$1000 price drop. (Credit: Samsung)

The new price of the 55-inch Samsung UN55F9000 is US$3998, while the 65-inch UN65F9000 is US$5498. Both TVs just started shipping in early August in the US, and haven't been given a formal release date in Australia.

According to HD Guru, the new pricing for the 55-inch Sony XBR-55X900A is also US$3998, and the 65-inch XBR-65X900A is US$5498. Both of these models are available in Australia for AU$5999 and AU$8999, respectively.

Citing an unnamed industry source, HD Guru suggests that Sony will release even lower-cost 55- and 65-inch 4K TVs in October, these without the side speakers of the X900A.

Sony has a 4 September press event scheduled in New York, where it may possibly announce the new models. The IFA show in Berlin beginning on 6 September may also see news around 4K Ultra HD. Locally, Samsung has a smart TV event on the morning of 29 August, although the company is being cagey about what it may reveal.

Meanwhile, LG, the other major name making mainstream-sized 4K TVs, has no official word of price drops yet on its available US model, the LG LA9700 series.

Back in May, LG announced 55- and 65-inch Ultra HD panels for Australia, giving the costs at AU$6999 and AU$8999. These were timed for an August release, but as yet haven't appeared in retail or on the LG website.

In Australia at the moment, the cheapest Ultra HD TV available is the 65-inch Hisense HLUD65XT880, which is being sold by JB Hi Fi for AU$4998. With many of these other models yet to arrive locally, it's unknown whether they'll launch at a lower pricing than initially estimated to reflect the price slashing internationally.

Sharp's UD1X Ultra HD TV. (Credit: Nic Healey/CNET Australia)

Sharp recently unveiled its refreshed TV line-up, including a THX-certified 70-inch 4K panel, the LC-70UD1X. However, Sharp's national marketing manager Mark Beard told CNET Australia that the company isn't entirely committed to putting the TV in retail.

Beard expressed concerns regarding the "over-promising and under-delivering" of earlier technology such as 3D, suggesting that Ultra HD manufacturers need to be cautious when pitching to consumers.

With many home-theatre enthusiasts waiting for OLED technology, and more day-to-day shoppers looking for lower-priced units, the future of Ultra HD in both Australia and internationally remains a little uncertain.