When Samsung, LG, Vizio and other tech heavyweights showed off their Ultra HD televisions at CES in January, the one thing they weren’t so eager to talk about was pricing.
Now we know why: Samsung just revealed a whopping $39,999 price tag for its 85-inch S9 UHD TV, which will be available for pre-orders later this month. That makes it by far the most expensive Ultra HD television on the market.
Ultra HD is another term for displays with a resolution of 3840-by-2160, also known as 4K. These displays pack four times as many pixels as today’s high-definition televisions.
Although the technology is expensive, TV makers remain undeterred from building and selling 4K televisions. It all feels like a “because we can” sort of endeavor, more than an attempt to actually address current market needs.
Even so, Samsung’s S9 is more exorbitant than the rest. LG’s 84-inch Ultra HD television costs a mere $20,000, and Sony’s 84-inch set costs just a teeny bit more, at $25,000. It’s unclear why Samsung’s set is so much pricier, aside from the funky easel design that makes the TV appear to “float within its thin frame,” as the company puts it.
Samsung doesn’t even have its own 4K video delivery system, unlike rival Sony, which plans to launch one this summer. (Sony will also “loan” a 4K video player to anyone who buys one of the televisions.)
Until the content selection improves and prices fall way down, buying an Ultra HD television will be more about bragging rights for the ultra-wealthy. But if Samsung’s S9 is any indication, prices are still going up.