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Sony breaks price and sound barriers with its new line of speaker-less 4K TVs

Sony has always commanded a premium price for its television sets, so it’s seemed odd to us that the brand remains the best deal in town when it comes to fancy new 4K Ultra HDTV technology. Now, Sony is cranking up the heat on its Ultra HD rivals with even lower-priced 4K TV options. During an event held at Lincoln Center today in New York, Sony formally announced the new 55-inch XBR-55X850A  and 65-inch XBR-65X850A televisions, available next month for $3,499 and $4,999 respectively. 

Just last month, Sony set off a storm of 4K Ultra HDTV price cuts when it announced it was dropping the price on its 55-inch XBR-55X900A by $1,000 to $4,000, and its 65-inch XBR-65X900A by $1,500 to $5,500. Samsung soon followed with its own price cuts, but still didn’t manage to match Sony’s price points. Now, Sony has a 55-inch 4K Ultra HDTV for $3500, a figure that is likely to drop even further once the set hits online retailers. 

To pull this off, Sony pulled the speakers off of its 4K TVs. In fact, it isn’t quite clear if there is any speaker system included in this new series at all. While Sony has not come right out and stated that the latest 4K TV’s lack speakers, the company did say the new design offers customers “the flexibility of connecting to an existing or separate home theater system.” Sounds like owners will definitely want to go ahead and do that. 

During the same event, Sony also announced that its new 4K Video Unlimited service is now live, with 70 4K movies and TV shows available for rent and purchase. To access them, viewers must use Sony’s FMP-X1 ($500 with the purchase of a Sony 4K TV, $700 without) and download the movies at about 40 GB each. 

Sony is expected to show off its latest 4K TV offerings at IFA 2013 in Berlin this week. 

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