4K is finally getting more affourdable, as Sony brings its Ultra HD X9 range of TVs to the UK for £4,000.
Four grand's a heck of a lot for most people to blow on a gogglebox, but it's dramatically cheaper than next-gen tellies have been so far. Samsung's 4K effort, the S9, recently went on sale in Selfridges for a staggering £35,000 -- by comparison the Sony is a supermarket special offer.
£4,000 will bag the 55-inch version for your lounge, while a 65-inch version is £6,000. Sony reckons these sizes are "living-room friendly", which maybe they are if you can afford to spend that much on a TV.
Nevertheless, it's a big jump for the technology, which has never been even remotely within range of people who aren't Shard-dwelling oligarchs until now. You'll be able to buy the X9 from ordinary high-street shops like Currys and John Lewis from mid-June.
4K is the next step up from 1080p, offering 3,840x2,160 pixels of televisual entertainment. Having twice the vertical resolution should mean it's twice as sharp, but beyond a certain point it's very hard to tell the difference. As Geoffrey Morrison points out on our sister site CNET.com, you'll need a much bigger TV than 55 inches to enjoy the full benefit of 4K.
A much more important upgrade would be to how many frames per second you're seeing. This is what Peter Jackson did with The Hobbit -- its 48 frames per second created an eerily realistic effect that I didn't feel worked particularly well with his fantastical subject matter, but nevertheless was very impressive.
There's also very little to watch on a 4K TV right now -- Sony upscales Blu-ray films or whatever else you show on it, but it'll require another new disc format and a huge upgrade to TV networks and cable before 4K content is the norm. It's several years away, if it's ever more than a niche format.
The X9 isn't all about 4K, however, with some rather noticeable "Magnetic Fluid" speakers welded into the bezel -- they look kind of like a giant holepunch has had a go at it. There's also an NFC mirror gimmick that lets you "mirror" what's on your phone on your TV. Here's Luke going eyes-on with the X9 at CES earlier this year.
What do you think of the X9? Are you sold on 4K or would you rather TV companies focused on other features to enhance your viewing pleasure? Fourmulate your thoughts in the comments, or over on our fourmidable Facebook page.
Update: If you're interested in seeing 4K for yourself, Richer Sounds will have an 84-inch LG 4K TV at its demo day in Leicester on 26 May. Pop along to the City Rooms on Hotel Street from 10.30am to 5pm and the tech retailer's experts will be delighted to show you what it can do.