4K TVs Drop Below $500

The 40\

The 40" and 49" Ultra HD TVs from TCL.

Going 4K has gotten cheaper than ever. The 2014 line of 4K LED Ultra HDTVs from China's TCL Corporation includes a 40-inch TV under $500, marking a significant benchmark in the steadily decreasing price for 4K (aka Ultra HD) televisions. 

The full lineup, set to release in the United States by the end of the year, also includes a 49-inch 4K TV for $599, a 55-inch 4K Smart TV for $799, a 65-inch Smart TV for $1,299, and an 85-inch Smart TV for $7,999. All are Ultra HDTVs, meaning they have a resolution of 3840 x 2160, four times the pixel count of full HD (1080p) screens.

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The 40-inch and 49-inch TVs, from the UE5700 series, have 4 HDMI ports, Dolby Digital Surround sound, a 120 Hz refresh rate and over a billion display colors. TCL says the 49" will be first to market.

The other three TVs from the UH9500 series are Smart TVs, boasting a a 1.2-GHz dual-core CPU plus quad-core GPU, and connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. The 55-inch and 65-inch models have a 120 Hz refresh rate, two USB ports and three HDMI ports, including HDMI 2.0 for 4K content. The 85-inch variation has a 240 Hz refresh rate, four HDMI 2.0 ports and two USB ports. Like the UE5700 series, all UH9500 models sport Dolby Digital Surround sound.

TCL hasn't announced firm release dates for any of its new TVs, but those looking for an affordable 4K set can look forward to the new line by the end of 2014.

Email jscharr@tomsguide.com or follow her @JillScharr and Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Jill Scharr is a creative writer and narrative designer in the videogame industry. She's currently Project Lead Writer at the games studio Harebrained Schemes, and has also worked at Bungie. Prior to that she worked as a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide, covering video games, online security, 3D printing and tech innovation among many subjects. 

  • bumnut53
    Nice that the price is coming down, but they still offer bad value due to the lack of content
  • SteelCity1981
    TCL are the biggest pile of crap TV's on the market. you'd be lucky to own one of those TV's for 3 months without something going wrong and the customer support is horrific. I owned one of these TV's 2 years ago and I can't even tell you the list of issues I had with it. from TV flickering to sound issues to almost non existent customer support.
  • Darkk
    You know what they say you get what you paid for. If the price is way cheaper than the world average then you know they cut corners. It's not worth it.
  • cats_Paw
    Nice that the price is coming down, but they still offer bad value due to the lack of content
    Yep, as long as there is no 4K content, and that might take a while (no reason to start shooting everything in 4K, not untill it is the mainstream).

    Its just smarter to get a full HD tv now for 300 and then a quality 4K Tv for 500 in... say 2 years when its actually a mature technology (thats why companies charge crazy prices for new tech, so that for a while it feels like only rich people can afford it, same as when iphone started out as a VIP product).

    Personally, untill GPUs cant handle 4K, I can wait. I have watched movies in Dvd and blue ray quality, and while i can notice the difference, its not worth paying a 50% price increase for EACH movie I want to buy.

  • Gordon861
    If the $500 translates to a real £ price then buy one of these to use as a large computer monitor. Also with the 120Hz refresh Nvidia 3D Vision should work on it too.