If Apple is indeed planning its own HDTV, it will have some competition if it goes for the high end — no, make that, the highest end — of the market. Sony Electronics has announced its first TV capable of displaying 4K images.

The 84-inch set, model XBR-84X900, is equipped with a 4K (3840 x 2160) LCD panel that delivers an image four times the resolution of Full HD. The new XBR 4KTV will arrive in Sony Stores and select retail locations in North America later this year. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but you can bet it will max out your credit card (or two or three of ’em).

Incorporating proprietary upscaling technology including the 4K X-Reality PRO picture engine, the new TV is designed to ensure that every frame looks clear and crisp, with a 4K resolution regardless of the content source, according to Brian Siegel, vice president of Sony Electronics’ TV Group. Viewers can now watch video on the large screen of this XBR TV and not see any the degradation of image quality traditionally associated with larger screen sizes, he adds.

High-resolution processing powers a 3D viewing experience that exceeds Full HD resolution. The accompanying 3D glasses use “a light and comfortable passive design, allowing viewers to enjoy 3D footage on an impressive large screen the same way they would in a movie theater,” says Siegel.

The 4K TV incorporates a 10 Unit Live Speaker system optimized for this large-sized screen. The side speakers on the virtual 5.1 surround sound system are also detachable, allowing consumers to connect to an existing home theater system.

The XBR-84X900 4K TV also offers consumers a way to enjoy digital photographs. By connecting a digital camera, digital photos can be displayed on the large screen at 4K resolution.

The XBR 4K TV also has full network connectivity, allowing consumers control of their viewing experience via a tablet or smartphone with the downloadable Media Remote App. With built-in WiFi they can access movies, TV shows, and online video and music through the Sony Entertainment Network suite of services including Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, Netflix, Pandora, Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity and more than 50 other Internet entertainment providers.

For full specifications and availability, please visit www.sony.com/4KTV .