Final yr’s TV lineup from Sony took a bit of criticism since a number of units had been unable to make the most of next-gen gaming options on the PlayStation 5 that shipped in November. Even if you look right now, the unfold of HDMI 2.1 options is fairly unhappy. Sony by no means actually acknowledged this as a mistake, believing that clients buy its TVs for various causes and never everybody wants each field checked off.
What a distinction a yr makes.
In 2021, Sony is correcting course: all of its premium “Bravia XR” 4K (and sure, 8K) TVs help 4K at 120Hz, VRR (variable refresh price), ALLM (auto low latency mode), and eARC. No asterisks or gotchas or guarantees so as to add stuff later with firmware updates.
Past getting on board with 4K120, Sony is making a giant deal over what it calls “cognitive intelligence” in these TVs. Powered by a brand new Cognitive Processor XR chip, Sony says its new system goes past conventional sign processing — which Sony’s TVs already excelled at — and past the synthetic intelligence evaluation in most TVs. “Whereas standard synthetic intelligence (AI) can solely detect and analyze image parts like colour, distinction and element individually, the brand new processor can cross-analyze an array of parts directly, simply as our brains do,” Sony’s press launch on the TVs says. “By doing so, every ingredient is adjusted to its greatest ultimate end result, along with one another, so every thing is synchronized and lifelike — one thing that standard AI can not obtain.”
Sony can also be speaking up what the XR processor can do for sound. A “Sound-from-Image Actuality” function is claimed to “align the place of the sound with the photographs on the display to supply a uniquely lifelike expertise.” Samsung has promised similar results for its personal 2021 Neo QLED TVs.
The 2 Grasp Sequence TVs (8K LCD and 4K OLED) have a brand new sensor for detecting the colour temperature of the ambient gentle in your room, and this lets them robotically alter the TV’s white stability to match. (This setting may be turned off for you purists, in fact.) Extra necessary is that the A90J Grasp Sequence OLED additionally has brighter output than Sony’s previous OLEDs due to a brand new aluminum warmth defend hooked up to the panel. Making OLEDs brighter is a giant deal since that’s a key space the place LCD units nonetheless are inclined to win out.
As one of many earliest TV makers that received on board with Android TV, it appears acceptable that Sony might be among the many first to transition to Google TV. All of those TVs will supply a software program expertise that’s extremely just like the newest Chromecast: Sony nonetheless has its personal customizations within the settings menu (and for fast shortcuts like your HDMI inputs), however every thing else — the customized For You web page, content material suggestions, and so on. — is mainly unchanged from Google’s newest streaming machine.
Sony has additionally targeted on small touches, like adjustable legs that may be configured to permit sufficient area for a soundbar in entrance of the TV with out obstructing the image. Taking place the lineup, you lose sure niceties (like an antireflective coating unique to the 8K set), however all the TVs help Dolby Imaginative and prescient HDR. And once more, you’ve received all of the HDMI 2.1 requirements accounted for.
Quite than transfer to new show expertise like Mini LED, Sony appears to be evolving its present technique of full-array native dimming and iterating upon its glorious OLED units. The corporate doesn’t share what number of dimming zones its TVs have or actually speak about peak brightness, believing that opponents get too hung up on these numbers.
Pricing and particular availability information might be introduced this spring.
Z9J Grasp Sequence 8K (Full-array LCD)
A90J Grasp Sequence 4K (OLED)
A80J 4K (OLED)
X95J 4K (Full-array LCD)
X90J 4K (Full-array LCD)