Sony is the latest TV manufacturer to add Dolby Vision’s HDR technology to its product range. Dolby Vision isn’t the only technology making a jump from LG TVs either – with the Sony XBR-A1E Bravia 4K TV also gaining OLED.
Late last year it was rumoured that Sony was preparing to launch two new OLED models in 2017, and at CES in Las Vegas the company has unveiled its first consumer-ready OLED TV.
The XBR-A1E Bravia 4K OLED TV follows LG’s years-long love affair with the technology, but despite some new sets from LG this year, Sony made sure to offer up some worthy competition.
Sony says that its line-up of OLED TVs will offer ‘unprecedented black levels, rich and lifelike colour, dynamic contrast, blur-less image and a wide viewing angle’. Those things are all pretty much the exact same features LG has been banging on about in regards to its OLED TVs for the last couple of years – which is no surprise, given the OLED screen in Sony’s model has likely been produced by LG Display.
While the OLED panel is what makes Sony’s latest offering stand out from the rest of its line-up, it isn’t the only new addition to this flagship TV. That’s because Sony has also packed in a new chipset dubbed the 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme to power the panel, while Dolby Vision should afford the TV deeper, richer colours than what is offered by standard HDR 10.
There is one thing lacking from Sony’s XBR-A1E range however – and that’s traditional TV speakers. While home cinema enthusiasts will rejoice at the lack of speakers, preferring their own surround system instead, Sony has taken a different approach to some of the other manufacturers showing off their latest models at CES 2017.
LG chose to move the speakers to a soundbar for its flagship OLED model in 2017, but Sony decided to take advantage of the backlight-less design that OLED afforded. What Sony chose to do was develop a new Acoustic Sound technology. That is placed behind the screen allowing the sound to emanate through the display – just like an acoustically transparent projection screen.
Traditional TV speakers have never been great, as audiophiles will attest, but whether this new technology will be any better remains to be seen. Sony claims that its technology ‘produces a wide sound and image synchronisation from all angles, even off to the sides’.
Sony’s OLED models aren’t as thin as LG’s, but at least with Sony users are not required to mount the screen to the wall. The display also remains thin as all the internal electronics and inputs are hidden away in the TV stand, which folds out from the back of the screen.
It’s not just new OLED models that have launched from Sony at CES 2017 either – the company also brought along some new LCDs.
Despite having recently launched its flagship ZD9 LCD, Sony is back at CES with a follow-up to the X903D. This time around the company has split the model in two, with an X930E and X940E series that continue to deliver a similar experience to last year’s model, but with a few added bonuses.
The biggest bonus users will find with the X930E and X940E is the addition of Dolby Vision HDR. Although there’s also an improved version of Sony’s Slim Backlight drive, a version of edge-lit local dimming, and an upgrade to the Android TV interface to allow all of the new models, including the OLEDs, to interact with Google Home. The 75in X940E has another added feature, which is a full-fledge full-array local dimming system.
The XBR-A1E Bravia 4K OLED TV will come in a variety of sizes, including 55in, 65in and 77in, while the X930E and X940E will also be available in those sizes. No pricing or availability has been announced for any of the new sets – although it would be refreshing to see Sony undercut LG on the price of OLED, although I wouldn’t bet on it.