CES 2019 is only just getting started, but one thing is abundantly clear already: This is the year that 8K goes from being a cool concept, to something you can actually put in your living room. Today, Sony has officially taken the wraps off its first 8K TV for consumers: The Master Series Z9G 8K LCD, and it’s a technical tour-de-force. If it’s anything like the prototype we saw last year, it should be a show-stopper.
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8K is a lot of resolution — four times more than
Last year, on its OLED TVs, Sony debuted technology it calls Sound-from-Picture Reality, which makes dialog sound as though it’s coming from the actors on-screen, and not from the TV’s speakers. It accomplished this using OLED Acoustic Surface Audio, where the screen itself acts as a speaker. Apparently this technology doesn’t lend itself to LCD panels, so the Z9G models are equipped with four, front-firing speakers — two on the top, and two along the bottom of the screen. This combination, when managed correctly, has the same effect as the OLED panel-as-speaker, or so Sony claims. If you’ve already got a 5.1 or better surround sound system, the TV’s speakers can take the place of your center channel.
Sony’s OLED TV lineup also gets a refresh for 2019, with the Master Series A9G coming in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch sizes. These new models are thinner, and when combined with Sony’s SU-WL855 wall-mount system, the company claims they can reduce the distance to your wall by half, as compared to last year’s models. There’s a new, Sony-built panel controller, with “Pixel Contrast Booster,” for more color and contrast in bright areas of the image. Also improved is HD and SD content up-scaling. The OLED panel-as-speaker tech has been upgraded, and is now known as Acoustic Surface Audio+, and features two actuators and two subwoofers. Similar to the Z9G, the A9G can act as a center channel speaker too.
Both the Z9G and A9G models share the following features:
- Android TV, with Google Assistant, and compatibility with Google Home, and Amazon Echo smart speakers
- An RF-enabled smart remote
Of course, Sony’s got new non-Master Series updates as well, in both OLED and LED flavors:
A8G Series Bravia
Last but not least, Sony is also updating its Blu-ray player offering, with the new Sony UBP-X800M2. It’s a slender and sleek UltraHD unit, with support for three flavors of
Sony says it will release pricing and availability info for all of these new models in the spring.
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