Skip to main content

Sony CES 2021 TV lineup: Sony is back In a big way

CES 2021 is underway, though not quite yet officially. The best new TVs of 2021 we’ve been looking forward to hearing about have been announced. You might be surprised to learn that Sony, which is usually the last to make its reveal, came out early, and big. This announcement comes alongside the Samsung QLED NEO, TCL 6 Series, and LG TV lineup.

Let’s start at the top of the new lineup, but hang with me because the last TV I want to talk about is probably the most exciting one and you’re going to want to know why.

Master Series Z9J

Sony’s top of the line TV for 2021 will be the Master Series Z9J. You can think of it as last year’s Z8H, but on steroids. And those of you who remember the Z9G? Well, its replacement is here and it looks like there are some significant improvements.

This 8K monster LED TV is going to do just about everything. It’s got a full-array LED panel, Sony’s contrast boosting technology, X-wide angle for better off-axis performance, Acoustic Multi-Audio with even more speakers and sonic improvements, and it runs Google TV, which will be replacing Android TV. Then there is the new three-way stand for versatile placement and, finally, full-spec HDMI 2.1, so VRR, 4K 120, auto low latency mode, and eARC are all covered.

You can get the Z9J Bravia XR in 75- and 85-inch sizes.

It will no doubt be bright and beautiful with incredible contrast, but the picture quality will get special improvements thanks to a new Sony chip, the Cognitive Processor XR. I’m going to dig into details around that shortly, but Sony’s hot new processor is in all of the TVs I’m about to tell you about.

Bravia X95J

Sony CES 2021 TV image 2
Sony

One step down will be the Bravia X95J and this will be Sony’s flagship 4K TV for the year, replacing the X950H. It’s got just about every feature found in the Z9J, but it is 4K as opposed to 8K and won’t get quite as intensely bright as the Z9J, although you can count on it getting plenty bright enough. As I said, everything else is here, including the one-slate design, three-way stand, HDMI 2.1, acoustic multi-audio, and all of Sony’s other goodies for this year.

Before I get to the TV I think most folks are going to be stoked about, let’s talk about Sony’s two new OLED TVs. Yes, two new OLEDs for the year.

Bravia A90J and A80J OLED TVs

Sony X95J Series TV
Sony

The model numbers are the Master Series A90J and the new A80J, replacing both the A9G and A8H from years past. The big news here is that Sony has developed new OLED technology that it calls XR OLED Contrast, which will boost brightness in bright highlights and offer solid blacks in shadow areas.

Of course, the Master Series A90J offers everything Sony has to offer: HDMI 2.1, a two-way stand, Google TV, almost no bezel, extremely thin profile. Trust me, it will do everything and do it beautifully. Here’s the real kicker, though. There is now going to be an 83-inch model to go with the 55-inch and 65-inch sizes. That’s right. An 83-inch OLED.

Just a step below is the A80J. This OLED series will come in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch sizes and it will share a lot of the same technology and features as the A90J, only this series will have a three-way stand. It will get that same contrast boosting technology for brighter highlights, HDMI 2.1 — again almost the full package. In a lot of ways, this looks like the more compelling OLED option.

Bravia X90J

Finally, we have the X90J which replaces last year’s wildly popular X900H. This is the TV I think tons of people are going to want to buy in 2021. It gets the same processor as all the other TVs I just talked about, which is a big step up for this model, and it will be available in screen sizes ranging from 55 inches all the way up to 100 inches!

Yes, I’m serious. And again, the only real step-down here is that it won’t have quite the brightness of the step-up models and it has a slightly more modest audio system — though it is still acoustic multi-audio, and you can bet it will be priced well below all the other TVs I’ve gone over so far. I truly think this will be one of the most popular TVs of the year.

The all-new Sony processing

I need to address the Cognitive Processor XR chip Sony is introducing. It replaces the X1 Ultimate chip I raved about last year, and I have seen what it can do. I believe it is going to be one of the biggest TV trends that sets Sony apart this year.

Honestly, I probably need to do a full explainer on it, but the key takeaways are that Sony is incorporating intel on how people see images along with utilizing all of its different processing elements, cross analyzing all that information, then optimizing the picture.

It sounds like a lot, and it is — it requires a lot of computing horsepower — but from what I have seen, it does some amazing things for picture quality. And I think the fact that it will be in all of the TVs I just talked about is fantastic for Sony fans. Sony is taking a big step up in 2021, and leaving a big imprint at CES 2021.

Editors' Recommendations

Caleb Denison
Digital Trends Editor at Large Caleb Denison is a sought-after writer, speaker, and television correspondent with unmatched…
Samsung shows off the first two 77-inch QD-OLED 4K TVs at CES 2023
Samsung S95C QD-OLED 4K TV.

Samsung was the first company to show off a 4K TV based on QD-OLED technology at CES 2022, and now, at CES 2023 it has unveiled two new QD-OLED models -- the S95C Samsung OLED and S90C Samsung OLED -- and each will be available as 77-inch models. Both will also be offered in 55- and 65-inch sizes.  The news came one day after Samsung Display confirmed it would show its next-gen "QD-OLED 2023" panel at the show in a 77-inch size.

When QD-OLED-based TVs debuted in 2022, Samsung and Sony revealed the first two 4K TVs models within hours of each other: the Samsung S95B and the Sony A95K. Both TVs proved to be absolutely stunning in terms of picture quality, leaving our reviewer no choice but to award them a rare 10/10 rating. But the TVs themselves weren't especially large; only 55- and 65-inch sizes were introduced.

Read more
Samsung’s CES 2023 TVs get thinner, brighter, healthier, and better for gaming
Samsung 2022 QN900B 8K Neo QLED TV.

On display at CES 2023, Samsung's 2023 TV lineup is getting a wide variety of upgrades, including thinner designs, better sound systems, 4K cloud-based gaming, and some interesting health applications that the company is borrowing from its mobile division. Here's everything you need to know.
MicroLED gets smaller, more affordable
Samsung was an early promoter of microLED display tech, which uses tiny LED lights as individual pixels instead of using them as the backlight on an LCD-based TV (LED TV, mini-LED TV). Unfortunately, microLED TVs have tended to be huge (starting at 110 inches), expensive, and somewhat limited in resolution at smaller sizes.

The company's new Micro LED CX, at 76 inches, is its smallest yet, and Samsung promises it will also be the most affordable microLED TV ever released.

Read more
Projectors vs. TVs: Which is best for your home theater?
ViewSonic X10

If you've got the real estate available in your home, the urge to fill wall space with a TV or projection system can be undeniable, especially if you've been itching to upgrade an old home theater system. These days, you can often throw down less than $1,000 and walk out of Best Buy with the latest and greatest TV hardware, with monster sizes at several different price points. Or, you can opt for a projector and screen to fully maximize your viewing experience. While you may lose things like smart features and decent audio, you'll be getting a much bigger image.

Indeed, both options have their pros and cons, and there are specific scenarios where one would be a better pick over the other. To help you decide which will work best in your own home theater, we've put together this guide comparing projectors and TVs -- detailing how the two differ in terms of price, picture quality, installation, sound quality, and convenience.

Read more