Sony’s killer OLED is a technical marvel, but in one NYC gallery, it’s art too

Sony’s new A1E Bravia OLED TV so impressed us at CES this year, we called it the best TV we saw at the show, awarding it our Top Tech of CES 2017 award in the video category. We weren’t the only ones impressed, either — Sony’s entry into the OLED TV market was universally lauded as spectacular.

You’d think that would be enough to get the A1E OLED the attention it needs, but to give the general public a taste of what their walls are missing, the company is hosting an elaborate launch event this weekend at the Westwood Gallery NYC in Manhattan. Dubbed EVOLVE, the event is an elaborate art installation designed and built by Tokyo-based Kaz Shirane. Digital Trends was in attendance at a media preview held May 4, and we were, once again, very impressed. The event, which runs through May 7, is absolutely worth attending for anyone in or around the NYC area.

Why is Sony going through such lengths to show off a TV everyone is already raving about? Because Sony wants you to think of it as more than a TV.

Ever since the first flatscreen plasma televisions hit store shelves in 1997, the race has been on to produce a TV so thin and so beautiful it could pass as artwork hung on a wall. CES 2017 brought us the best realizations of that dream yet, with LG’s so-called “Wallpaper OLED” W7 TV, Samsung’s QLED line-up and Frame TV, and Sony’s own A1E OLED. Combining Ultra HD resolution, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and impossibly thin form factors, these flagship television signal a transition to a new paradigm, in which the television serves multiple purposes in a home: part entertainment, part decoration, and part art. Sony wants you to see the A1E as an artistic marvel, not just a technical one.

While TVs as fancy as Sony’s A1E OLED are presently accessible targeted at the affluent (the 55-inch model retails for $4,000, the 65-inch for $5,500), history teaches us that this kind of form factor and advanced technology will eventually replace almost all the bulky black boxes in all of our homes. And Sony plans to lead that charge, one spectacular art installation at a time.