Sony took the wraps off of its 84-inch 4K TV last week, but saved the all-important price and a few other choice details for CEDIA Expo. Today in Indianpolis, Sony disclosed official US pricing on the the XBR-84X900, showed off two new ES A/V receivers — both of which take advantage of a recently forged partnership with home automation experts, Control4 — and more or less glazed over its new flagship Bravia TV line-up.
The STR-DA2800ES and STR-DA5800ES are the first consumer-level A/V receivers with built-in home automation control. The 2800ES is intended for the average Joe, with only basic Control4 functionality, which be be used to turn on the receiver, TV and Blu-ray player, dim the room lights, and start a movie, all at the touch of one button from within an iOS and Android-friendly mobile device app. (Of course, a Control4 light dimmer is required.) Getting the system configured looked relatively easy thanks to an intuitive setup wizard integrated into the receiver. The 5800ES offers the same entry-level functions, but can integrate into a much larger, whole-house system — the sort you’d need a custom installer for. Both receivers offer built-in access to streaming media via Netflix, Hulu, Vudu and Sony’s own entertainment network. The 2800ES and 5800ES will be priced at $1,000 and $2,100 respectively.
Though details are scant, Sony did make mention (for all of 10 seconds) that it will soon be offering a new flagship TV line: the XBR-HX950. The new series will be available in 55 and 65-inch models, and feature full-array local dimming of its LED edge-lighting. The 55-inch model will put a dent in your wallet to the tune of $4,500, while the 65-inch set comes in at $5,500. That’s all we know for now, but we hope to see one of these new sets on the show floor tomorrow.
Finally, Sony proved the rumor mill is as unreliable as ever as it announced its new 84-inch 4K TV will be offered for $25,000 in the US and not $31,000 as some (including us) had been led to believe. Pre-orders will be accepted starting September 6 with delivery scheduled for sometime in November.
We finally got a close look at the XBR-84X900 and while the debate rages on over whether 4K makes any sense for smaller-sized TVs, there is no doubt that the heightened resolution makes a big impression at larger sizes. We were totally enthralled by the razor-sharp resolution we saw today, both from the 84-incher and Sony’s 4K projector. While 4K content remains rare, more is on the way and we think it is only a matter of time until 4K Blu-ray discs start hitting store shelves.
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