Sony banks on NFC and 4K, teases 4K OLED TV


Sony has concluded its CES 2013 product announcements, and although company is releasing a veritable truckload of new products, we can sum up Sony’s sentiments with just two key concepts: 4K and NFC. Here’s what Sony has been busy planning for the home entertainment space for the past year. 


NFC, or near field communications, is a technology we’re seeing a lot of this year. Samsung and LG are both using it as the basis for their respective content-sharing technologies. Sony is doing the same, but is leveraging NFC on a much grander scale; and if you’re interested in diving into the deep end of Sony’s entertainment ecosystem, the rewards will be plentiful.

Sony has planted NFC chips into tiny, personal Buetooth speakers, larger portable Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth headphones, a personal 1TB storage drive (for photos and video), sound bars, and a remote control for several of its Bravia televisions. So long as you have a Sony smartphone with NFC, you can share music and video with any of the above devices by simply holding the phone near them. To best of our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive NFC-based personal entertainment ecosystem to have been developed so far, and that’s a big feather in Sony’s cap.


At CES 2012, Sony inferred that it would be leveraging its start-to-finish 4K (Ultra HD, if you ask anyone else) pipeline to become the industry leader in 4K. While these sorts of statements are usually platitudes, this time the claims have turned out to be meaningful. 

Sony announced two new 4K/ Ultra HD televisions to supplement the 84-inch model it announced and began selling late last year. Sometime this spring, we can expect to see the 65-inch (XBR-65X900A) and 55-inch (XBR-55X900A) 4K models showing up at stores. Pricing details were not announced. 


Along with the release of its 84-inch 4K model, Sony decided to tackle the rather significant issue of a lack of 4K content by pairing the expensive TV with a media server pre-loaded with 4K movies and other assorted 4K content. The content server must be updated by a professional serviceman, though, a process that is only scheduled to be performed every few months or so – not exactly an elegant solution, but a reasonable stop-gap measure. But Sony has new plans now: The company is going to continue selling these media servers, and will initiate a beefed-up 4K content “distribution service” sometime this summer. No word on whether that distribution will involve the Internet, but we sure hope it doesn’t require periodic visits from a specialist – that’s simply not scalable.

Sony also said it was planning the release of several 4K-mastered Blu-ray titles. Though these movies will still be played in 1080p resolution, Sony’s process will take the studio masters of the movie and prepare them for Blu-ray playback using entirely 4K technology. How much better the picture will be remains to be scene.  Also, those who’d rather make their own 4K content will have the option to do so using a new consumer-level 4K video camera. 


We caught ourselves getting quite a few strange looks when we suggested that 4K and OLED were in competition for consumer dollars because the two technologies were mutually exclusive – in other words, pick one or the other, because you can’t have both. It seems, however, that will not be true for much longer, as Sony showed off (briefly) a 4K OLED prototype as a teaser of things to come. Unfortunately, nobody got a decent look at the TV, since the computer that was serving it 4K content bit the dust just seconds after it was rolled out onto the stage. It was, however, one of the most stunning blue screens of death we’ve ever seen. We’ll swing by Sony’s share of the show floor soon to get some up-close video, should Sony dare to try showing it off again. 

Movies & TV

Netflix kicks the nostalgia into high-gear with new He-Man from … Kevin Smith?

You read that right: The man behind Clerks, Mallrats, and Chasing Amy is journeying to Eternia for Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Netflix's sequel to the 1983 He-Man animated series.

Sony’s best noise-canceling headphones get a sweet discount at Walmart

There are a lot of headphones that promise great sound performance and effective noise-canceling, but few choices can deliver like the Sony WH-1000XM3. These wireless cans blend killer sound with truly outstanding noise cancellation.

Best headphone deals for August 2019: Apple AirPods, Bose, and Sony

If you're looking to snag a fantastic pair of headphones — be it wired, wireless, or noise-canceling — on the cheap, you've come to the right place. We rounded up all of the best deals available right now.

The best 4K TV deals for August 2019: Samsung, LG, and Vizio

A good 4K smart TV is the only way to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. If you're looking to take your home entertainment to the next level, then we've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

How to download songs from SoundCloud

Have you found a great new artist on SoundCloud and want to add their tracks to your music collection? It's not always easy, so to make your life easier, here's our guide showing you how to download songs from SoundCloud.
Home Theater

720p vs. 1080p vs. 4K UHD: What’s the best resolution for your TV?

You may be asking yourself: 720p? 1080p? 4K UHD? What does it all mean? Choosing the best resolution for your TV can be tough, but fear not: We’ll break down the dirty details and help you figure out the right resolution for you.
Home Theater

The best TVs for 2019

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.

Get into 4K with this 55-inch Samsung smart TV, now $150 less at Walmart

While it normally sells at $528, Walmart slashed the price of the Samsung UN55NU6900 55-inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV (2018 model) by $150, all the way down to an amazing offer of only $378. Get yours today while supplies last.

These Sennheiser wireless headphones are down to only $90 on Amazon

Sennheiser is known for producing world-class audio devices. If you want one of their high-quality headsets without spending a fortune, check out the HD 4.40BT wireless headphones. This headset is only $90 on Amazon now.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video in September 2019

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all of the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in August and September, from new original series to classic films.

Pick up the latest model of AirPods with a charging case for $145 on Amazon

Apple’s AirPods are among the best wireless earbuds out there, especially for iOS users. Amazon has the latest model on sale (wired charging case included) right now, bringing its price down from $159 to $145.

Amazon offers a huge $271 discount on this TCL 55-inch 4K UHD Roku smart TV

If you are looking for a budget TV, Amazon dropped the price of the TCL 55R617 55-Inch 4K UHD Roku smart TV from $800 down to only $529. You will save as much as $271 on this deal, so order now while it still lasts.

Amazon cuts $150 off these Sony noise-canceling headphone bundles

If you are looking for an affordable alternative to the best noise-canceling headphones, check out the Sony WH-XB900N Extra Bass. You can get this Bluetooth headset with a stand or battery pack at $150 less on Amazon.
Home Theater

How can Apple’s The Morning Show possibly cost more than Game of Thrones?

Apple TV+'s The Morning Show, a drama set in a contemporary newsroom, is more expensive than HBO's epic fantasy series Game of Thrones. Surprised? Don't be. Apple TV+ is all about the celebrities.