3D Week: Sony’s 2011 Range

Sony's smallest 3D TV in 2011 will be the 32-inch EX720

Sony NZ is about to announce a “big increase” in 3D displays as part of  a “fundamental shift” from passive to active viewing in its 2011 TV range.

“We will have 23 [2D and 3D] models in the first half of 2011,” Sony’s Tim Barlow told ScreenScribe.tv.

“The overall range will be a similar size to previous years, but there is a big increase in the range of LED-backlit, 3D and Internet-capable TVs.”

3D will be supported on three of the eight series: the EX720, the NX720 and the HX series models (glasses optional, but all will also ‘upscale’ any 2D content to 3D); the smallest 3D display will be 32 inches and the largest, 65.

Screen sizes over the entire range will vary from 26 inches to 65, Barlow says.

“We will have entry products in a range of screen sizes — BX320, EX500 and the CX520 Internet TV; the mid-range EX520 and EX720 for those wanting a thinner LED-backlit screen; and then our ultimate design and picture quality ranges, the NX and HX series.”

There will be a choice of screen sizes across the BX320 (entry digital TV), CX520 (basic Internet TV), EX500 (big-screen CCFL/conventional backlighting but no Internet), EX520 (LED backlight), EX720 (3D), NX720 (“monolithic” design), HX820 and HX923 (highest picture quality)

Everything from the CX520 above, except the EX500, which is being carried over from last year, is Internet capable, including Internet video, Skype (optional camera), browser/widgets and support for Sony’s new unlimited music subscription system Qriocity.

Wireless is in-built on NX and above; all models can also connect via ethernet or with an optional USB wireless adaptor.

The 55-inch NX720

The EX520/720, NX and HX-series, which account for just over half of the range, will have LED backlighting, which Barlow points out comes in different flavours – “our best being ‘Intelligent Peak LED backlighting’ on our HX923-series, which can light individual parts of the screen without affecting the rest of the display for virtually infinite contrast ratios.”

None of the new TVs will have built-in Blu-ray players. “But we will be launching a new range of BD players around the same time,” Barlow says.

“They will also be capable of many of the Internet ‘tricks’ that the TVs have, making them a great ‘upgrade’ for older TVs.”

Barlow says the concept behind many of the new TVs is a “fundamental shift” from passive to active viewing.

“So that changes quite a few aspects of the design. Generally speaking, we’ve improved TVs in three key areas.”

They are: TV redefined (including 3D, Internet features); picture quality (new technologies like Motionflow XR and X-Reality Pro video processing, the use of new high-contrast local dimming and unique OptiContrast panels); and design (ongoing development of the Monolithic design idea with slimmer and lighter TVs using energy-efficient LED backlighting).

“The newly developed X-Reality PRO video processor is designed specifically to improve the quality of low bit-rate Internet video, which obviously was not really a consideration in previous TV ranges,” Barlow says.

“Likewise, the thin design and glass surface on our Monolithic models presents challenges met with an ultra-thin but ultra-durable Gorilla Glass surface and a special resin-filled OptiContrast panel, which prevents reflections and ensures great contrast in all lighting conditions.”

The top-of-the-range HX820

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