Sony Expands 4K Range But Delays First OLED TV

Sony will start to roll out its 2017 range of 4K HDR TVs this month but not its first big-screen OLED sensation, the A1E.

The display that’s been rapturously reviewed abroad won’t launch here until August — presumably because consumer demand in US and Europe has pushed back shipments to smaller markets like NZ and Australia.

That will give LG and Panasonic a head start locally, with both set to launch new OLED TV models this month, including LG’s revolutionary “wallpaper TV”, the W7.

But in Sony’s favour is a resurgence in not only the brand’s engineering prowess, with last year’s 4K LED TVs being among the best on the market, but also its reliability, having been named the Most Trusted TV and Home Entertainment Brand in the Readers Digest Most Trusted Brand Awards 2017.

Sony has yet to finalise NZ pricing of the A1E but its biggest LED flagship, the 75-inch KD75X9400E, which is the only new model with Full Array Local Dimming (FALD), will cost $11,000.

Its edge-lit 65-inch stablemate, the KD65X9300E, will cost $7000, the same as last year’s stunning FALD model, the Z9D, and the 55-inch option, $5000.

Sony is promising improved processing, better brightness and higher contrast with its new line-up, with 4K HDR models dominating the range.

Sky TV may still be largely SD-driven but streaming and gaming services are forging ahead with 4K HDR content — which is why the 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme used in Sony’s flagship Z series has been extended to its two new X and A series.

The A1E series also couples a world first — a large-screen TV that can emit sound from the panel itself* — and a unique stand-less design that Sony argues doesn’t distract what you’re viewing.

As for the new X93E series, its Slim Backlight Drive+ is meant to allow for more precise local diming control than last year’s Slim Backlight Drive.

“With its quad-edge LED structure and X-tended Dynamic Range PRO local dimming and boosting technology, it brings superior brightness and exceptional contrast,” Sony claims in the press release. “In fact it will deliver 10 times the XDR contrast** of conventional LED TV.”

The new X93E and A1E series will also support Dolby Vision, the HDR format from Dolby Laboratories that’s a feature of LG’s TVs but not Panasonic’s three new OLED models.

Here’s a summary of Sony’s 2017 range, features and pricing:

A1E Series (65” and 55” Class model) 4K HDR OLED TV

  • Features OLED display. Eight million self-illuminating pixels brings a significantly enriched visual experience with unprecedented blacks, authentic colour, blur-less image and a free viewing angle.
  • Features Acoustic Surface technology: the entire screen resonates with great sound emanating directly from the screen itself. This allows a perfect unification of picture and sound that conventional TVs cannot deliver.
  • Features 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme, providing the ultimate 4K HDR viewing experience by incorporating three new technologies: Object-based HDR remaster, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR and Dual database processing.
  • Features vibrant, expanded colour with TRILUMINOS Display, further enhanced for colour accuracy.
  • Uses 4K X-Reality PRO to produce stunning detail with Sony’s unique algorithm of reality creation database for any content, such as TV broadcasts, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Internet video and digital photos.
  • The Acoustic Surface technology lends to the cutting-edge design of the A1E series by doing away with conventional speakers usually located around the TV. The result is a unique stand-less form factor with no distraction from the picture.
  • Android TV lets you explore a world of movies, music, photos, games, search, apps and more. Voice Search to find content, ask questions and control your TV. With Chromecast built-in, you can easily send content from your smartphone or tablet to the TV. With access to Google Play, you can enjoy what you like to do on a smartphone or tablet, from their TV.
  • Sony’s exclusive Content Bar user interface allows you to comfortably browse content quickly and intuitively without disrupting your TV viewing.
  • HDR compatible to receive and process the new video standard signal with higher brightness, higher contrast and more vibrant colours via Internet video services, HDMI and USB port. Supports Dolby Vision HDR format.

X94E Series (75” Class model) 4K HDR TV

X93E Series (65” and 55” Class models) 4K HDR TV

  • Features Slim Backlight Drive+ with a unique quad-edge LED structure, allowing precise local dimming control which provides exceptional brightness and deeper blacks than a conventional full-array LED TV in an ultra slim design (X93E only***).
  • Features 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme, providing the ultimate 4K HDR viewing experience by incorporating three new technologies: Object-based HDR remaster, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR and Dual database processing.
  • X-tended Dynamic Range PRO enhances HDR and non-HDR content by boosting and dimming the backlight levels precisely for each zone of the screen with a unique backlighting technology (10 times XDR contrast1).
  • Features vibrant, expanded colour with TRILUMINOS Display, further enhanced for colour accuracy.
  • Uses 4K X-Reality PRO to produce stunning detail with Sony’s unique algorithm of reality creation database for any content, such as TV broadcasts, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Internet video and digital photos.
  • The ultra slim design allows for flush with the wall mounting and clean cable management for table top mount.
  • Wall mount bracket with swivel included in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Android TV lets you explore a world of movies, music, photos, games, search, apps and more. Voice Search to find content, ask questions and control your TV. With Chromecast built-in, you can easily send content from your smartphone or tablet to the TV. With access to Google Play, you can enjoy what you like to do on a smartphone or tablet, from their TV.
  • Sony’s exclusive Content Bar user interface allows you to comfortably browse content quickly and intuitively without disrupting your TV viewing.
  • HDR compatible to receive and process the new video standard signal with higher brightness, higher contrast and more vibrant colours via Internet video services, HDMI and USB port. Supports Dolby Vision HDR format.

X90E Series (75”, 65”, 55”, and 49” Class models) 4K HDR TV

  • Features 4K HDR Processor X1, reproducing more depth, textures and natural colours with Object-based HDR remaster and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology.
  • X-tended Dynamic Range PRO enhances HDR and non-HDR content by boosting and dimming the backlight levels precisely for each zone of the screen with a unique backlighting technology (5 times XDR contrast1).
  • Features vibrant, expanded colour with TRILUMINOS Display, further enhanced for colour accuracy.
  • Uses 4K X-Reality PRO to produce stunning detail with Sony’s unique algorithm of reality creation database for any content, such as TV broadcasts, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Internet video and digital photos.
  • Android TV lets you explore a world of movies, music, photos, games, search, apps and more. Voice Search to find content, ask questions and control your TV. With Chromecast built-in, you can easily send content from your smartphone or tablet to the TV. With access to Google Play, you can enjoy what you like to do on a smartphone or tablet, from their TV.
  • Sony’s exclusive Content Bar user interface allows you to comfortably browse content quickly and intuitively without disrupting your TV viewing.
  • HDR compatible to receive and process the new video standard signal with higher brightness, higher contrast and more vibrant colours via Internet video services, HDMI and USB port.

X85E Series (75”, 65”, and 55”Class models) 4K HDR TV

  • Features 4K HDR Processor X1, reproducing more depth, textures and natural colours with Object-based HDR remaster and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology.
  • Features vibrant, expanded colour with TRILUMINOS Display, further enhanced for colour accuracy.
  • Uses 4K X-Reality PRO to produce stunning detail with Sony’s unique algorithm of reality creation database for any content, such as TV broadcasts, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Internet video and digital photos.
  • The ultra slim design comes with sleek rear design and clean cable management for table top mount.
  • Android TV lets you explore a world of movies, music, photos, games, search, apps and more. Voice Search to find content, ask questions and control your TV. With Chromecast built-in, you can easily send content from your smartphone or tablet to the TV. With access to Google Play, you can enjoy what you like to do on a smartphone or tablet, from their TV.
  • Sony’s exclusive Content Bar user interface allows you to comfortably browse content quickly and intuitively without disrupting your TV viewing.
  • HDR compatible to receive and process the new video standard signal with higher brightness, higher contrast and more vibrant colours via Internet video services, HDMI and USB port.

X80E Series (49”, and 43” Class models) 4K HDR TV

  • Features vibrant, expanded colour with TRILUMINOS Display, further enhanced for colour accuracy.
  • Uses 4K X-Reality PRO to produce stunning detail with Sony’s unique algorithm of reality creation database for any content, such as TV broadcasts, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Internet video and digital photos.
  • The ultra slim form factor comes with sleek rear design and clean cable management for table top mount.
  • Android TV lets you explore a world of movies, music, photos, games, search, apps and more. Voice Search to find content, ask questions and control your TV. With Chromecast built-in, you can easily send content from your smartphone or tablet to the TV. With access to Google Play, you can enjoy what you like to do on a smartphone or tablet, from their TV.
  • Sony’s exclusive Content Bar user interface allows you to comfortably browse content quickly and intuitively without disrupting your TV viewing.
  • HDR compatible to receive and process the new video standard signal with higher brightness, higher contrast and more vibrant colours via Internet video services, HDMI and USB port.

Pricing and Availability

KDL49W660E 49 inch $1,399.95 May
KDL40W660E 40 inch $999.95 May
KD65X7000E 65 inch $3,799.95 July
KD55X7000E 55 inch $2,599.95 July
KD49X7000E 49 inch $2,199.95 June
KD43X7000E 43 inch $1,599.95 June
KD49X8000E 49 inch $2,499.95 June
KD43X8000E 43 inch $1,899.95 June
KD75X8500E 75 inch $7,999.95 June
KD65X8500E 65 inch $4,499.95 June
KD55X8500E 55 inch $3,299.95 May
KD75X9000E 75 inch $8,999.95 June
KD65X9000E 65 inch $5,499.95 May
KD55X9000E 55 inch $3,999.95 June
KD49X9000E 49 inch $2,999.95 June
KD75X9400E 75inch $10,999.95 June
KD65X9300E 65 inch $6,999.95 June
KD55X9300E 55 inch $4,999.95 June

*     Size over 55 inches (as of 4 January 4 2017, according to research by Sony).

**   XDR is the abbreviation of X-tended Dynamic Range. This is the perceptible contrast level expanded by the X-tended Dynamic Range PRO technology, which is the unique figure calculated for the contrast which users actually feel and experience (XDR Contrast). This figure is based on Sony’s conventional TV without local dimming.

*** The X94E is built in with full-array direct LED backlight.

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One Response to “Sony Expands 4K Range But Delays First OLED TV”

  1. Thanx for the info. I’m going to be in the market for a new TV later in the year.

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