High dynamic range is the theme of the year for TVs at CES 2016. 4K HDR is considered the true jump in picture quality from 1080p over the standard 4K TV sets we’ve seen for the past few years, and nearly every manufacturer has its own take on the format, including Sony. The company is unveiling three 4K HDR TVs today with a slew of features that Sony wants you to believe will make HDR content look crisper than standard HDR.
Sony’s new flagship TVs are the 75-inch XBR-X940D Series and the XBR-X930D Series, which comes in 65-inch and 55-inch flavors. (Confusingly, the company is branding all its 4K HDR TVs as "4K HDR Ultra HD.") Both sets feature ultra-thin bezels, Sony’s Triluminos display, and Google’s Android TV interface.
The XBR-X930D includes grid-array local-dimming that Sony calls Slim Backlight Drive, and which the company says allows for a thinner bezel without diminishing proper backlight distribution (the XBR-X940D comes with a slim full-array direct-backlit LED). Combined with the company’s X-tended Dynamic Range Pro system, Sony says their TVs can produce even deeper blacks and more vibrant colors than what standard HDR can already accomplish.
Although HDR content is lacking from just about every major streaming service (Amazon does have a few shows currently streaming in HDR), Sony is preparing its own offerings for its customers. The company is launching a new app with its HDR TVs called Ultra, which will allow users to purchase and stream HDR content from Sony Pictures on your Sony 4K HDR TV running Android TV. Ultra will launch later this year in the US with 40 to 50 titles to start.
While Sony has yet to announce pricing for these TVs, the company also introduced what looks to be a slightly cheaper version: the XBR-X850D Series, which will be available in 55-inch, 65-inch, 75-inch and 85-inch models. The XBR-X850D comes with Sony’s Triluminos Display, supports HDR, and works through Android TV, but doesn’t feature X-tended Dynamic Range Pro.
Sony says the XBR-X940D, XBR-X930D, and XBR-X850D will be available in "early 2016."
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