Sony has announced its first TVs of 2020, and among them is the 48-inch Master Series A9S, the company’s smallest 4K OLED ever. At the top of the lineup is a new 8K LCD TV, the 85- or 75-inch Sony Z8H, followed by the A8H OLED, which is available in 65-inch and 55-inch variants. Rounding out Sony’s announcements today are two new LCD ranges, the X950H and X900H, which are available in sizes ranging from 49 inches to 85 inches.
Sony isn’t the only TV manufacturer to have announced a 4K OLED TV smaller than 55 inches at this year’s CES; LG announced a 48-inch model of its own earlier today. Sony isn’t confirming this explicitly in its press release, but the reason for this is almost certainly that both companies are using the same panel from LG Display, which added a 48-inch model to its range for the first time this year. The announcement suggests we could soon see 48-inch versions from other OLED TV manufacturers, including Panasonic, Vizio, and Philips in Europe.
Since Sony is almost certainly using the same OLED panel as LG, it’s going to have to rely on its picture processing and sound tech to tempt customers to its model. For example, the A9S OLED includes Sony’s Acoustic Surface technology, which uses the panel to project sound, making it appear as though it’s coming from the screen. Picture processing is handled by the same X1 Ultimate processor from elsewhere in Sony’s range, and you also get support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
Granted, this isn’t quite Sony’s smallest OLED TV — back in 2007, the company announced the XEL-1, which was the world’s first OLED TV with a screen size of just 11 inches — but it’s certainly the company’s smallest 4K model. (Its 11-inch original had a resolution of just 960 x 540.)
Following in LG’s footsteps
There are a few new features to be found elsewhere in the range. Sony’s Z8H, its second 8K TV following the Z9G from last year, is the only TV in the lineup to include a backlit remote, and it also comes with new “Frame Tweeter” technology that sees its frame vibrate to create sound.
Meanwhile, both it and the 4K X950H are compatible with Google Assistant, allowing you to control them with external devices equipped with the voice assistant. The Sony X950H also includes a new feature the company is calling “X-Wide Angle,” which it says should improve viewing angles. That’s normally a key disadvantage of LCD TVs like this compared to OLED models. Sony’s entire range announced so far runs on Android 9 Pie and features connectivity with Apple AirPlay 2, HomeKit, and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices and smart speakers.
Unfortunately, much like LG, Sony isn’t ready to announce pricing or availability for its 2020 TV lineup just yet, which means we still don’t know how much these new 48-inch OLED TVs are going to cost. Sony says it plans to announce more details this spring.