Skip to Main Content
January 24, 2022

Sony Introduces QD Display and Joins the MiniLED Bandwagon

Sony’s CES 2022 Press Release was high on superlatives. “Filling the world with emotion”, “getting closer to people”. But like the press conference that had the same focus, it was light on hard news, especially relating to TVs. However, CES attendees did, get to experience the Crystal LED Theater video wall showing most of the novelties. In this piece, we take a look at the Sony QD Display CES22 TV Lineup.

A dedicated online-only TV-centric event introduced the new BRAVIA XR TV Lineup with XR Backlight Master Drive Technology. Sony released details one day before the start of CES. Sony pulled all of its TV exhibits and personnel just before the show, disappointing many.

The new TVs are powered by Google TV. Such an alliance might have still raised some eyebrows a few years ago, but is now just accepted as normal.

The Cognitive Processor XR is Sony’s fourth-gen signal processing technology. It controls the MiniLED backlight for what the company calls “incredible dazzling lights and deep blacks in every corner of the large screen”. After TCL in 2020 and Samsung in 2021, Sony is late in joining the miniLED bandwagon. However, fans will say they took their time to get it right.

The general Sony messaging is coherent. The new BRAVIA XR models are promoted for “immersive viewing and gameplay experiences”. These experiences are “formed by combining in-depth picture and three-dimensional sound”. The early consensus is that Sony has done an excellent job embracing miniLED technology. In particular, the blooming artifact that has plagued LCD technologies is well addressed.

The flagship miniLED 8K model is the Master Series Z9K 8K, available in two screen sizes, 85″ and 75″. Just below, comes the X95K lineup. A 4K-resolution MiniLED model is available in the same two sizes alongside a smaller 65″ option. The rest of the X90K and X80K series have local dimming but not miniLED. All LCD TVs are now direct backlight types with no edge-lit models.

Sony has by no means divested from OLED technology with its 2022 OLED TV lineup. The flagship is the A95K which has QD Display technology discussed in an article here. It describes how blue OLED and quantum dots deliver red and green with better saturation, larger color volume, and improved off-angle performance. Sony will offer these sets in 55″ and 65″ screen sizes but didn’t disclose pricing, positioning, or availability.

The A80K series uses “conventional” 4K OLEDs. It will continue in 55, 65, and 77-inch sizes with 48 and 42 planned and an 83″ possibility as well. The A90K line will use LGD’s new EVO panel to offer higher luminance with an acoustic surface for in-screen audio.

Sony QD Display

Sony announced that Bravia XR sets will have an “XR Contrast Booster”. They will carry the label “Perfect for PlayStation 5”, from 2022. Features exclusive to a Sony ecosystem include automated Genre Picture Model and HDR Tone Mapping. Flat panels HD calculated that the ‘XR Contrast Booster’ should deliver between 2000-4000 nits of peak brightness for the Z9K. Optimizing TVs for online, console, and PC-based gameplay was a key theme at CES (see some of the gaming news from Samsung here).

Although not 8K news per se, it’s nice to see other cool features. For example, finding a remote amongst the couch pillows via a clicking sound will be a lifesaver to some. The new Bravia Cam brings high-quality video chats and an array of setup and fine-tuning options. These features are only available on the top range TVs. Adding a video camera to the TV has been a popular option in China. But less so in North American or European markets because of privacy concerns. It will be interesting to see how consumers react to this option.

Working with Netflix, Sony also announced the initial rollout to the Bravia XR TVs of an Adaptive Calibrated Model. Automatic image adjustment adapts the screen to ambient light. This innovation sounds similar to parts of the Filmmaker Mode. The UHD Alliance just updated this at CES 2022 also setting adjustments based on ambient lighting conditions.

Other standard TV features include support for VRR, 48 Gbps HDMI connectors, HLG/HDR10/DV (no HDR10+), and ATSC 3.0 tuners.

Sony’s CES 2022 Press Release was high on superlatives, like filling the world with emotion getting closer to people, but like the press conference that had the same focus, it was light on hard news, especially relating to TVs. CES attendees did, however, get to experience the Crystal LED Theater video wall showing most of the novelties.

Google TV powers most of the new TVs. This alliance might have still raised some eyebrows a year or two ago, but is now just accepted as normal.

The Cognitive Processor XR, Sony’s fourth-gen signal processing technology, controls the MiniLED backlight for what the company calls “incredible dazzling lights and deep blacks in every corner of the large screen”. After TCL in 2020 and Samsung in 2021, Sony is late in joining the miniLED bandwagon, but fans will say they took their time to get it right.

The flagship miniLED 8K model is the Master Series Z9K 8K, available in two screen sizes, 85″ and 75″. Just below it comes the X95K lineup, a 4K-resolution MiniLED model available in the same two sizes, and a smaller 65″ option. The rest of the X90K and X80K series have local dimming but not miniLED. All LCD TVs are now direct backlight types with no edge-lit models.

Sony has by no means divested from OLED technology with its 2022 OLED TV lineup. The flagship is the A95K which has Sony QD Display technology discussed in an article here. It describes how blue OLED and quantum dots deliver red and green with better saturation, larger color volume, and improved off-angle performance. Sony will offer these sets in 55″ and 65″ screen sizes, but pricing, and has yet to disclose positioning, and availability.

The A80K series using “conventional” 4K OLEDs will continue in 55, 65, and 77-inch sizes with 48″ and 42″ planned for additions to the line with an 83″ a possibility as well. The A90K line will use LGD’s new EVO panel to offer higher luminance with an acoustic surface for in-screen audio.

Sony QD Display MiniLED

Sony announced that Bravia XR sets will have an “XR Contrast Booster” and will carry a label “Perfect for PlayStation 5”, from 2022. Features exclusive to a Sony ecosystem include automated Genre Picture Model and HDR Tone Mapping. Flat panels HD has calculated that the ‘XR Contrast Booster’ should deliver between 2000-4000 nits of peak brightness for the Z9K. Optimizing TVs for online, console, and PC-based gameplay was a key theme at CES (see some of the gaming news from Samsung here).

Although not 8K news per se, it’s nice to see cool features like the ability to find a remote lost in the depths of the couch pillows by getting it to make a clicking sound or the new Bravia Cam bringing high-quality video chats and an array of setup and fine-tuning options. These features are only available on the top range TVs. Adding a video camera to the TV has been a popular option in China but not in North American or European markets because of privacy concerns. It will be interesting to see how consumers react to this option.

Working with Netflix, Sony also announced the initial rollout to the Bravia XR TVs of an Adaptive Calibrated Model that automatically adjusts image processing to ambient light. This innovation sounds similar to the Filmmaker mode setting adjustments based on ambient lighting conditions that the UHD Alliance updated at CES 2022.

Other standard Sony QD Display TV features include support for VRR, 48 Gbps HDMI connectors, HLG/HDR10/DV (no HDR10+), and ATSC 3.0 tuners.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.