Sony Reveals Pricing On Ultra-Thin XBR 4K Ultra HDTVs
Sony said Sunday that its X900C and X910C lines of ultra-thin 4K Ultra HD LED TVs will ship in July.
The X900C models (see the 65-inch pictured above) feature panel depths measuring 0.2 inches thin, and come with specially designed mounting brackets to enable a very narrow profile “floating-screen” look against the wall. The thin-panel and thin bezels around the screen help Sony achieve the look of a thin-screen OLED TV in a brighter LED TV form factor.
“At its thickest point, hung on a wall, it is as thick as the length of a Chapstick container,” said Philip Jones, Sony product marketing specialist.
More on the arrival of Sony’s ultra-thin 4K UHD XBR LED-LCD TVs after the break:
The Sony models include in the X900C series with the 55-inch XBR55X900C ($2499) and the 65-inch XBR65X900C ($3,999) screen sizes and the X910C series, which is slightly thicker than the X900C models in order to support the 75-inch XBR75X910C($5,499) screen size.
Sony said it will begin pre-sales on the X900C models beginning today (June 21), with availability/delivery beginning in early July. The sets will be available through Amazon, Sony’s online store at store.sony.com, Best Buy stores and bestbuy.com/SonyExperience.
Both series combine 3840×2160 pixel resolution, which is four times higher than mainstream Full HD 1920×1080 TVs. The X900C models are said to be Sony’s thinnest TVs ever, with a depth that’s thinner than a cellphone. Similarly, the 75-inch X910C is the thinnest TV of its size.
Neither series includes support for forthcoming 4K Ultra HD content produced with high dynamic range (HDR) metadata, but they will be able to play standard dynamic range 4K content via inclusion of HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 jacks, and HEVC decoding.
In addition, Jones told HD Guru that Sony’s XBR TVs process signals available today to boost the appearance of higher dynamic range you see on screen.
“We have a database for upscaling and a database for color up-conversion and dynamic range up-conversion, so we can extract more details from the content you are looking at,” explained Jones of Sony’s picture enhancement architecture. “So you can have an HDR-like experience from the content you are looking at today. That’s not just detail resolution, but color resolution.”
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Features in both lines include Sony’s: X1 processor, which boosts contrast performance and color in any resolution content fed to the set. To upscale lower resolution content to fit the expanded pixels on the screen and keep pictures sharp, Sony uses its X-Reality PRO picture engine. Sony also includes in both lines its Triluminos color enhancement system, which is said to enhance color richness and present a wider color gamut than the standard Rec.709 required for Full HD and 4K Ultra HDTVs.
“Last year’s X900B and the X900C both have the X-Reality Pro processing engine for upscaling and everything else. What separates the two is the X1, which does a better job utilizing those technologies,” Jones explained. “So, upscaling is going to be sharper, particularly in low bit-rate content like lower bit-rate streaming HD, and it also does a better job in displaying details in lower bit-rate 4K.”
“The one thing that is really striking is the management of color,” he continued. “ If you look at the reds – red on a wide color gamut TV is actually easy to render. That’s the first one that everybody does. We deliver subtle gradations in blues, for example. It’s the subtle colors that make these TVs standout. The thing is that for most of these TVs, when you do the color expansion, they can expand with the color in one direction. But the processor can look at all three and run through its database for red, green and blue and pick one. And that’s the reason that it has to be faster because it has to be able to look at all three colors and be able to expand them.”
Both model series also incorporate the new Android TV operating system with expanded app selection from the Google Play store, selections of video games, voice control operation, easier use of program searches and faster, more fluid operation.
Among the more than 600 supported apps are: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, Hulu, CBS News, CBS Sports, Crackle, NBA Game Time, Pandora and SlingTV.
A Google Cast feature allows wirelessly linking to a mobile device to view content being played on the device to appear on the larger TV screen. The program will work with Android or iOS devices, Mac or Windows computer and Chromebooks. Users can also personalize the Android TV home screen to quickly find specific apps and programming.
“With Android TV we provide a lifestyle interface,” said Jones. “I can start watching a movie on my TV, hit pause, and pick up watching it on my tablet, then go over and watch a little bit more on my smartphone. Or I can start playing a game on my smartphone, hit pause, and go over and resume playing it on my TV. I can seamlessly blend all of that together. Android TV is about integrating devices together – iPhones, Android phones.. they all work seamlessly for a much more enhanced experience.”
Sony said that it will also add its PlayStation Now multi-media entertainment services to the TVs beginning this summer, when users will be able to stream PlayStation 3 games to the TV and play them with an [optional] DualShock 4 controller.
By Greg Tarr
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