The Sony 77-inch Bravia A1E 4K Ultra HD OLED TV at CES 2017
UPDATE! Sony formally announced pricing on its first large-format 4K Ultra HD Bravia A1E OLED TVs Tuesday, boosting manufacturers suggested retail selling prices by $1,000 each on the 55- and 65-inch models over what was original given to dealers several weeks earlier.
The last-minute price adjustment will make the previously announced suggested retail prices the Unilateral Pricing Policy (UPP) (or everyday) prices, several weeks after models begin shipping, sources told HD Guru.
The Sony Bravia A1E 4K Ultra HD OLED TV line will be released in three sizes: the 55-inch Sony KD-55A1E ($4,999.99 suggested retail price, up from $3,999.99 previously shared with dealers) and the 65-inch KD-65A1E ($6,499.99 MSRP, up from $5,499.99 previously given to dealers).
Sony’s official price announcement did not reveal pricing on the 77-inch KD-77A1E. Dealers will begin taking pre-orders on the 55- and 65-inch models effective today (March 14th) at the $4,999.99 and $6,499.99 MSRP prices. Shipments will begin in April. The $1,000 lower UPP prices are expected to take effect later in April or May, sources told HD Guru.
Sony’s official announcement did not include pricing on the 77-inch model. Sources said that model will ship closer to September, with a pre-order price of $17,999.99. The pre-order date is to be announced later. However, the planned everyday (or UPP) price will be $14,999.99, sources said.
All prices are subject to change.
Sony’s OLED models have flat screens and none support 3D.
For comparison purposes Sony’s flagship Z9D high-performance 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TV series, introduced last summer, carry UPP prices of $5,499.99 for the 65-inch model, $8,999.99 for the 75-inch model and $59,999.99 for the 100-inch model. The Z9D models are to remain in Sony’s line through the calendar year, but dealers who have spent time with them tell us the A1E OLEDs seem every bit as good, if not superior to the Z9Ds in picture performance. The key differences there will be in screen sizes with only one common size — 65 inches — between the two lines.
Read more about Sony’s April delivery of the A1E OLED TV models after the jump:
Like LG’s new Signature W7 OLED series, the Sony A1E models have been designed with a less-is-more — Sony calls this “One Slate” — cosmetic styling that emphasizes only the picture, stripping away borders and trademarks. The Sony OLED sets even cleverly conceal the stand and feet. Instead the TVs have a glass front and back and a thin metal frame for support in the rear of the set. The display sits directly on a tabletop with a 5-degree backwards tilt.
The stand is visible from the rear of the set, and houses the system subwoofer. It’s also designed to fold into the TV for use as a built-in VESA wall mount.
The Sony 2017 OLED TV series replaces traditional built-in side-mounted or down-firing speakers with a new “Acoustic Surface” sound technology that uses vibration of the OLED panel to produce audio directly from the screen itself. The technology is designed to emit high quality stereo sound from ultra-slim panel TVs. The effect is such that it seems to follow objects around on the screen regardless of the seating position and enables a stand-less form factor.
Beyond sound and cosmetics, Sony said that what will separate it’s 4K OLED TVs from others in the market this year will be its advanced picture processing technologies, including its Triluminos technology system (although Sony never quite reveals what that is, exactly). For the most part, that means the Sony A1E series features the X1 Extreme processor that was used in last year’s flagship ZD9 4K Ultra HD LED TV series. This is noted for producing very deep black levels producing what Sony claims is superior contrast and color saturation to competing OLED sets. Brightness is also said to be boosted, but Sony doesn’t say by how much.
For upscaling, Sony employs its Super Bit Mapping (SBM) and HDR Remaster technologies, which were previously introduced in the flagship Z9D series. SBM delivers smoother color gradations in images upscaled to 4K without softening the picture, Sony said. HDR Remaster technology produces a simulated HDR effect in standard dynamic range (SDR) content by analyzing and individually processing for at each object in an image.
The Sony OLED sets also feature support for high dynamic range (HDR), specifically the most common HDR10 form, but like the company’s top three 2017 4K LED LCD TV series, they will also include Dolby Vision and will add support for hybrid log-gamma (HLG) HDR through a firmware update.
The sets are also said to offer strong motion de-blur and de-judder reduction circuitry.
All of the new 2017 4K Ultra HDTVs continue to use Android TV smart TV operating systems and are also Sony’s first models to integrate voice command operation through use of an optional Google Home smart speaker. This enables users to speak voice commands to the TV that are picked up by a Google Home and directed to the television. A firmware update was launched last month to add the feature to existing Sony TVs.
Android TV also brings access to Sony’s Ultra 4K HDR streaming service and to Sony’s PlayStation Vue, a live TV-streaming service. Furthermore, the OS integrates the Chromecast system that enables TVs to play audio and video content from Chromecast-enabled apps on smartphones and tablets.
Connectivity includes four HDMI 2.0a with HDCP 2.2; Ethernet port, RS-232 port, cable/antenna, mini headphone out, optical audio out, and 3 USB ports.
Last month, Sony formally released pricing on its new lines of XBR 4K Ultra HD LED LCD TVs. The new 4K LCD TVs include a 75-inch X940E series model and two X930E Series models in 65- and 55-inch sizes.
In other pricing announcements from Sony home theater audio department, Sony said the previously announced HT-MT300 compact sound bar will be available for pre-sale today (March 14th) and will be available in stores March 2017 for $349.99 MSRP; the HT-ST5000 flagship soundbar will go on pre-sale in May will be available in stores July 2017 for $1,499.99 MSRP.
The STR-DN1080 AV receiver will be available for presale in April and will be in stores in May 2017 for a $599.99 MSRP.
By Greg Tarr
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