New Sony TV range

Things we like: Sony new range of TV’s

As big fans of Sony TV’s we’re excited to read about their new range from Inside CI.

Sony unveiled a new generation of BRAVIA-branded 4k TVs, amidst the glitz and glamour of Sony Pictures Studio lot in Culver City. The three models, BRAVIA9, BRAVIA 8, and BRAVIA 7, a mix of Mini LED and OLED, introduce new image enhancing picture technologies as well as the first ever Prime Video Calibrated viewing mode.

Leading the pack is the BRAVIA 9, Sony’s flagship offering for 2024. Available in 75- and 85-inch screen sizes, the BRAVIA 9 boasts an all-new XR Backlight Master Drive featuring an advanced 22-bit panel driver and advanced local dimming algorithms, for higher peak brightness with HDR, and greater colour fidelity. It offers 3x the number of dimming zones of its predecessors, resulting in class leading peak brightness and OLED-quality black levels.

Integrators should note that a new Professional mode on the BRAVIA 9, is equivalent to the Custom mode on Sony’s X95L model, and Filmmaker mode on competitor models.

The XR Backlight Master Drive introduced on the BRAVIA 9 comprises XR processor, LED driver and the individual LEDs themselves. The 2024 iteration of the XR Processor used here features a novel screen recognition system said to provide more accurate screen analysis of hues and shapes. Unlike 2023’s XR silicon, this year’s model doesn’t just recognise front views, but side views, close ups and crowd scenes also. It can also distinguish between actual people and animated faces.

To drive home how precise its new backlight technology is, Sony presented a direct comparison with a rival Samsung Mini LED screen, with the LCD panel removed. Even hobbled, it was still possible to make out the images on the BRAVIA 9, while the competitor looked more blocky. Sony says the BRAVIA 9 is 50 per cent brighter than the X95L, with 3x the dimming zones.

The BRAVIA 9 is also good in less than ideal viewing conditions. X-Anti Reflection and X-Wide Angle treatments go quite some way to reducing reflections and glare, and off-axis viewing is impressive, with little obvious loss of colour or contrast when viewed from the cheap seats.

For those seeking a more affordable alternative, the BRAVIA 7 steps into the spotlight. Available in 55-, 65-, 75- and 85-inch screen sizes, This Mini LED model  appears a fine looking telly in its own right. A snatch of Black Widow confirms naturalistic detail and excellent motion handling. It doesn’t quite gleam like its stablemate, but it does offer similarly excellent colour depth. Once again, there’s precious little blooming. With 8x more dimming zones and 33 per cent more luminosity than its predecessor, the X90L, we think the BRAVIA 7 has best-seller stamped all over.

Between these Mini LED debutants is Sony’s only new OLED offering for 2024, the BRAVIA 8 OLED. Boasting incremental improvements to Sony’s XR processor and a sleek, smooth back panel for flush wall mounting, the BRAVIA 8 has both designer appeal and solid home cinema credentials. The screen, a replacement for the A80L, is tailor-made for media room and home theatre viewing.

Intriguingly, the Standard mode on the BRAVIA 8 doesn’t appear to stray too far from its purist Professional mode, doing an excellent job with skin tones and bright specular highlights. That said, when we laid eyes on it, Sony engineers suggested they were still working through fine tuning, so it’ll be interesting to see just how it performs.

In addition to Dolby Vision HDR support, all BRAVIA TVs are IMAX Enhanced certified.

All three BRAVIA sets feature sophisticated onboard audio systems, with the BRAVIA 9 benefiting from height and side drivers for more immersive listening.

An intriguing new audio feature to look out for is Voice Zoom 3, which uses AI sound separation technology to detect and isolate speech in an audio stream, and then amplify for those seeking greater clarity. This is an improvement on Voice Zoom 2, which targeted an entire frequency band.

Power output on the BRAVIA 9 is rated at 70w. 10W goes to each of the mid-range drivers, with 2x6W assigned to the Frame Tweeters, 2 x 10W to the Beam tweeters and 20W divided between the two subwoofers.

The sound systems on the BRAVIA 8 and BRAVIA 7 are stereophonic in comparison, so would more obviously benefit from external audio help, be it an AV receiver or soundbar.

All three BRAVIA screens support simultaneous playback of audio through both the TV and Bluetooth devices, if required. Alternatively, users can select one or the other as their source.

The other key feature of note is the first ever Prime Video Calibrated Mode. This joins Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode and Sony Pictures Core Calibrated Mode, and optimises picture quality based on content (movies, live sports) and ambient lighting conditions.

With Prime Video leading the charge in auto-calibrating picture settings, and industry veterans singing praises for Sony’s latest offerings, it’s clear that these TVs are likely to make a huge impact on the home entertainment landscape.

Source: InsideCI

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