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Sony joins the 8K club, rolls out its new flagship LCD TV at CES

Sony joins the 8K club, rolls ...
The Sony Z9G is the company's first 8K set for consumers
The Sony Z9G is the company's first 8K set for consumers
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The Sony Z9G is the company's first 8K set for consumers
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The Sony Z9G is the company's first 8K set for consumers
The Z9R from Sony is available in 98-inch and 85-inch sizes
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The Z9R from Sony is available in 98-inch and 85-inch sizes
Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and HDMI 2.1 are some of the technologies in the new Sony Z9G
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Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos and HDMI 2.1 are some of the technologies in the new Sony Z9G
The Picture Processor X1 Ultimate chip on the Sony Z9R handles 8K upscaling duties
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The Picture Processor X1 Ultimate chip on the Sony Z9R handles 8K upscaling duties
Sony has also unveiled 4K TVs, including the A9G
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Sony has also unveiled 4K TVs, including the A9G
The Sony A9G also comes with Android TV on board and support for Apple's AirPlay 2 standard
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The Sony A9G also comes with Android TV on board and support for Apple's AirPlay 2 standard

There's usually an abundance of new TVs at CES, and the latest models to arrive are from Sony and include the company's first 8K-resolution set for consumers. The Z9G LCD TV is available in 85-inch and 98-inch sizes, to show off all those 33 million pixels.

As part of Sony's Master series – representing "the pinnacle of picture quality" in Sony's words – the Z9G features color, contrast and clarity optimized by the latest Picture Processor X1 Ultimate chip introduced last year. The intention is to produce images and video that match what content creators intended as closely as possible.

That Picture Processor X1 Ultimate chip will also handle the algorithms designed to upscale content to 8K – something that's going to be essential while there's still only a smattering of 8K content around. While a lot of new movies and shows are now available in 4K on platforms like Netflix and iTunes, it's going to be a while before 8K becomes the norm.

The set also features new technologies for managing backlighting, dynamic range and audio across 8K content – you get four front-facing speakers with Dolby Atmos support, and the TV can act as the central speaker in a surround sound home cinema setup. HDMI 2.1 and support for the Dolby Vision HDR standard are also included.

If you're not ready (or wealthy) enough to join the 8K revolution just yet, Sony has also introduced the new A9G OLED TV as part of its Master range. 4K resolution and Dolby Vision HDR are supported here, with sizes of 77 inches, 65 inches, and 55 inches to pick from.

The Z9R from Sony is available in 98-inch and 85-inch sizes
The Z9R from Sony is available in 98-inch and 85-inch sizes

The same Picture Processor X1 Ultimate is on board the A9G, and again Sony is promising professional-grade picture and audio quality, as well as seamless upscaling for any content that isn't delivered at 4K resolutions.

Both these sets and the more affordable LCD and OLED variants that Sony is launching in Las Vegas feature Android TV included, as previous Sony televisions have. Apps like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu can be launched right from the home screen, while Google Assistant and Chromecast functionality is integrated too.

For the first time, these Sony TVs will offer AirPlay 2 compatibility, just like the range Samsung has unveiled at CES. The Apple-made streaming standard allows video and audio to be beamed from iTunes and iOS devices, and it now appears Apple is ready to give other manufacturers access after years of exclusivity.

There will be no native iTunes app for Android TV though, as there is for the Tizen-running Samsung TVs, so you'll need to stream iTunes content from another device. The new Sony TVs will also double up as HomeKit hubs however, another concession from Apple.

As for the all important pricing, Sony says this will be revealed in the early part of 2019, but be prepared to pay a premium for the Master sets – especially the 8K one.

Source: Sony

3 comments
Daishi
I don't think 8k will fall in price as quickly as 1080p and 4k did. Here is a useful screen resolution chart http://s3.carltonbale.com/resolution_chart.png It takes standing about 7 feet from a 70" screen before the benefits of 4k start to become noticeable. You would need to be the same distance (7 feet) from a 140" screen to get the full benefit of 4k and before 8k starts to become noticeable. That's more than twice the size of my TV and half the normal viewing distance. That means 8k doesn't really make sense for consumer households and will be limited to a very small niche like upscale sports bars with wall sized TV's and professional venues. It's hard to justify the infrastructure required to deliver high quality 8k feeds to that small of an audience. 8k will lack the volume needed to drive pricing lower for a while. The only real benefit it offers to household electronics is marketing because 8 is a larger number than 4. I fear it will be like digital cameras and we will someday have 40" 16k displays for sale at wal-mart that are crap in every other measurable way as the industry feeds off of consumer ignorance.
T N Args
The great thing about this is that it signals the fall in price of the very large 4K TV. If the price of a 100-inch Sony 4K with HDR drops to $10k, buyers can rejoice, because the minimum comfortable viewing angle for TV means that 4K exceeds the human eye's resolving ability. No real need for 8K, or more, ever. So, buy one of those 4K HDR monsters, and step off the upgrade treadmill.
noteugene
These few photos fail to show the capabilities of 8k. 4k's more than good enough. If it cost more than twice of what a decent 4k unit cost (currently about $500), it's not worth buying. And for sure they won't go for 1k. If we don't have the infrastucture for 8k yet, I don't see the purpose of 8k. I will say that I'm glad that we are able to produce 8k units though. The market will align as always but I think it's going to take a while. I'll wait.