The traditional Consumer Electronic Show has not yet officially started, but Sony has already lifted the veil on its new range of televisions for 2021. No less than seven new models, more efficient, smarter and taking advantage of technologies exclusive and new will land in France from March. We take stock!
When it comes to televisions this year at Sony, there have been several important announcements. The one we qualify as “major” concerns the arrival of a brand new processor Bravia XR, also called the « Cognitive Processor XR ». A chip whose particularity could be summed up in one sentence: it is responsible for making the image broadcast by the television as realistic as you would perceive it in real life. In fact, to achieve this, thousands of data are analyzed in real time. You can read the article dedicated to the Sony Bravia XR to learn more.
Two other important things to remember. The first, in association with its Sony Pictures division, the manufacturer launches its streaming service Bravia Core offering a quality equivalent to Ultra HD Blu-Ray. And the second: Sony would be the first to integrate the Google TV operating system (with its in-house overlay). Be careful, however, all the announcements have not yet taken place and we do not know if another manufacturer is not also in the ranks – why not on the side of Philips?
Four big news for 4K LCDs
These new assets, acclaimed by Sony, you will find them in a very complete range, the availability of which will start next March. As always, prices will be communicated shortly before the launch (for exchange rate stories) of each of the new ranges and it will also be necessary to wait a little longer to know all the details of each of the new products. However, in general terms, we can already share some good news. On the side of the common points concerning all the models that we are going to discuss here, there is the presence of Google TV, therefore, but also the ambient light sensor responsible for optimizing the TV settings accordingly. Unfortunately, this does not allow Sony to display compatibility with Dolby Vision IQ modes, even on these more high-end models. And do not expect to find LCD models with mini LED backlighting at Sony either, as they will be found on the Samsung NEO QLED or LG QNED.
Rather behind on this point compared to the competition, as it was in 2020 on the integration of HDMI 2.1. In 2021, however, this will be ancient history since Sony generalizes this connectivity, or almost. Indeed, only the LCD X80J series, representing the entry (entry) of the range is still deprived of it. Good news, the 43, 50, 55, 75 and 75 inch models that will make up this series will benefit from the X1 Ultimate processor, a high-performance chip that we have already told you about a lot on Frandroid. On the other hand, beware, the X80J will be equipped with an EDGE LED backlighting system, much less efficient and precise than the Full Array, and this will also be the case for the X85J (pictured below).
The Bravia X85J family will also represent an important range on the entry-level LCD market at Sony and this is why the manufacturer offers a very wide choice of sizes ranging from 43 to 85 inches! Enough to meet the expectations of consumers who are now turning more and more to very large formats. Inside, there too, an X1 Ultimate chip takes care of image and sound processing. Sound provided by a conventional audio system, however meeting Dolby Atmos certification. It is from these X85J that the HDMI 2.1 connector arrives offering 4K, ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode), eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) and VRR (Variable Refresh Rate) … finally in a second time. According to Sony, this “variable refresh rate” technology is not yet finalized by the HDMI Forum within the HDMI 2.1 standard – which has not stopped Samsung or LG from deploying this function for a long time. Remember that VRR techno has not yet been activated on the brand’s PS5. A delay still that the manufacturer intends to correct with the arrival of a next update on televisions. Will this be done even before the launch of the new ranges? The future will tell. We will also have to wait to know the details of the number of sockets compatible with HDMI 2.1 for each of the ranges.
The move upmarket continues with the Bravia XR X90J and X95J. Still compatible with HDMI 2.1, they are the first of this 2021 range to integrate the Bravia XR processor, but also a Full Array LED backlight. Sony takes care of the ergonomics of its products by offering on the X95J a third position for the feet – two are available on the X90J. Thus, in addition to the central or wide configurations, allowing respectively to place the large models on a small piece of furniture, but also to accommodate a sound bar in front of the television set, the X95J takes advantage of a low position so that the panel is flush with the furniture. This is due to the integration of the Acoustic Multi-Audio system. Note a little more, the X95J will be delivered with a backlit remote control and will also benefit from the X-Wide Angle and X-Anti Reflection techno as a bonus for the X95J. Finally, the X90J will be offered in versions ranging from 50 to 75 inches. The X95J will be available in 65, 75 and 85 inches.
Two brighter OLED models
The OLED range is also updated with the arrival of the A80J and A90J. Everyone will benefit from the new XR processor. The multitudes of audio and video processing technologies offered by this chip are present, such as HDMI 2.1 connectivity or the choice of three configurations of feet. The differences then lie in the details and more particularly on the audio equipment.
The A80J integrates an Acoustic Surface system with a single subwoofer where the A90J integrates two. The latter model also benefits from a backlit remote control. Recall that Sony mentioned that the panels of these 2021 models would be brighter. No data is communicated, but this would be made possible in particular thanks to a passive cooling system – a solution that has proven itself at Panasonic on the side of the TX-65HZ2000 in particular. The A80J will be offered in 55, 65 and 77 inches and the A90J in 55, 65 and 83 inches.
Sony Bravia Z9J: 8K to top it off
It is naturally the Z9J, the 8K LCD model that reigns over this new range. We can’t wait to know the prices of these 75 and 85 inch models, but we can already fear that they are not very accessible. Anyway, the Z9J, which succeeds the ZH8, make no concessions on Sony technologies. Bravia XR chip, all audio and video processing, new generation anti-reflection filter, backlit remote control, Acoustic Multi-Audio, Ambient Optimization… everything is there. Of course, in addition to 4K definition at 120 frames per second, 8K at 60 fps.
These models are also looking very successful aesthetically and they will also offer three installation configurations for all those who would like to complete their installation with a Dolby Atmos soundbar for example. See you in March for all the details of this new Sony Bravia XR range. The availability of test products should follow quickly and we can’t wait …