Yesterday, I went along to the Sony Press conference in Berlin (at technology convention IFA) to see what they had in store for consumers in the coming months and into 2013. Along with some rather impressive looking new phones and an updated tablet to the one they released last year, (more info on that tomorrow along with the phones and headphones), by far and away the jewel in the crown was the world’s first consumer 4K LCD display, the KD-84X9005.
We got to have a look at it once the presentation was complete and it blew me away. The clarity of the picture was like nothing I’ve seen before with a resolution boasting four times higher than full HD.
I got to demo the 3D version which showed footage from a Sony presentation reel and The Amazing Spider-Man trailer which was, again, looking the best I’ve seen it since seeing it at the cinema. Cinema chains like Vue have been using Sony 4K for a while now (see my interview with the Vice President of Sony Digital Cinema David McIntosh of Sony Cinema where we talk about it here) but now this is the first time you can get anything of this quality in your own home.
There’s been no official pricing as yet but it sounds like these new monster TVs won’t be coming in at a price that most of us can afford. The question I was asking was ‘who are these TVs aimed at’ because at the moment, only the rich will be buying this, but just like all new tech it has to start somewhere and prices will only come down. The other issue will be size as not many people I know will have room for an 84″ TV in their lounge but again, I’m sure we’ll see 40 or 50″ sets coming onto the market in the not too distant future.
Keep your eyes peeled for more from this beauty as once you see it, you’re going to want one as much as I do!
Here’s an overview of the main features as provided by Sony:
? Powerful, high-resolution large-screen picture
(1) 4K LCD planel in the Industry’s largest-class 84 inch class (*1)
The 4K (3840 x 2160) LCD panel boasts four times the pixels of Full HD, achieving 52ppi (pixels per inch) even ona large 84 inch high-resolution screen. Viewers will not be bothered by the pixels and notice images are breathtakingly realistic and beautifully clear with the wide 60 degree viewing angle, even if they sit as much as half the distance (*1: as of August 29, 2012.)
(*2 to the screen, as compared to when viewing Full HD (for which distance equal to 3 times the screen height is recommended)
(2) ‘4K X-Reality PRO’ super-resolution high picture quality engine
Sony has optimized the algorithm for ‘X-Reality PRO,’ the database-type multi-frame analysis super-resolution high picture quality engine, by adding a database for 4K LCD televisions, and also added a 4K upscale feature. This feature takes footage ranging from low-resolution Internet videos through to HD resolution digital broadcasts or Blu-ray disc footage and upscales it to 4K resolution while also reproducing it as beautiful, vibrant 4K images.
(3) Large-screen 3D images reminiscent of a movie theater
The 84 inch 4K panel and ‘4K X-Reality PRO’ super-resolution processing enables the viewer to enjoy 3D footage in high picture quality that exceeds Full HD resolution. The KD–84X9005 4K TV upscales ‘Blu-ray 3D’ Full-HD resolution 3D images to 4K (3840 x 2160) images and displays them on the polarizing sheet on the screen in 3840 pixels x 1080 pixels for the left and right, respectively. The accompanying 3D glasses are a light and comfortable passive design, and require no batteries. Viewers can now enjoy 3D footage on an impressive large screen just like being in a movie theater.
(4) PlayMemories Studio
“PlayMemories Studio,” a special PlayStation®3 software, makes organizing, editing and viewing videos and photos as easy and intuitive as playing a game. A feature enabling “PlayMemories Studio” to output 4K resolution images has been added so users can enjoy images taken with digital cameras on the 4K TV. 4K-enabled version will be available during current fiscal year ending March 2013.
? High-quality Powerful sound
The new 4K TV is packed with Sony’s own technologies, from its signal processing through to its speakers, and its ‘Signal TO Sound architecture’ delivers powerful sound quality.
(1) ‘10 Unit Live Speaker’ System
This three-way 10-speaker system (total output 50W) is installed along the sides of the 4K TV towards the viewer, and is optimized for large-screen TVs. It realises powerful sound with position-orienting tones, from deep bass through to medium and high range notes. (Note that the speakers can be removed to enhance the system with an audio set.)
(2) Advanced signal-processing technology
The 4K TV incorporates Sony’s original ‘Clear Phase technology’ to realize the reproduction of natural sound with high resemblance to the original sound as well as clear sound localization. ‘S-Force Front Surround 3D’ creates the virtual 5.1ch surround sound field by only using the front speakers, and enables the viewer to feel enveloped in a three-dimensional sound field.
? Network compatibility
Sony will offer a variety of network services through “Sony Entertainment Network (SEN)”. With a single push of the ‘SEN’ button on the remote control, users can easily access services from the ‘“Sony Entertainment Network” Portal,’ a new portal for ‘BRAVIA’ TVs equipped with Internet functionality. Users can quickly and easily enjoy any services they like by simply registering their preferred applications in the “Favorites” list.
4K TV KD – 84×9005