Gadget Luxe travelled to the biggest consumer electronics show in the world earlier this month. Amidst the invention and innovation at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony revealed a super high resolution 4K TV in 55 inch and 65 inch sizes – crucially, sizes designed for the home. Following the Vegas debut, Sony invited Gadget Luxe to their Weybridge HQ to take a look at the new TV up close, alongside a full demo of picture quality and a living room sized listening experience too.
Sony 4K TV hits the home: The X9000A on test
Available in 55 inch and 65 inch screen sizes, the 4K technology behind the X9000A TV boasts four times the resolution of an HD TV. The technology isn’t unique to Sony but the TRILUMINOS and Colour IQ technology is, which means deeper, vivid colours against rivals, even in the current Sony range. We saw a range of photography on screen in comparison with current Sony and non Sony screens which demonstrated the technology and witnessed better definition and a wider range of colours which looked realistic against the vivid yet saturated colours of rivals. Surprisingly, the viewing experience feels more relaxed than a standard HD TV, even on standard settings and the sound surpasses any TV out of the box. How? Sony has fitted substantial yet flat speakers to either side of the bezel – they’re visible but create a wide and balanced soundstage with enough bass to fill a medium or large room where current TVs can’t without the aid of a surround sound system. Price and release date details haven’t yet been announced, so expect to pay a premium for the 4K skills and deeply impressive sound. We watched a 4K performance of Adele and were impressed with the balanced sound and bass which didn’t smother the overall sound, something notoriously difficult to achieve given the space constraints of a modern flat screen TV.
Sony discuss 4K movies and Blu-ray performance
“4K is important to Sony as a company for several reasons” says Chris Trewhitt, product manager at Sony (top, right). “It’s important to us because we’re involved at every stage, we’re involved in 4K cameras, the production of films, distributing to cinema via 4K projectors and now, bringing 4K to the home”.
Quizzed about the relevance of 4K TVs when 4K broadcasts and movies are relatively sparse, Trewhitt says “the upscaling on our TVs make them relevant today because they can take 2K content and bring it above that HD level. As a company, we’re committed to bringing out new hardware but also new 4K content. We’ll be able to put out 4K remastered titles out on Blu-ray. There are other titles out there that carry the information on the disc to be brought up to 4K level – Lawrence of Arabia, for example. If you read the back of the Blu-ray box, it goes into detail about 4K. In terms of your Blu-rays, they will also look significantly better when upscaled”.
In the US, Sony will offer a 4K movie download service though, astonishingly, a 3 minute Spider-man trailer weighs in at 300GB, bigger than the entire capacity of a standard Sky HD box. A UK release for the service hasn’t been confirmed and the mechanics of how movies will be delivered via broadband in the US hasn’t been revealed, though we suspect the technology will involve overnight streaming of content which is stored on a local network. Whatever the case, there’s little doubt that – in terms of TV – Sony looks to be king in 2013, though the price and availability of 4K content is something that customers will want to be clear on before considering a purchase…