After sticking with LCD technology for years, Sony finally jumped on the OLED bandwagon at CES 2017 with its new 4K Bravia flagship – the XBR-A1E – which confirms finally that it understands the limitations of its mainstay. In its announcement, Sony claims the advent of OLED allows it to deliver “unparalleled black levels”, which is sort of a misnomer considering LG has been making OLED screens for a few years now.
Another new addition to the XBR-A1E is how it delivers audio, which will sound rather interesting to most people – there are no conventional speakers anywhere. Instead, it “uses the first of its kind audio technology to emit great sound from the screen itself”, Sony explained. The company is calling it Acoustic Surface, and the thinking behind the design allows the thin to be extremely thin at the same time, with the other internals stacked in the back.
The Sony Bravia XBR-A1E has Dolby Vision support in the HDR column, runs on Android TV, and can be controlled via Google Home. Sony is also chalking up its new 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme chip, which it says “offers 40 percent more real-time processing power” than the earlier 4K Processor X1.
Thanks to OLED, HDR and the company’s own innovations, the new Bravia flagship can deliver “unprecedented black levels, rich and lifelike colour, dynamic contrast, blur-less image and a wide viewing angle”. We won’t know how that delivers on its word until release, which likely won’t be until August/September in India.
Sony hasn’t provided any pricing or release dates on the new Bravia TV, except that the A1E series will be available in 55-, 65-, and 77-inch models.
The Japanese consumer electronics giant had two other announcements in its home entertainment department, as well. The first was an addition to its Bravia X-series in X930E (55- and 65-inch) and X940E (75-inch), marking a one-step improvement to the existing lineup of X935D and X94D, which start at Rs. 2.6 lakhs and Rs. 2.8 lakhs respectively.
The other is a new short-throw 4K HDR projector – the Sony VPL-VZ1000ES – which can project an image of 100 inches from 6 inches off the wall. It weighs about 35kg, and is around 36x20x9 inches in size, which Sony claims is 40 percent smaller than its old one. It’s already up for pre-order with a huge catch – it costs $25,000 (about Rs. 17 lakhs).