More details on Sony’s stunning ultra Premium Z9D HDR 4K TVs
Stephan Jukic – July 22, 2016
We’ve already covered the basic info on Sony’s upcoming XBR-Z Series of 4K TVs, all of which are full HDR models and which come in 65 and 75 inch sizes and then also in one absolutely immense 100 inch size as well. Now however, let’s go into some more details about these new and fantastically pricey TVs.
As we’d already said in our previous article, the smallest 65 inch model of the three new sets will retail for a very hefty $6,999.99 and this is just the starting price for a series of 4K TVs which can be best described as “ultra” premium, considering that Sony had already released its supposedly premium 2016 4K HDR D-Series televisions as replacements for the 2015 C-Series models. These were, at the beginning of 2016, the X850D, X900D and finally the top-shelf X939/X940D combo of 55 and 65 inch X930D and 75 inch X940D (the largest model being identical to the smaller X930D but with the addition of stronger HDR specs and full-array LED backlighting.
These were then followed by the much more affordable X700D, X750D and X800D TVs which also come with HDR but at much lower prices than the three premium models referred to above. However, even the priciest of the so-called premium 2016 Sony 4K HDR TVs up to now, the 75 inch full-array X940D cost a mere $5,999.99. This is a full $1000 less than the retail price of the very cheapest of the new XBR-D models, which is only 65 inches across and still retails for just a penny under $7000. The 75 inch version and the 100 inch behemoth are, needless to say, much pricier still.
With these new and much steeper prices we can also assume that the X9D TVs come with some seriously premium specs, and Sony is claiming that they indeed do, offering up the company’s best ever version of HDR technology and an overall quality that’s in a category of its own, even by the standards of the model we all previously thought to be Sony’s 2016 flagship, the X940D 75 incher.
That said, what exactly can we expect in the ultra-pricey, ultra-premium Z9D TV models? Well, to start with, Sony has given them a new core processing engine, called the 4K Processor X1 Extreme edition, it offers 40% more power than the 4K X1 of the most recent previous Sony XBR-D-Series models. This additional power means that Sony has been able to add three entirely new technologies in these three new TV models.
The first of these is the company’s “objects-based HDR remaster”, which promises a whole new quality of dynamic range by scanning each frame of video on the screen and picking out specific individual objects for precise color and contrast correction from a database found only in these Sony TVs. Next, there is “14-bit Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR” in the XBR-Z Series models, which delivers a whole new level of upscaling quality for all non-4K video content and even for lower quality native 4K UHD video sources such as weak streaming media feeds or poorly-formatted disc-based videos in 4K.
Finally, the Z9D TVs are the first in the Sony line with the brand’s Backlight Master Drive technology, which Sony has already shown off as a prototype technology earlier in 2016 during this year’s CES event in Vegas. Backlight Master Drive is apparently a type of local dimming technology on steroids, offering brighter than ever and more energy efficient new LEDs on which the new Backlight technology works individually instead of in whole dimming zones across the back of the TV display. The end result is supposed to be a level of local dimming quality and precision which comes closer than anything yet developed at matching the pixel-perfect precision of local dimming in OLED 4K TV models. As a result Backlight Master Drive is supposed to deliver an “unprecedented dynamic range” in the new Sony flagship TVs, with far better peak brightness and much deeper black levels than anything yet developed by the company.
These technologies and the full-array LED backlighting panels with all accessory specs like Triluminos Display, X-tended Dynamic Range™ PRO and full HDR capacity are the same in all three TV models. The three TVs all even have the same levels of speaker power (10 W + 10 W audio power output). In other words, their main difference among each other lies in their display sizes.
Most interestingly, while the XBR-D models from early to mid-2016 have been disappointing in their HDR specs when compared to competing HDR TV models from Samsung, we might see the Z9D televisions fly right past their Samsung SUHD counterparts in terms of high quality peak brightness and black level delivery. So far, the Samsung 2016 SUHD Televisions and the flagship KS9800 in particular, have been the absolute best LCD 4K HDR TV’s we’ve yet managed to review. We’ll have to wait and see if the new Sony Z9D editions outperform even this high bar and what detailed measurement can show us across their specific display metrics.
Finally, in terms of smart TV capability, the Z9D models all use the Google Android TV platform as their base UI foundation, but with some Sony-specific modifications to its superficial design.
Price-wise, the Z9D TVs are, like we said, not at all cheap. The least expensive 65 inch model retails for $6,999.99, the 75 inch version sells for $10,000. Both of these models are going on sale at some point in the next month or so and the monstrous 100 inch model will be released for shipping to pre-order buyers a bit later at a price that Sony hasn’t yet released.
Story by 4k.com