Sony’s 2016 4K UHD TVs with HDR go on pre-order as of today

by on February 16, 2016

Stephan Jukic – February 16, 2016

Sony’s 2016 Bravia 4K TVs, many of them with HDR and some superbly thin bezel designs are all going on sale today on a pre-order basis. The new 4K ultra HD TVs, which have been highly anticipated, will be arriving  to retailers like Amazon and Best Buy as of next month but whoever really wants to make sure they have a unit covered for delivery and feels confident in Sony’s  4K TV display chops can buy one of these apparently excellent new models as of now.

This year’s 4K TVs from Sony show a particular emphasis by the company on improved HDR technology, ultra-thin bezels and improved color range. The terms being used to describe most of these technologies are still much the same, with traditional Sony 4K TV buzzwords like X-tended Dynamic Range Pro (HDR), Triluminos Display (Color enhancement) and other Sony TV terms that a lot of buyers have actually come to trust quite a bit.

Sony still refuses to jump into the 4K OLED bandwagon, where LG and now Panasonic are both moving ahead, and while Sony does recognize that OLED display technology indeed provides superior black depth, they do also make the claim (underscored by live visual comparison demonstrations) that their new 4K televisions still beat LG’s OLED tech with superior color detail and better highlight control.

Furthermore, for their 2016 4K TV models, Sony has also come out with one particularly novel idea, which consists of a new backlighting LED array technology that lets the TVs’ displays reach some truly impressive dimensionality in the content they show.

According to Sony, their Slim Backlight Drive technology, “uses a unique grid array local dimming and boosting backlighting structure to distribute backlight source more precisely to each specific zone of the screen.” We’ll have to see just how well this new technology works and, more interestingly, how well it stacks up against the perfect light/dark control that OLED 4K TVs deliver to each of their 8.29 million pixels.

This Sony Slim Backlight Drive technology will be available exclusively in Sony’s premium 2016 X930D 4K models, at least for now. The flagship X940D TV will take things a step further and offer a full-array LED backlighting grid with the ability to also deliver “dramatic contrast” and the company’s premium X-tended Dynamic Range PRO technology which we mentioned above.

Furthermore, we can also look forward to the new XBRD 4K TVs from 2016 to come with Sony’s rather excellent Android TV smart platform with full support from Google Cast and access to a very broad array of content and media apps, which include many sources of 4K UHD TV content and also, from what we’ve heard, access to Sony’s own fleshed out upcoming streaming 4K media platform.

Sony’s biggest single focus point in their 4K TV display technology for 2016 is definitely HDR and three of the new Sony model families, consisting of the XBR-X850D, XBR-X930D, and XBR-940D lines in assorted sizes, will all come with HDR content delivery capacity designed to the best of Sony’s abilities and with what the company claims will be significant improvement over the quality of HDR in their 2015 X850C, X900C, X930C and X940C models.

Sony's X930D HDR 4K TV with the company's new Slim Backlight Drive technology

Sony’s X930D HDR 4K TV with the company’s new Slim Backlight Drive technology

None of the new Sony 4K TVs are what we’d call very cheap and we didn’t expect low prices with such new premium HDR 4K models anyhow. Sony has always offered UHD televisions at the premium end of the spectrum and while they’ve released some excellent and very affordable televisions in 2015, we don’t yet know if we can expect even newer economy-priced 4K models later in 2016. For now, Sony’s only offering up the three premium 2016 series, as follows:

XBR-X850D Series

  • XBR-55X850D, 55” class – $2,499.99
  • XBR-65X850D, 65” class – $3,499.99
  • XBR-75X850D, 75” class – $4,999.99
  • XBR-85X850D, 85” class – $9,999.99

XBR-X930D Series

  • XBR-55X930D, 55” class – $3,299.99
  • XBR-65X930D, 65” class – $4,999.99

XBR-X940D Series

  • XBR-75X940D, 75” class – $7,999.99

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