Sony Unveils New OLED TVs, Demos 8K Processing

Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s head honcho for the US market, gave Sony’s entire press event standing in front of a huge screen with constantly changing images (though all of them stills). There was no information provided as to what sort of display the screen was, but I plan to inquire later in the show as it was perhaps the most impressive display shown during the entire press day. But it’s apparently not a technology currently used in a consumer product.

Sony unveiled a wide range of new products — including cameras, cell phones (that can shoot video at 960 frames per second for super slow motion), and TVs based on a new technology — some of which will be available soon, some a year or so away. Of the former, Sony launched the A8F line with 55- and 65-inch OLED models. The new line differs from the current A1E range (which is still in production and available) by omitting the A1E’s easel style base in favor of a more conventional stand. The A8Fs also retain Sony’s unique sound on screen “Acoustic Surface” technology, and the removal of the heavy back brace on the A1Es brace means that the A8Fs can sit closer to the wall in a wall-mount situation. Prices and delivery dates are TBD.

Sony’s new proprietary video processor, the X1 Extreme, is a key feature in the newest Sony UltraHD TVs. Still in the lab is the even more advanced X1 Ultimate video processor (one wonders where the terminology can go when we move beyond Ultimate!). The X1 Ultimate can handle 8K processing at up to 10,000 nits peak output. Sony is actually demonstrating a stunning prototype of an 8K LCD design capable of this, and in a semi-darkened room I wondered if I should have brought my sun glasses!

Sony also announced a new ultra short throw projector, the LSPX-A1. At $30,000, including an internal sound system but without a screen, it can project an image (up to 120 inches diagonal) onto a wall or screen.

Finally, like many manufacturers, Sony is now investing heavily into advanced image sensors, artificial intelligence (AI), and robotics. Much of this is still in the future, but the smallest manifestation of it, Aibo, the robot dog first launched in 1999, is now back in improved form. The first shipment should be in the hands of advanced buyers by now, but it’s not cheap. An unconfirmed source suggests that it’s just a bit short of $2,000.

JCook's picture

Most likely their Crystal LED Display Wall, introduced last year.