Sony Electronics announced its new flagship television during a press conference last week. The Z Series bests Sony’s current X Series that was featured in this year’s Value Electronics Flat Panel Shootout. It’s a shame it’s slightly late to this year’s party, as Sony says it has the ability to reproduce deeper blacks, brighter lights, and better colors.
"The Z series is a generational advance in TV technology, which brings the 4K HDR viewing experience to a whole new level. Our best and brightest HDR Ultra HD television is proof of Sony's continuing commitment to deliver the ultimate home entertainment experiences to our customers," said Mike Fasulo, President and COO of Sony Electronics. "With expertise in both the creative and the technical aspects of 4K HDR shooting, editing, recording, transmission and display, Sony understands 4K HDR like no other company. The Z series is a direct result of that unique partnership between our engineering and creative teams."
The new Z TVs are fully capable of High Dynamic Range (HDR) and wide color gamut, and carry a new backlight boosting technology called Backlight Master Drive (first introduced as a prototype during CES 2016). This technology is similar to full-array local-dimming (FALD) backlighting that groups LEDs into controllable zones, but ditches the zones and allows each LED to be individually controllable. It features a “dense” LED structure composed of calibrated LED beams that can better focus light, thus reducing unwanted light diffusion and visible flare effects.
Sony says the combination of Backlight Master Drive and a new 4K HDR Processor (X1 Extreme) allows the Z Series to deliver extraordinary levels of dynamic range with deep blacks and brighter brights. In addition, the new processor provides 40-percent more real-time image processing power than previous processors, image noise reduction, 4K upscaling, and 14-bit image upconversion to smooth out banding and visible gradations.
On the color front, the new Z Series can reproduce most – if not all – of the DCI color space. Sony says the added precision of brightness capabilities delivered by the Backlight Master Drive allows for extremely accurate wide color expression.
Of course, the Z Series has Smart TV functionality. Onboard Android TV and an exclusive web interface allow viewers to access music, photos, games, and a unique voice search feature.
The new Z Series will launch with three different screen sizes. The 65-inch XBR65Z9D ($6,999) and 75-inch XBR75Z9D ($9,999) will be available this summer through Amazon, Best Buy, and other authorized dealers. A 100-inch class set (price TBD) will likely debut later this year.
Image Credits: Sony