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Last week we previewed Sony’s new lineup of affordable AVR models, this week we’re shifting our attention to the visual side of Sony’s 2014 offerings with a preview of their new Bravia 4K Ultra HDTVs and the FMP-X10 Media Player. Last year, Sony busily began prepping itself to catch the building 4K wave. They unveiled several 4K displays and answered concerns about a dearth of Ultra-HD content by releasing a 4K media player, dangling it as consumer bait to ease early adoption apprehensions. This year Sony is charging ahead full-bore, with 4K products in their television, front projector, camera and camcorder, and media player segments.


"We continue to be the only company that offers a complete line-up of consumer 4K products..." said Mike Fasulo, president at Sony Electronics. "We strongly believe 4K is the future for entertainment and we remain committed to leading the 4K movement, from lens to living room, in a way that only a company like Sony can."

If you’re considering a 4K television, then you’re certainly aware that content is coming, but still scarce. That makes a product like Sony’s new FMP-X10 Media Player a short list, must have, item for any 4K household. It gives users access to over 200 Ultra HD titles (including movies from Sony Pictures and the television series Black List) which can be downloaded from Video Unlimited 4K and allows users to stream 4K content from Netflix. The second season of House of Cards, Netflix’s hit television series, will kickoff the first 4K content available through Netflix.

Sony’s 4K television offerings are divided into three series: the X950B, X900B and X850B. The X950B series is Sony’s crown jewel, loaded with their best technologies. It’s available in two screen sizes (one of which is a gigantic 85-inch model, the other is 65-inches), and produces an image using Sony’s proprietary X-tended Dynamic Range PRO technology which relies upon direct LED arrays positioned on the backside of the panel. Sony says this design allows for brightness with higher peaks and blacks that are deep and dark. This series is also 3D capable (HD only), and ships with two pairs of 3D glasses.


The X900B series is available in 55, 65, and 79-inch screen sizes. It also deploys X-tended Dynamic Range technology, however its LED arrays are arranged along the sides of the panel. One of the X900B’s most interesting design elements is its wedge shaped design, in which the top (side) edge of the television is thinner than the bottom. This creates added space at the bottom of the television for larger speakers and a better low end response.

Finally, the X850 series is available in four screen sizes ranging between 49 and 70-inches. These displays are entry level, stripped of Sony’s more glamorous technologies.

All three series of Sony’s 4K Ultra HD TVs are prepped to support the new HEVC codec (for compatibility with forthcoming 4K streaming content), the latest HDMI 2.0 specification, and can up-convert images to 4K resolution using Sony’s X-Reality PRO picture engine. They also feature built-in Wi-Fi.

All nine of Sony’s new 4K televisions are available for pre-order now, with an estimated June 2014 ship date. Pricing, is as follows:

X950B 85-inch ($24,999 MSRP) and 65-inch ($7,999)
X900B 55-inch ($3,999), 65-inch ($4,999), and 79-inch ($8,999)
X800B 49-inch ($2,099), 55-inch ($2,999), 65-inch ($3,999) and 70-inch ($5,499)

Image Credits: Sony Electronics
 
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