HDR HDR HDR that’s all you’re going to hear from Salespeople and in TV advertising this year, every single TV brand is pushing their HDR credentials and as a consumer you’re about to be bamboozled. So just what does Sony have planned in 2016.
Head to head on price Sony are looking to get some ground right out of the box here in 2016. While all eyes are on LG’s stunning OLED screens, Sony and others are trying to make the point that while OLED is great, there are advantages to LED still too.
Sitting and listening to briefings from the TV manufacturers on HDR – they’re all singing from the same songbook here – brighter colours, a better range of colours – but it’s what each of them leaves out, or points out about the others that matters.
Yes, side by side with LGs OLED the Sony TV can’t match the deep and almost unbelievable blacks in the picture. But, what you don’t realise is what you might be missing with a few more “nits” of brightness which TVs like Sony are offering.
Watching the same content on both TVs I was able to clearly make out some content in the video that was much more obvious on the Sony than the LG. Items that were in the foreground or background, but didn’t have the same pop or shine to attract the brightness and contrast of the LG TV.
That’s not to say I prefer either picture, but the fact is Sony are able to demonstrate a screen showing “more” content due to a fuller range of colours than was visible on the LG.
It’s also not to say I think it looked great. While the unlit building in the foreground of a bright Las Vegas Strip video was so much more obvious on the Sony than the LG it did also feel to me a bit like that time when you’re editing a photo on your phone and you push the brightness too far so as to make it a bit too flushed out. Really hard to describe in words frankly!
That said, what I saw was a stunning picture, the Sony offered me a sensational viewing experience even though it was side by side with what even I have called the best TV picture on the market.
The real question is – is that picture worth the price?
Seems to me its as much a problem for LG as it is for Sony and the others. LG need to convince people to pay the premium, the others need to convince people that rich deep black isn’t worth the premium.
And what a premium it is. Here’s Sony’s top range 4K product pricing for 2016 in Australia:
|X9300D||KD65X9300D||65 inch||Late April||$5,999|
|KD55X9300D||55 inch||Late April||$3,999|
|KD75X8500D||75 inch||Early May||$7,499|
|KD65X8500D||65 inch||Late April||$4,499|
|KD55X8500D||55 inch||Late April||$2,999|
At the heart of it, you’re talking a $3,000 difference in price for the 65 inch 4K TV – Sony vs LG.
I’ll be honest, the $3,000 is hard to justify given the stunning pictures I saw when I sat for an hour taking in the content on the new Sony range.
I wasn’t able to watch any free-to-air TV – there was no antenna. So I was stuck watching pre-arranged content, or Blu-Ray Movies.
Most of all I was disappointed by the Blu-Ray, watching Star Wars the Force Awakens I was sat quite close and really couldn’t help but notice the quality was nothing like that we’re seeing in 4K demo reels. Which just served to remind me that all the impressive Demos in the world won’t make 4K content a reality yet.
Perhaps more importantly, Sony’s done a lot of work on the design of their TVs. Super slim profiles, plus the wall-hanging mounting bracket included on the X9300D series is all winning.
Cable management down through the stand make for a less cluttered and messy entertainment unit, as does the super long power cable which offers enough length from TV to “power brick” to sit in your entertainment unit, then again plenty of length from the brick to the wall.
It’s all good for Sony. Great screen, Great design, and Android TV looks to me to be going from strength to strength.
These TVs are pretty special – I think plenty of people shopping for a higher end TV will be drawn to the Sony Brand, the Sony design and the picture quality on offer. 2016 looks good for Sony – if they can market themselves properly and get in-store staff to understand their product.
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.