When Sony announced their first OLED TV at CES earlier this year, the first thing that came to mind was – are they making their own OLED panels? If not, how will Sony differentiate themselves from LG who are the market leader in OLED?
It’s hard to question the superiority of the picture from OLED TVs, LG have been going to town on that for several years now, while their competitors launch new LED TV’s with new marketing names and advances in technology – they still aren’t the same as OLED.
The story of Sony’s OLED goes back well before CES of course. And there is only one manufacturer of OLED panels in the world – that’s LG Display.
LG Display is a seperate company to LG Electronics, and thus brands like Sony and Panasonic are welcome to do business with them to get access to new panels and technology.
Some time back, the team at LG Display created a new technology they called “Crystal Sound”. The idea was, using small spots behind the screen, the OLED panel itself could become the speaker.
LG Electronics opted not to introduce the technology into their TVs – focussing instead on the Wallpaper W series TVs they introduced at CES 2017.
That left the technology open to others, and Sony pounced. Having chosen to launch an OLED TV this would be a significant point of difference – calling it Acoustic Surface.
So just how different can one OLED TV be to another. Leaving aside the sound for now, it’s bloody hard to say. No question its the same outstanding OLED picture with rich deep blacks being the highlight.
What’s different is the brains of the TV, the operating system and the image processor. Many would argue Sony have superior image processing technology (X1) given their historically good Bravia range, as well as their cameras and other imaging technology.
We haven’t seen the LG and Sony OLEDs side by side yet, and possibly never will – but frankly it doesn’t matter. The difference may well be so finite that this is more a decision about sound and aesthetics than the picture.
Sony’s A1 series Bravia TV stands on your entertainment unit on an A-Frame with the rear kick stand housing the brains of the TV as well as the adaptor points and such.
It’s bulky to be frank, and for some the whole approach may be off putting – but when it comes to quality it leaves nothing to the imagination.
And then there’s sound – out of the box this TV gives you soundbar like audio quality. This technology is baffling and compelling all at the same time.
It’s possible for the sound to be pinpointed to the person on the screen who is talking, though that’s not the kind of thing you’re going to get from Commercial broadcasts or Blu Rays.
The bottom line is, it’s different, it sounds great, and the picture is outstanding. You’ll need to cop a look at one in real-life to make a decision on if it’s right for you.
The 55″ A1 will set you back $4999.00, while the 65″ A1 retails at $7499.00.
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.