Summer is approaching and, as always, promises a new TV lineup from Sony! This year, Sony has more 4K models than ever before to tempt you into upgrading.
Last year, Audio Advice delivered more Sony televisions than any year in our history, including when HD first came out. Why did this happen with 4K content still relatively sparse? (This year there is a lot of 4K content coming - more on that later). The main reason is: the video processor in Sony TVs and projectors makes regular HDTV look absolutely incredible! It’s this simple: if your TV is more than 5 years old, you will probably be blown away by the picture improvements.
This year’s Sony TV models in the 4K lineup range from 43 to 85 inches. They have introduced a new size, the 75 inch panel with 3 versions. There will be 4 different 65 inch models (which we think will continue to be our most popular size); two 55 inch models; a 49 inch; and now even a 43 inch so you can get 4K for a smaller room.
There is a new video processing chip in each new Sony which delivers an even wider range of color than ever before. We’ve already delivered a few new ones, and the picture is stunningly realistic. Some competing brands go for super bright pictures that to us look unnatural. With a Sony 4K picture, you feel like you are looking at real life, not oversaturation! Many of the new models will include Android’s Lollipop software to make the “smart TV” experience a lot less dumb!
The 830 and 850 C series will be the best value this year, offering everything from a 43 inch at $799 to a 75 inch at $4499. When I remember what regular 1080i HDTV sets just a few years ago cost, I still can’t get over how inexpensive this is for a screen that large! For those of you wanting the ultimate in style with a great picture, in late July/early August Sony will ship a new ultra-thin model in 55, 65, and 75 inch sizes.
Finally, there will be 4 sets where Sony shows off their very best panels and video processing. The 65X930C and 75X940C will have their best video technology in an edge lit LED panel at $4000 and $8000. Their fully backlit LED panels in the 65 inch X950B for $6000 and the 85 inch X950B at $20,000 will remain their very best.
The 4K projector world added a new model around the first of the year in the 350 model at $9999 (read more about it here), while the Cinemascope experience models 600 and 1100ES continue to push the envelope on home theater. And speaking of home theater: if your projector is over 7 to 10 years old, you are just flat missing out. You’ll be grinning ear to ear when you watch a movie on the new Sony projectors that start as low as $2500. We’ll start having the new lineup on display in early June, so please feel free to drop by to see the latest and greatest from Sony.
An Update on 4K Content
Sony’s FMP-X10 continues to be the best way to get real 4K content. This is an outboard server that connects to your 4k set. It comes with a 1TB hard drive for storing purchased content and has the ability to add more drive space for additional storage. Sony continues to offer more and more movies shot in 4K on this great little server (rental price around $8, purchase price around $29). These do look far better than Blu-ray. (Though I have to say, with the great video processor in the Sony sets, Blu-ray looks amazing!) This server also does Netflix 4K and will soon do Amazon Prime 4K. Hulu is also coming out with a 4K streaming service soon. So far, our impression of 4K streaming is that it looks about the same (or not quite as good) as a well mastered Blu-ray played through something like the Oppo D series Blu-ray player. 4K movies on the Sony server, though, are a whole other world - especially when you show them on a large screen 65 inches and up. The quality is even more noticeable on a big front projection screen. We’re excited to see Sony now has over 200 movies available and their list is growing every day! But remember: get a Sony 4K TV for how great it will make your Apple TV, cable or satellite, and Blu-ray player look! It’s truly amazing.