Sony challenges Samsung for 8K crown with $70,000 98-inch TV



Sony’s Grasp Sequence 8K Z9G is available in 85- and 98-inch sizes. They’re massive. I am 6′ 3″.


The 2019 8K TV battle strains have been drawn, and each heavyweight contenders have thrown down the platinum-plated gauntlet.

In a single nook is Samsung, the champion by dint have having launched the primary 8K TV to the US, the $15,000 85-inch Q900. Now its different new fashions are out, together with a 98-inch model that prices — look forward to it — $100,000.

Within the different nook is the challenger, scrappy upstart Sony. It launched its personal 85-inch and 98-inch 8K TVs at CES earlier this yr however waited until now to disclose: $13,000 and $70,000 respectively. Sure, its 8K TVs are cheaper than Samsung’s for a similar display screen sizes. Problem: issued.

This is the place I remind you that solely of us with cash to burn can purchase any 8K TV. They’re (duh) too costly, there isn’t any 8K content material and, like all first-generation expertise, they’re destined to get replaced by cheaper, higher variations subsequent yr. 

Sony additionally introduced pricing for the remainder of its 2019 TVs. This is the complete lineup:

Sony 2019 TVs

Mannequin Measurement Know-how Accessible Value
XBR-98Z9G 98-inch 8K FALD LCD June $70,000
XBR-85Z9G 85-inch 8K FALD LCD June $13,000
XBR-77A9G 77-inch 4K OLED June $8,000
XBR-65A9G 65-inch 4K OLED Might $4,500
XBR-55A9G 55-inch 4K OLED Might $3,500
XBR-65A8G 65-inch 4K OLED Might $3,500
XBR-55A8G 55-inch 4K OLED Might $2,500
XBR-85X950G 85-inch 4K FALD LCD late April $5,000
XBR-75X950G 75-inch 4K FALD LCD Now $3,500
XBR-65X950G 65-inch 4K FALD LCD Now $2,200
XBR-55X950G 55-inch 4K FALD LCD Now $1,400
XBR-85X850G 85-inch 4K LCD Now $3,500
XBR-75X800G 75-inch 4K LCD Now $2,000
XBR-65X800G 65-inch 4K LCD Now $1,200
XBR-55X800G 55-inch 4K LCD Now $900
XBR-49X800G 49-inch 4K LCD Now $750
XBR-43X800G 43-inch 4K LCD Now $650

The FALD on the chart above refers to full-array native dimming LCD backlights, the simplest picture high quality enchancment for LCD TVs. The 8K variations convey again Sony’s Backlight Grasp Drive expertise, which makes use of “ultra-dense LED modules which might be independently managed” and might “intelligently enhance the brightness within the areas the place it must be boosted.” 

The 8K LCDs and the higher-end 4K OLED TVs, the A9G sequence, are a part of Sony’s so-called Grasp Sequence. They characteristic Sony’s Image Processor X1 Final processing, its greatest but. Sony says the 8K model “has a novel algorithm specifically developed for 8K that may intelligently detect and analyze every object within the image, leading to distinctive element and distinction for a extra sensible image that represents the creators’ intent.” That sounds a bit just like the AI processing Samsung makes use of.

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The primary Sony 8K TVs are actually, actually massive at CES 2019


The brand new 8K units even have full-spec HDMI 2.1 inputs full with 48Gbps functionality, which implies they’re appropriate with greater body charges and resolutions that would come down the pike quickly, like 4K at 120 frames per second or 8K at 60fps. All 2019 Sony TVs assist variable refresh price (VRR) and automated low latency mode (ALLM, or auto recreation mode) for in addition to enhanced audio return channel (eARC) — aside from the A8G, which lacks eARC.


98 inches is, like, actually massive.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sony additionally revamped the sound high quality, utilizing 4 front-facing audio system to place the sound so it appears to emanate from the display screen. In contrast to Sony’s OLED TVs, nevertheless, the display screen itself would not produce the sound — as a substitute there’s an array of drivers surrounding the display screen (on the 8K LCDs) and positioned towards the highest of the display screen on the again (on the 4K LCDs). 

This is a couple of extra particulars on Sony’s 2019 4K TVs.


Sony’s new A9G OLED TV.

Sarah Tew/CNET

A9G Grasp Sequence OLED TV: Sony’s highest-end OLED TVs for 2019 are actually just like the 2018 model, the Grasp Sequence A9F, besides that now it gives a 77-inch possibility along with 55- and 65-inch sizes. The principle totally different is in design; the A9G has a extra commonplace ultraslim look, with out the big “kickstand” lean-back design of the A9F. Sony’s OLED TV screens are literally massive audio system, and the model on the A9G (“Acoustic Floor+”) supposedly gives higher sound.


The A9G is OLED-typical slim from the facet.

Sarah Tew/CNET

A8G sequence OLED TV: Sony’s step-down 2019 OLED units, the A8G sequence lacks the flamboyant processing of the Grasp Sequence and have simply the usual Acoustic Floor screens. The sequence is available in 55- and 65-inch sizes.

X950G sequence 4K LCD TV: Accessible in 55-, 65-, 75- and 85-inch sizes, these units look related on paper to the X900F we reviewed in 2018, full with full-array native dimming and Dolby Imaginative and prescient. It will get a pair new options nevertheless, together with improved sound (“Acoustic Multi-Audio”, stated to enhance sound positioning) and a far-field mic for Google Assistant. 

Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit assist: Just like LG’s and Vizio’s, Sony’s 2019 TVs will work with Apple AirPlay 2 and Homekit through a software program replace coming this summer season. Meaning iPhone, iPad and Mac computer systems can be utilized to regulate TV present and film playback on the massive display screen, whether or not from iTunes motion pictures and TV exhibits or different appropriate apps. Photographs can be proven on the TV display screen, and it will probably mirror a cellphone or laptop display screen to indicate internet pages for instance. The TV might be a part of a multiroom audio setup, and controls for the set itself can seem on the cellphone display screen. 

With HomeKit, “these TVs might be added to the House app and included in scenes or automations with different HomeKit equipment” in response to Sony’s press launch. “For instance, customers can create a ‘Film Night time’ scene within the House app to simply activate their TV and dim the lights, and easily ask Siri to launch the scene.”

I count on to evaluation the primary 2019 Sony TVs later this spring. Keep tuned.


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