Sony has unveiled its 2021 range of TVs, headlined by the premium A90J and A80J Master OLED TVs, the range is rounded out by the entry-level X80J and X85J LED TVs and mid-range X90J and X95J 4K Full Array LED TVs.
At its Sydney launch event last week, the spotlight was on the X90J 4K TV, with Sony providing media with hands-on time to immerse in the technology.
The TV is targeted at customers who want good picture quality and a good user experience at an attainable price point with the 50-inch, 55-inch and 65-inch coming under RRP $2,500 and the 75-inch variant for RRP $4,299.
The standout technology for 2021 – available on select TVs including the X90J and above – is the new XR Cognitive Processor. It uses machine learning to understand how we as humans hear and see for a more true to life experience and there was a noticeable difference compared to the entry-level X80J LED TV which has Sony’s 4K Processor X1 from 2020.
With the XR Cognitive Processor, the picture processing power is used more wisely by concentrating on the focal point of the screen, such as someone’s eyes, rather than wasting its power on the entire screen, to help achieve better image quality.
In addition to improving colour accuracy and image detail, the processor also helps provide enhanced sound. This is supported by other technology including Acoustic Multi Audio that enables sound to follow the action and X-Balanced speakers for clear sound and bass.
Another update to the Sony 2021 TV line-up is Google TV which directs the viewer straight to content rather than the apps to make the user experience more efficient and seamless. Offering top picks across various genres, viewers can like or dislike content, watch trailers, or add content to Watch Lists that can also be accessed on smartphones and laptops, which is a great feature when family or friends recommend movies or series when you’re not home.
Google TV brings content from apps and subscriptions and organises them according to individual viewing habits with the ability to voice search for content hands-free by saying ‘Hey Google…’. For iPhone users, there is Apple AirPlay and Home Kit built-in for iOS devices.
With HDMI 2.1, the TV offers up to 120fps framerate on compatible games, ideal for shooting, sports and high-performance games. There is also reduced input lag of 8.5ms with 4K at 120fps and dedicated Game Mode. This compares to input lag of 20ms on 2020 TV models.
However, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) is not yet available on Sony TVs or the PlayStation 5 console, which is a noteworthy omission, given comparable TVs from competing brands offer VRR to reduce screen tearing when gaming.