Sony Electronics Inc. today announced the new MASTER Series Z9G 8K LCD and A9G 4K OLED televisions. Sony’s MASTER Series TVs represent the pinnacle of picture quality available to home viewers, capable of displaying images that faithfully convey the creators’ intent. The MASTER Series is the name given to only the very best Sony TVs and provides premium picture quality, color, contrast and clarity approaching that of a professional-grade monitor. The MASTER Series TVs also feature Netflix Calibrated Mode and IMAX Enhanced to further ensure that content is delivered as intended.
Both new models feature the latest generation Picture Processor X1™ Ultimate for accurate detail and contrast. Introduced last fall with the inaugural MASTER Series models, this processor plays a vital role in delivering the high-quality picture in the MASTER Series. The Picture Processor X1 Ultimate has a unique algorithm specially developed for 8K that can intelligently detect and analyze each object in the picture, resulting in exceptional detail and contrast for a more realistic picture that represents the creators’ intent. Premium quality sound is a key part of the viewing experience as well, and both the A9G and Z9G models have the new Sound-from-Picture Reality feature, which faithfully reproduces the position of the sound on the screen so when actors are speaking, the sound appears to be coming directly from their mouths and not from a speaker off to the bottom.
“Continually innovating to exceed our customers’ expectations is a core element of Sony’s premium strategy,” said Mike Fasulo, president and chief operating officer of Sony Electronics North America. “Our new MASTER Series TVs combine larger screen sizes, 4K and 8K resolution, and unique Sony image-enhancing technologies to create an extraordinary and highly immersive viewing experience.”
Z9G Super-large Sized TVs
Larger TVs are becoming more popular, and Sony’s goal with delivering new Z9G 98″ and 85″ class (97.5″ and 84.6″ diagonal) TVs is to maximize the super-large screen experience in the living room. In order to deliver premium picture quality in such extra-large screens, Sony is introducing extra resolution with its first consumer 8K television. With twice the number of horizontal lines and vertical lines, 8K provides four times the pixels of 4K (or 16 times the resolution of HD). This higher resolution results in a more immersive viewing experience as 8Kresolution means the larger-sized TVs look great up close with virtually no pixel differentiation.
Experts know that picture quality is not only about resolution. As screen sizes get larger, the processor plays an even more critical role in delivering premium picture quality. Utilizing a proprietary algorithm, Sony’s powerful Picture Processor X1 Ultimate has been optimized to handle the 33 million pixels of 8K. The same processor also enables the newly developed 8K X-Reality PRO to upscale any content using a new, dedicated 8K database for reference, resulting in even more precise, detailed upscaling. With a long history and expertise in developing professional cameras and monitors, Sony recognizes that precision in constructing fine signal processing components results in an immediately visible difference to the whole image.
In addition, completely new dedicated 8K technologies have been developed for the Z9G series, including a Backlight Master Drive feature with full-array local dimming and 8K X-tended Dynamic Range PRO. The Backlight Master Drive on the Z9G has ultra-dense LED modules that are independently controlled, delivering unprecedented contrast with punchy brightness and pitch blacks. To optimize this backlight system, 8K X-tended Dynamic Range PRO uses the saved energy to intelligently boost the brightness in the areas where it needs to be boosted.
Accurate sound position is another key factor as TVs get larger. Taking the experience gained from its OLED Acoustic Surface Audio, Sony has expanded the concept to the Z9G LCD TV with Acoustic Multi-Audio. To deliver the Sound-from-Picture Reality experience, the new Acoustic Multi-Audio on the Z9G utilizes four front-facing speakers—two on the bottom and two on the top—to deliver a faithful sound position. Viewers will hear the sound coming from the screen, and not where the speaker is located. In addition, the Z9G has a TV Center Speaker Mode for people who have a home theater setup, whereby the TV becomes the center speaker. The sound experience is also enhanced by the TV’s compatibility with Dolby Atmos1, which adds a wide, rich sound field.
The Z9G also features X-Wide Angle to ensure the picture retains its quality regardless of the viewing angle. This feature enables a wider viewing angle that reduces color shifts when viewing the screen off-axis, so colors stay true no matter the viewer’s position, while X-Motion Clarity minimizes motion blur without sacrificing screen brightness.
A9G Premium OLED TV
The A9G is Sony’s new flagship 4K OLED TV available in 77″, 65″ and 55″ classes 76.7″, 64.5″, and 54.6″ diagonal), all in a very slim form factor. Images come to life with the super-wide viewing angle, precise contrast and absolute blacks of OLED technology. Over 8 million self-illuminating pixels are precisely and individually controlled by Sony’s Picture Processor X1™ Ultimate. In addition to the processor, the A9G has Pixel Contrast Booster for more color and contrast in bright areas. As a result, the A9G provides premium picture quality approaching that of a professional-grade monitor, showing images and colors as they truly are, and as the creator intended. The processor improves SD and HD content to near-4K HDR quality and shows 4K content with stunning clarity.
Acoustic Surface Audio+ provides a totally immersive sound experience with the sound coming from the entire screen, enveloping viewers in exciting new entertainment experiences and providing pictures and sound in perfect harmony. In addition, a TV Center Speaker Mode provides choice to use the TV as the center speaker.
The A9G is very slim in depth; when wall hung using the SU-WL855 wall mount system, it will fit close to the wall at around half the distance of Sony’s previous model2. This OLED TV is more than just beautiful. It is designed so that it appears to be floating on the wall, leaving only the brilliance of its picture. Furthermore, to provide the best viewing position and flexible usage, SU-WL855 has a swivel functionality as preferred.
For the ultimate in picture quality, the A9G pairs the brilliance of 4K clarity with the brightness, color and detail of High Dynamic Range (HDR). Previously hidden areas of dark shadow and sunlight are now full of clarity and detail. As with the Z9G, the A9G HDR TVs feature Netflix Calibrated Mode, IMAX Enhanced and Dolby Vision/Dolby Atmos to deliver the viewing experience just as the creator intended. On select Sony BRAVIA TVs, viewers can choose one IMAX Enhanced movie from a blockbuster selection, which includes Sony Pictures Entertainment’s hit movie “Venom,” using the IMAX Enhanced service ‘Privilege 4K’ available this spring.
Both the Z9G LCD and the A9G OLED feature Sony’s Android TV, which supports a huge range of apps from Google Play™, including YouTube™, Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and more for deep smart home integration (availability varies by region). Both TVs also feature built-in Google Assistant to make your TV and home even smarter, and built-in microphones that will free users’ hands. Viewers can simply talk to the TV using the Google Assistant to quickly find what they want, or to play TV shows, movies and more (Google Assistant availability depends on region). The TVs also work with popular smart speakers such as Sony’s own LF-S50G and SRS-XB501G, or those from Google Home or Amazon Echo. With smart speakers, users can control their TV and stream content on their TV just by asking smart speakers – with more features to come later this year.
Sony Z9G Series, A9G Series and X950G Series TVs will be compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit3. AirPlay 2 lets you effortlessly stream content from your iPhone, iPad and Mac right to your Sony TV. Watch movies and TV shows from iTunes and your other video apps, and view photos directly on your Sony TV. Listen to Apple Music, your iTunes music library, podcasts and your other music services on your television and AirPlay 2 speakers throughout the home — all in sync. HomeKit lets you easily and securely control smart home products using the Home app or by asking Siri on your Apple devices. These TVs can be added to the Home app and included in scenes or automations with other HomeKit accessories. For example, users can create a “Movie Night” scene in the Home app to easily turn on their TV and dim the lights, and simply ask Siri to launch the scene. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will launch in Z9G Series, A9G Series and X950G Series later this year.
Further enhancing the user experience, a new easy-to-control smart remote enables viewers to control their connected devices, such as cable/satellite boxes, Blu-ray disc player and game consoles (supported devices vary by region) without switching remote controllers. Also added to the smart remote is an RF so users can control the TV without pointing the remote, and a newly developed user interface brings seamless and quick access to users’ favorite apps and settings.