In its big, glitzy press conference yesterday, Sony was all about the 4K. 4K camcorders, 4K action cams, 4K professional video production — for movies and TV — and, more than anything else, 4K TVs. That and super-high-quality audio, marking a continuation of the company's big shift to make properly premium tech gadgets again.
Sony's particular marketing buzzword for its BRAVIAs is 4K Ultra HD, of course — not just regular ol' 4K or regular ol' Ultra HD. Six new distinct Ultra HD models are going to be hitting Australian store shelves in the coming weeks and months, and the most exciting has to be the X900C — it's an Ultra HD TV with a panel thickness that is, for the most part, thinner than one of Sony's own Xperia smartphones, at barely 5mm thick.
Across the range, a new X1 processor promises improved upscaling and resolution gains from lower-than-Ultra-HD content, but more important than that is the fact that (almost) all of Sony's new televisions run on the Android TV platform. Android TV is Google's simple, straightforward attempt at Smart TV, and it should make for a strong entrant into Australia's complex multi-platform video streaming market — as long as it's properly tailored for Australian audiences and streaming services.
Other than those TVs, Sony has a new 4K Action Cam and a new 4K camcorder. That camcorder stands out because, as Sony was quick to point out, it's the first non-compact camera that gives you 4K video quality for a sub-$1000 price tag — and since equipment price is one of the big obstacles to the widespread profileration of high-res video content, this might signal the start of an accelerating move away from Full HD.
The most novel product out of Sony, and potentially out of the entire Consumer Electronics Show 2015, though, is the new NW-ZX2 Walkman. Based on one of Sony's own Android mobile devices, the NW-ZX2 is a There's one big reason that this 21st-century Walkman is getting a lot of buzz — $1200 of them, actually.
That big price tag is because it's a Hi-Res Audio player, giving you access to and hardware capable of playing a library of very, very detailed audio tracks — better than CD quality, definitely, although you'll need an appropriately gutsy pair of headphones hooked up to the player to get the best out of it. When that ZX2 hits Australia in March this year, you can expect it to carry a similarly high price tag — although we don't know quite how much just yet.