Sony just announced its first ever consumer 8K TV, and it’s truly a thing of beauty.
Unfortunately for us peasants, it also comes with an eye-bulging price tag.
Being professionals, we were morally obliged to show off its capabilities with something else that bulges.
If your Game of Thrones experience was the same as mine this week, you would have been treated to unwatchable 720p blotches of black, grey and brown, stretched across a cinema-sized screen. It wasn't cute. So when I was offered the chance to try out Samsung's brand new 8K TV, I knew what I was morally obliged to shove in my eyeballs. What do we say to the God of bad picture quality? Not today.Read more
Sony’s Z9G 8K TV only comes in one size – 85-inches.
Like any 8K TV, this mammoth lad has 4x the amount of 4K, or 16x that of HD. But while this is great for 8K content (which doesn’t really exist outside of demo reels as yet), it means that it has some work to do in order to make lower quality content pop.
That’s why so much of the messaging around 8K from every manufacturer has been upscaling – making lower quality content still look great.
This gets more difficult the lower you go, and is why Sony is placing such a huge emphasis on its X1 Ultimate processor, which has been optimised to transform almost any content into near-8K picture quality.
We only got a very short amount of hands on time with the TV, and knew that we had to use it wisely. So we invoked another absolute unit – Ben Swolo.
Sadly our images don’t do it justice thanks to a variety of factors – streaming on hotel Wi-Fi, pausing the movie and taking snaps on a phone camera.
Regardless, we think that you’ll agree that the scene that launched a thousand ‘thicc’ memes is cinematic perfection on an equally thicc 85-inch screen.
It’s lucky that 8K can handle 33 million pixels, because you need that many to capture this visage.
You really can’t take us anywhere.
Of course, it’s worth noting that Sony’s first 8K offering costs a casual $26,399. For comparison, Samsung’s 82-inch 8K has an RRP of $17,499. Sure, it’s 6-inches smaller but that’s still a hell of a price difference for such a comparable product.
And unlike Samsung there are no 75 or 65-inch options from Sony 8K as yet.
So what will $26K get you? An LCD panel, Full-array LED backlight technology to make the colours pop and blacks look real dark (it works, the picture is stunning), TV Centre Speaker mode so the sound emanates from the screen itself, X-Motion Clarity for action scenes, Dolby Vision and Sony’s well-known smart remote, which is still our favourite in market.
Suffice to say, the 8K demo reels that were played for us during the briefing looked beyond beautiful.
Again, we didn’t spend a lot of time with it but did manage to close the Sith thirst trap down for long enough to see how the TV would handle upscaling 720p Nintendo Switch games. While it wasn’t perfect, it was still impressive. Hotline Miami and Mario Kart looked particularly gorgeous, with Fire Emblem Three Houses pixelating a little on the Home Screen and during battles.
While we are definitely priced out of the 8K game at the moment, it has certainly fired us up for what it will offer over the next few years.
Sony’s 8K TV is available in Australia now.
The author attended an overnight briefing to test Sony’s new 8K and 4K range as a guest of Sony.