Sony Goes Big With Quantum Dot OLED and Mini-LED TVs

Sony Goes Big With Quantum Dot OLED and Mini-LED TVs
Photo: Sony

Sony came out of the gate at CES 2022 swinging, with some big announcements that include the world’s first quantum dot OLED TV and a pivot to mini-LED after years spent perfecting OLED.

Sony expanded its Bravia XR series with several new offerings, with the Master Series A95K perhaps most notable among them. The A95K has a 4K QD-OLED (quantum dot organic light emitting diode) panel for dazzling brightness, deeper blacks, and more impressive mid-tones, in 65-inch and 55-inch sizes. QD-OLED marries all the vivid colours and benefits of quantum dot LED technology with all the contrast of OLED.

Notably, the QD-OLED panel in the A95K is manufactured by Samsung Display, setting it apart from its cousins, the A90K and A80K, which both still have regular old OLED panels sourced from LG Display.

OLED has long been Sony’s sweet spot, with its TVs differentiated by the brand’s superior image processing technology, but the company has made the interesting decision to go in a different direction with its 2022 lineup, introducing its very first mini-LED TVs. The Z9K series comes in either 75- or 85-inch screen options, while the X95K comes in either 65-, 75- or 85-inch options.

All of the Bravia models also come with a bevy of new features: The OLED TVs get what Sony calls Acoustic Surface Audio+ and the LED TVs use Acoustic Multi-Audio, which work to enhance your viewing and listening experience by more precisely syncing the sound positioning with the images on screen (so that if someone is talking, it sounds more like their voice is coming from where they’re standing, and so on).

According to Sony, this bespoke calibration model has the effect of creating “multiple optimally arranged phantom speakers,” which deliver a personalised, immersive cinematic experience straight to your living room. For the Bravia XR TVs9 , Sony takes this technology a step further, offering an optimised spatial sound experience specifically designed for neckband speakers, even offering dedicated apps that will personalise the cinematic sound field by analysing a user’s individual ear shape.

The Cognitive Processor XR also works to give images a more lifelike feel, cross-analysing and enhancing them around the focal point to give better depth and contrast and more vivid colours. The XR backlight master drive that powers the processor uses a Sony-developed local dimming algorithm to control thousands of mini-LEDs, delivering an impressive range of deep blacks and ultra-bright hues.

Also new to the Bravia XR line’s image processing upgrades are a new Netflix adaptive calibrated mode, which automatically adjusts shows based on ambient light so that they look closer to what the creator had initially intended under any conditions, and a new Bravia core calibrated mode, which will do the same thing with image quality. If you’re a gamer, there’s good news on that front as well, since all 2022 Bravia XR TVs will also be designated “Perfect for PlayStation 5″–an official designation, apparently, that includes auto HDR tone mapping and auto genre picture mode.

Per Sony, full information about price and retail availability for the new Bravia XRs will be announced in spring 2022.