Most LCD TVs either use a long string of LEDs around the edge of the panel or a thin sheet of LEDs across the back to light up their screens, meaning that large areas of the screen are lit by just a few LEDs -- and generally that's meant that LCDs have struggled to display bright whites alongside dark blacks. Sony's new Z9D TV, though, uses a full-array backlight with hundreds of individually-controlled LEDs, giving just about the most complex and powerful range of brightness across the display of any LCD TV you can buy today. And when you're watching the right movie, the difference is colossal.
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When you watch a 4K TV, more often than not you're not actually watching 4K content -- broadcast TV, the vast majority of YouTube and Netflix, even Blu-ray video is a long way off the top quality able to be displayed on a high-end 4K HDR display. The secret sauce in Sony's new Z9D 4K HDR Android TV -- that's a mouthful -- is a new imaging processor that is 40 per cent more powerful than the previous generation, enabling some software tweaks that intelligently detect objects in video and adjust colour and contrast appropriately.