Sony UK confirms 2013 TV line-up – flagship 55in W9 due in May
Sony has confirmed the TV models it will be bringing to the UK for 2013, with the flagship 55in W9 set launching in May
Sony has confirmed which of its 2013 TV models will be available in the UK, following an official unveiling at this year's CES show in Las Vegas. We already knew the range-topping, wallet-busting 4K models were bound for Blighty, but this is the first time we've seen the entire 1080p range in one sitting. Read on to get an early look at what could be your next TV...
The new, simplified range will consist of four main models: the entry-level R4, the mid-range W6, the mainstream high-end W8 and the flagship W9. Unlike last year, where different models had drastically different styling, all of Sony's 2013 models build from the same geometric design. Diamond cut aluminium bezels and compact, brushed silver stands are the order of the day, with a hint of aquamarine qwartz to catch light around the edge of each TV. It's a bold statement, one which we'll have to see in a home setting to see how well it works in practice.
The new TVs will ship with a revised user interface, which finally replaces the outdated XMB interface with a new, image-heavy UI that is far easier on the eyes. Hopefully it will be just as easy to navigate, but we'll have to wait until later in the year to try it out.
W9 - flagship TV with friendly UI
The flagship W9 will be available in 42, 47 and 55in versions, include all of Sony's new image processing technology, including the Triluminos backlight system unveiled at CES. It produces a greater range of colours than a standard LCD backlight is capable of, producing lifelike shades that are a marked improvement over last year's excellent HX853. X-Reality Pro also makes a return, upscaling standard definition content and inserting extra frames to create smooth motion, in both 2D and 3D modes. You'll get four pairs of active shutter glasses with either the 47 or 55in models, or two pairs with the 42in set.
One Touch remote - NFC just a tap away
It will also support Sony's One Touch Mirroring, which turns its second remote control into an NFC-enabled bridge between the TV and your smartphone. With a tap, you'll be able to stream video, photos or music straight to the TV, without any cables or setup. You won't even need to be on the same Wi-Fi network, as the system uses Wi-Fi Direct to talk directly to the TV.
The more mainstream W8 includes passive 3D rather than active shutter, and will include four pairs of 3D glasses with each TV. It will also ship with the same One Touch remote control, X-Reality Pro picture engine and minimal circular stand, but loses the Triluminos backlighting system and diamond cut qwartz bezel.
W8 - high end for the mainstream
For those on a more constrained budget, the mid-range W6 will be available in 24, 32 and 42in models. Its stand doubles as a wall mount, includes SEN smart TV integration and integrated Wi-Fi, and supports smartphone screen mirroring – although without the One Touch remote control. It's a 2D only model, but uses the X-Reality Pro picture engine, previously only available on the high-end 2012 models, to improve picture quality.
R4 - stylish entry level
Finally, the entry-level R4 will go on sale in 32, 42 and, in a first for Sony, 46in screen sizes. It lacks X-reality Pro, but will still use Sony's MotionFlow frame creation technology to improve perceived video frame rates, as well as smartphone mirroring via MHL-compatible HDMI inputs. We spent some time with each of the new TVs today at Sony's UK headquarters, coming away impressed with the Triluminos backlighting system and bold new design. We'll be eagerly awaiting May, when the first models begin shipping and we can look to get review units into our labs.