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Sony’s new 4K and 8K TVs are ready for CES showtime

No prices yet, but these aren’t going to come cheap

It’s a good thing the CES conference space in Las Vegas is big, because Sony has some monstrously large television sets to show off.

The headliner – the LED ZH8, pictured above – is 8K enabled, meaning it has a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels, and it’s available in 75in or 85in models. Suffice to say that you probably wouldn’t get the benefit of those 24 million extra pixels on anything much smaller, although Samsung does sell a 55in 8K QLED TV. It does also depend on how close you sit to the set, of course.

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Is 8K really necessary, though? 4K content is still in the minority, let alone 8K, and you’ll be looking at upscaling in the short term: if you want future-proofing, then this is the set for you.

A ridiculously high resolution isn’t the only trick up the ZH8’s oversized sleeve, mind. It has a built-in Frame Tweeter which means the frame of the TV vibrates to make its own sound for more immersion than you generally get from a TV out of the box. Though if you’ve got enough money to buy an 8K TV in 2020, you could probably stump up for a decent soundbar too.

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Speaking of sound, another feature replicated across Sony’s full 2020 TV lineup is Ambient Optimisation: a feature that should help finetune the acoustics and picture to your viewing space. As well as adjusting brightness for the lighting of the environment, this apparently “even detects objects in the room, such as curtains and furniture that can absorb or reflect sound, fine-tuning the acoustics so your sound isn’t compromised.” It’s similar to a feature on Samsung’s rival 8K TV offerings, which were also announced at CES.

So for those that see 8K as a bit of a pipe dream, what does the rest of the range consist of? Well, alongside various LED options, Sony is producing a couple of promising looking 4K OLED sets in sizes that would fit in normally sized living rooms. The A8 (65in and 55in) and A9 (48in) feature deeper blacks, as you’d expect, but also benefit from Sony’s X-Motion Clarity for OLED which should refine screen action in real time for a “brighter, clearer and more fluid” experience.

All these, plus Sony’s smaller, less attention-grabbing LED sets, are now running Android 9 Pie with Chromecast built-in for easy streaming from your Android phone. iPhone users aren’t left out either: there’s support for AirPlay 2, too.

No word on pricing yet, and only a vague release window, but we should hear more in the spring.

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