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Sony Expands 4K Line, Adds Streaming Service

1/27/2013 07:00:00 PM Eastern

LAS VEGAS — Sony Electronics helped energize International CES by presenting the future of TV with an expanded 4K Ultra High-Definition TV lineup, and new options for viewing native content on 4K screens.

Sony this year is adding 55- and 65-inch 4K Ultra HD TVs to its XBR LED TV line in the X900A series, to join the 84-inch 4K Ultra HD set it introduced to the U.S. market late last year.

Sony also showed a 56-inch 4K OLED TV as a technology statement, but didn’t have any firm introduction plans to announce.

Positioning itself as a leader in 4K Ultra HD TV from the lens to the living room, Sony showed how it is leveraging its disparate businesses from Hollywood content production to set marketing and sales to produce 4K TV ecosystem. The standard offers four times the resolution of FullHD 1080p displays.

Sony also said it is planning to offer this summer “the first 4K Ultra HD-video distribution service in the U.S.,” offering native 4K content such as feature-length movies streamed from Sony Pictures and others to special 4K media players.

As for the new TV lineup, the XBR-X900A-series models employ Sony’s 4K X-Reality Pro picture engine to reduce visual noise and correct image shapes, Triluminos Display LED backlighting for more authentic color tones, and QD Vision’s Color IQ optical component technology to widen the color gamut.

Personal content captured on select Sony digital cameras, camcorders and new Blu-ray Disc players will also work with the Triluminos Color feature.

The XBR-X900A models have improved sound through the use of magnetic fluid speakers and digital signal processing circuitry. The front-facing speakers on XBR 4K LED TVs integrate into Sony’s new “Sense of Quartz” design concept with angular, faceted outer cabinets.

All XBR-X900A models are Wi-Fi-enabled and have smart-TV functionality, including connectivity with mobile devices. New smart features include one-touch mirroring and TV SideView.

Sony’s new X-series 4K LED TVs will be available starting this spring at Sony Stores and CE retailers nationwide.

Also available this spring will be a new line of “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray discs from Sony Pictures and ColorWorks Studio.

The first such titles playable on new Sony BD players will include “The Amazing Spider-Man,” “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Taxi Driver,” each of which came from “pristine 4K masters and are presented at high-bit rate, FullHD resolution.” When played on a Sony 4K TV, the images are said to be “near-4K picture quality,” Sony said.

Also on display at this year’s show were Sony’s W- and R-series FullHD 1080p LED LCD TVs with improved image and sound quality.

The Bravia W-series models include the KDLW650A (32-inch screen size), the KDL-W800A (47- and 55-inch screen sizes) and the KDL-W900A (55- inch screen size).

All models are Wi-Fi enabled. The W900A model incorporates the aforementioned Triluminos display technology, X-Reality Pro picture engine and activeshutter- glasses-based 3D capability. The speakers’ advanced transmission line design reproduces the bass extension of a much bigger, bulkier speaker cabinet. The 4-foot speaker duct is folded into a unit that’s hidden behind the TV screen bezel.

The R-series Bravia LED LCD TVs include KDLR550A models in the 50-, 60- and 70-inch screen sizes, offering four 3D passive glasses, and Wi-Fi connectivity with RVU (based on DLNA and the Remote User Interface standards) compliance, enabling consumers to wirelessly access Sony Entertainment Network services as well as their DirecTV set-top-box DVR and streaming services.

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