Sony Electronics unveiled its new flagship Z-series 4K Ultra HD TVs with what the company called a significant leap forward for high dynamic range (HDR) contrast and color over its previous flagship X series.
The new Z series incorporates the Backlight Master Drive backlight boosting technology that Sony introduced as a prototype at CES 2016, which expands brightness and contrast, the company said. To further enhance contrast, the Backlight Master Drive features a dense LED structure with a more accurate lighting algorithm, discrete lighting control, and a unique optical design with a calibrated beam LED to deliver deep blacks and brighter lights.
Previously, local dimming was controlled by zones with several LEDs whereas the discrete LED control feature dims and boosts each LED individually. A unique optical structure — a calibrated beam LED design — gathers the emitted LED lights in a spot and focuses the drive area more narrowly to display higher contrast. It also reduces light diffusion and the flare effects.
The Z series also features a newly developed 4K image processor, the 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme, with 40 percent more real-time image processing power than Sony's previous 4K Processor X1. It Incorporates three new technologies: object-based HDR remaster, dual database processing, and Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, which analyzes images in each scene and corrects the color and contrast of each object individually.
The 4K HDR processor has a database specifically for noise reduction which searches through thousands of picture patterns in the database, analyzing each pixel individually in real-time. The processing removes unwanted noise and up-scales every image to a 4K-quality image.
The Z series also runs on Android TV a new Sony user interface Content Bar with enhanced content navigation, along with voice search and a genre-filtering function.
The Z-series 65-inch and 75-inch class TVs are available for presale immediately, and are on sale at Amazon, BestBuy.com and other authorized dealers nationwide, with expected delivery this summer. The XBR75Z9D retails for $9,999, and the XBR65Z9D is $6,999.
A 100-inch model, the XBR100Z9D, will be available later this year with pricing to be announced.
"The Z series is a generational advance in TV technology, which brings the 4K HDR viewing experience to a whole new level. Our best and brightest HDR Ultra HD television is proof of Sony's continuing commitment to deliver the ultimate home entertainment experiences to our customers," said Mike Fasulo, Sony Electronics president. "With expertise in both the creative and the technical aspects of 4K HDR shooting, editing, recording, transmission and display, Sony understands 4K HDR like no other company. The Z series is a direct result of that unique partnership between our engineering and creative teams."