Sony confirms HDR support for flagship 4K UHD TVs, offers some technical details...

posted on Monday, 20th April 2015 by Steve May

home cinema  4K  Broadcast  HDR 

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Sony has announced that it will add HDR (High Dynamic Range) compatibility to its incoming flagship X93C and X94C 4K Ultra HD TVs, with a firmware update “this summer”. Amazon has pledged to begin HDR broadcasts this year, and Netflix is expected to follow suite. HDR will also be available on 4K Blu-rays, when the format launches at the end of the year.

However the company has not revealed the peak brightness of its two compatible screen ranges, but told Inside CI that the HDR format chosen follows the SMPTE standard PQ curve (SMPTE ST2084) demonstrated at CES 2015 and NAB 2015. This has a bit depth of 10bit, colour sub-sampling at 4:2:0, with colour gamut primaries reflecting BT.2020. The HDR signal is sent in a single layer codec just like normal video signal; a regular HEVC main10 profile decoder is enough to receive it. Sony adds that the 75-inch X94C, with X-tended Dynamic Range PRO, and 55- and 65-inch X93C models with X-tended Dynamic Range technology, will “provide a superior viewing experience compared to that of normal HDR video and any other video source with greater contrast.”

“Our decades of experience allow us to introduce emerging industry standard HDR to our 4K Ultra HD TV series and to reinforce contrast thanks to Sony’s unique technology X-tended Dynamic Range PRO,” says Neil King, Head of Home Entertainment for Sony UK.

Both screens will feature Sony's latest X1 4K image processor, the first to optimise different standards of 4K signal, depending on content source. Tailored specifically for AVC, HEVC, and V9 4K codecs, it applies different algorithms if the signal is a lower-bitrate Internet delivery compared to high-bitrate streaming off disc. The two HDR compatible TVs are part of a 12 model 2015 4K line up from the brand. The BRAVIA X93C will retail for £2,599 (55-inch) and £3,999 (65-inch), while the 75-inch X94C will see for £7,499.

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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