Sony puts audio in the frame for ZH8 8k TV introduction

posted on Tuesday, 14th January 2020 by Steve May

home cinema  4K  8K  CES 2020 

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Sony has once again innovated with sound, unveiling a Frame tweeter on its new ZH8 8K Full Array LED TV, at CES 2020. This Frame Tweeter technology literally vibrates the frame of the TV, created a treble component which creates the impression that sound is coming directly from the screen.

The screen leads a range refresh which includes 55- and 65-inch A8, and 48-inch A9 OLED models, and XH95 and XH90 4K Full Array LED sets.

All the above use the brand’s X1 Ultimate picture processor and Netflix Calibrated Mode, with select models also boasting IMAX Enhanced certification.

While Sony hasn’t jumped onboard the Dolby Vision IQ or Filmmaker Mode bandwagon, it will introduce its own Ambient Optimization, another sensor-based adjustment which optimises picture and sound quality to suit the viewing environment, automatically adjusting picture brightness in bright rooms and reducing it in dark rooms.

Unlike rival technologies, audio is also tweaked to match. The technology detects any curtains or furniture that can absorb or reflect sound.

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Once again, it’s keeping to a minimalist design, with the so-called Immersive Edge concept. Stand feet sit at the edge of the screen (although they can be relocated to the centre to suit AV furniture if required).

Sony is also bringing its high frame refresh technology X-Motion Clarity, first seen on LED screens, to OLED, and is expanding the reach of wide angle viewing technology and Full array backlight. The former comes down to 55-inch models, with the XH95 4K Full Array model, while the latter will now be available on the mid-range XH90.

Other refinements include adding a backlight to the remote control on its ZH8 and XH95 range toppers.

The smart platform of choice remains Android, with voice support for both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Apple Airplay 2 and Apple Homekit compatibility is also on the way, via firmware update later in the year.

The ZH8 8K Full Array LED TV will be available in 75- and 85-inch guises. It’s Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos compatible, and can present 4K up to 120fps.

The A8 OLED will come in 65- and 55- sizes, while the upcoming A9 brings OLED down to 48-inches.

The XH95 will come in 85-, 75-, 65-, 55- and 49-inch sizes, while the XH90 covers 85-, 75-, 65- and 55-inches. Both are 4k Full Array models, but the XH95 adds X-Wide Angle viewing technology (49-inch model excepting), and Acoustic Audio calibration.

Sony has also made changes to its TV user interface this year, simplifying menus and adding graphical descriptions alongside modes and options. It’s also added device detection connection info.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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