Sony unveils Master Series ZF9 LCD TV and AF9 OLED flagships

posted on Wednesday, 1st August 2018 by Steve May

Sony  OLED  4K  HDR 

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Sony has unveiled a new Master Series range of high-end TVs. Rumoured for months and finally revealed in New York, the line features the AF9 OLED screen (pictured below), and ZF9 LED LCD (pictured above). The sets are being hailed as the most advanced yet from the brand, not least because they're the first to be built around the X1 Ultimate image processor, first seen at CES earlier this year.

The AF9 OLED will be available in 55- and 65-inch screen sizes, while the ZF9 will come in 65- and 75-inch flavours. Inside CI has had an early hands-on, and can confirm the quality of both is stunning.

65_A9F_AF9 Side

The X1 Ultimate processor looks to sets a new benchmark in image quality. Two new intelligent image processing modes, Object-based Super Resolution and Object-based HDR remaster, seem to bring a level of detail to the screen we’ve not seen before. By individually enhancing objects with a picture, images boast extreme depth and texture.

Both models are also compatible with CalMAN calibration software, which will be welcomed by those integrators offering a calibration service. A CalMAN for BRAVIA app will be available from Google Play for installation on the Tvs.

Netflix

The TVs also boast a unique Netflix Calibrated Mode, an image preset which is optimised purely for Netflix streams. Sony says this is all part of its goal to “reflect content creators intent.” A new Custom image mode also allows the TVz to mimic the image characteristics of a Sony professional OLED mastering monitor.

Build quality on both is high-end. The AF9 OLED has the same lean-back design first seen on the A1. It also features a new version of the brand’s Acoustic Surface audio system. The Acoustic Surface Audio+ system adds a centre channel actuator, and a second subwoofer (therefore it's a 3.2 sound system). There’s also a centre channel mode, which allows the panel to act as a centre channel, within a multichannel home cinema system (just don’t turn the volume up too high).

The ZF9 LED LCD shares many of the same features as its stablemate, and improves on the off axis viewing of the venerable ZD9, thanks to an improvement in overall brightness.

HDR support for both models covers HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision. The TVs will also come with the new Android Oreo TV OS platform. Price and availability have yet to be announced. Expect to hear more about the Master series at the upcoming IFA tech show in Berlin.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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