Sony Shines at CESAudioWorks
Amongst the glut of the newest and most amazing TV’s shown at CES 2016 you really have to have some true innovation to stand out and Sony was not to be outshined. Sony’s newest TV’s are posed to display today’s best in both UHD HDR (ultra high definition, high dynamic range) and regular old HD content with the all new models and the technology behind them.
Sony took a stance on OLED technology claiming that it was not yet ready for the consumer market. They do make a series of professional studio production OLED monitors that are widely used in the filmmaking industry, however. Instead they thought they might be able to squeeze a bit more out of the standard LCD displays most of us are currently using. As it happens, they may have been able to do just that. Enter the Sony Backlight Master Drive, Sony’s newest technology debuted at CES 2016. The master drive system uses a similar technology found in all flagship LCD displays, local dimming. However, these claimed results are far and beyond anything ever seen in not only LCD’s but any display.
Sony claims 4,000 nits of light output, and why a nit may not be any type of measurement you’ve heard of before, it’s pretty significant. For perspective, the TV you most likely have in your home ranges anywhere from 300 to 500 nits of brightness. Even the latest and greatest HDR displays top out at 1,000 nits.
Sony’s secret sauce is its combination of a direct backlight LED array, composed of more than 1,000 independently controllable lighting zones, and an ultra-powerful version of Sony’s X-Tended Dynamic Range technology. The X-Tended tech reduces power in dark picture zones so it can push more power into bright areas. This allows for very specific high dynamic range with extremely high light output and some of the blackest blacks ever seen on an LCD. The demo clip they were showing had a scene with a sun reflection off of a body of water and it literally made me squint due to the extremely high level of light output.
The demo display at CES was an 85” prototype. Rumors are that the Backlight Master Drive technology will show up in Q3 or Q4 of 2016 and take over as Sony’s new flagship model(s). No doubt these tv’s will be expensive, but as with most of Sony’s technologies, the features in the pro and top models often trickle down into the more consumer friendly price ranges. Im sure this technology will be no exception.
Any way you look at it we are on the brink of some pretty extensive changes in the tv industry. With OLED making a big presence, HDR getting specific standards, and Ultra HD content becoming more readily available from the likes of Directv, Dish Network, and the newest media Ultra HD BluRays. Its exciting times for display technologies and pretty much everything tech.
– Reggie Primm (Operations Manager at AudioWorks)