Today Sony announced its first consumer 8K LCD TV, the Z9G during CES 2019. In addition to the higher resolution that results in four times the pixels as 4K, the Z9G arrives as the latest member of the company’s “MASTER” line. The Z9G is set to become available in two different size options, an 85-inch screen and a 98-inch screen.
Sony’s MASTER branding is all about the best experience possible within the product’s category and with this being the company’s first consumer 8K TV, it is not surprising it has arrived marketed as a MASTER-branded product.
MASTER devices from Sony tend to come with a heightened price point to match their ultra-premium status and therefore it is expected the two TV options from the Z9G series will arrive with an extremely high price attached.
To help with the heightened picture quality and level of performance, the Z9G series draws on the company’s Picture Processor X1. This is in addition to a “proprietary algorithm” which has been specifically created to ensure the processor is able to handle the 33 million pixels.
The tweaked processor not only helps to deliver actual 8K content, but also to upscale lower resolution content to a “near-8K picture quality” level, according to the company.
Sony argues that although delivering 8K is hard enough, it is even harder on screens that are as large as those in the Z9G series, with the company using the launch of these new TVs as further proof of its own expertise and the performance quality of its Processor X1 solution.
To ensure the overall experience is as good as it can be, and MASTER-approved, Sony explains it also had to develop new 8K technologies for the Z9G series. These include new solutions to improve backlighting and to also take advantage of dynamic range.
Sony also details how the sound quality has been improved to match the video quality and this has primarily been achieved through the employment of a four-speaker setup that sees two speakers positioned at the top of the screen, and two at the bottom. Their positioning, along with the software and the processor combine to offer a sound that viewers will hear from the screen itself and not the actual speaker locations.
Buyers will also find the TV is more naturally able to assimilate itself within an existing home audio setup thanks to the included TV Center Speaker Mode that’s designed to position the TV as the heart of the audio home setup.
While resolution is clearly the main selling point for this TV, like Sony’s other recent TV options that have come to market, the Z9G series arrives powered by Android TV. This is Google’s own TV-optimized interface that allows access to a number of specifically optimized Android apps from the Google Play Store, including Netflix.
Netflix is not only present on the Z9G, but the TV itself comes with support for Netflix Calibrated Mode. This improved Netflix experience was first announced in 2018 as a collaborative effort between Netflix and Sony and is designed to combine the “color scientists” of the former with the "picture quality” of the latter.
Adding to the wealth of supports, the Z9G series is also an IMAX Enhanced-certified series. This certification and licensing program was set up in 2018 by IMAX and in conjunction with DTS to ensure buyers can purchase safe in the knowledge the device meets the highest of audio and visual standards.
Sony has not provided pricing or general availability details on the new Z9G series, stating this information will be made available in the Spring.