Sony Promises Brighter OLED TVs for 2021 With ‘Cognitive Intelligence’-news

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The Bravia XR line features Sony’s highest-end TVs, and today it announced five new models with a Cognitive Processor XR chip intended to improve image processing.


Cognitive Processor XR

Most major TV manufacturers regularly perform iterative image processor updates, but the Cognitive Processor XR is a significant jump in speed and capability, according to Sony.

It uses what the company calls “cognitive intelligence” to cross-analyze multiple elements in the picture it’s adjusting, like people, furniture, and backgrounds. It compares these elements against an internal database of known, similar elements to determine the best ways to improve each element’s clarity and detail, especially when upconverting content that’s lower than a TV’s native 4K or 8K resolution. It also analyzes audio output and upconverts it to 3D surround sound to match the picture on the screen.

The Cognitive Processor XR looks very promising, especially for users with a lot of Blu-rays, DVDs, and lower-than-4K-running video games and streaming media. Of course, we’ll have to get it in the lab to really see how well it works compared with other TVs’ image processors.


New OLEDs

(Sony A90J)

The new Bravia XR TVs themselves, with the Cognitive Processor XR, include two new OLED and three new LED-backlit LCD models.

On the OLED side are the A90J and A80J televisions. The two models are 4K OLED TVs with 120Hz refresh rates and Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+, which uses actuators behind the panel to generate sound that seems to come straight from the TV, rather than conventional drivers built around the edge or in the back.

The A90J is the Master Series flagship OLED model, and features Sony’s new XR OLED Contrast Pro feature. XR OLED Contrast Pro uses aluminum lamination and temperature distribution mapping to improve heat dissipation for the panel, which Sony says enables the panel to produce a brighter picture. While OLEDs are capable of incredible contrast with deep black levels and wide color ranges, their weakness has always been their maximum brightness when compared with LED screens. The A90J is also Sony’s largest OLED TV yet, with an 82.5-inch model available. We’re interested in seeing just how brighter the A90J will be over the A80J, or the Master Series A9G it replaces.


New LCDs

Sony Z9J

(Sony Z9J)

The Z9J is Sony’s Master Series flagship LED TV and the only 8K model in its 2021 lineup. It features the company’s XR Contrast Booster 15, which boosts backlight for areas of peak brightness in a picture and specific elements as identified by the Cognitive Processor XR.

The step-down LED TVs—the 4K X95J and X90J—feature the XR Contrast Booster 10 and XR Contrast Booster 5, respectively, which also boost the brightness of those models, but not to the extent of the Z9J. Again, we’re quite interested in seeing it for ourselves.


New Features

All new Bravia XR TVs feature Google TV, the Android TV replacement first introduced in the Chromecast with Google TV. It offers all of the same features as Android TV, including Google Cast screen sharing and Google Assistant, but uses a friendlier, more intuitive interface.

The Z9J, A90J, and X95J are equipped with far-field microphones for hands-free Google Assistant, while the A80J and X90J require speaking into a microphone built into the remote. The new TVs will also support Apple AirPlay 2 for content streaming from iOS devices.

Sony has not yet announced pricing or availability for the new Bravia XR TVs, but they will likely come out later this spring.

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