This year the most important novelty brought by manufacturers, is the introduction of HDR technology. We have all heard of HDR on cameras but what it really means?
HDR comes from High Dynamic Range, and means delivering images with a more complex color palette, a more intense white and really good black levels. With a complex color palette, the colors are very natural, compared to what we had so far on the current range of TVs.
If red was played on a normal screen in one hundred shades, with HDR, the color palette is tripled covering every possible shade. Green will be natural, skin tones will be like in reality, the blue sky will be in a real nuance.
The contrast is also improved exponentially, because the black doesn’t have any loss when the screen’s lit in different areas. We may have an intense lit powerful flame on the screen, but black remains black around that area – on classic screens the black is lost due to light which diminished the level of dark areas.
Basically, HDR TVs are revolutionizing the market. If until now accent was only on the design or the Smart TV function, manufacturers are finally turning to image quality, leaving resolution as it is, and increasing the quality of colors and contrast – the most important in watching a movie or a show.
It should be mentioned that to benefit the HDR quality, the footage must be filmed at the same standard. Of course, HDR videos are just appearing on the market.
Manufacturers have found a solution, as they did with 4k – scaling normal images to HDR quality. It’s not the best option, but the quality greatly increases, when watching movies, for example.
Sony, known as a leader in the segment of audio and video, announced HDR TVs as well. Its high end range includes X930D and X940D models.
These TVs are absolutely top of the line, from picture and sound, to the Smart TV function.
Sony has redesigned its TVs in 2016. The new design brings very thin models compared to 2015, and even the TV’s back was designed to perfectly hide the cables that should be connected to the device.
Talking on picture, new models are a step ahead on several levels. Although other manufacturers will introduce HDR on TVs too, Sony uses the dedicated image processor called 4K X-Reality Pro. This dedicated processor processes the image by adjusting it a few million times per second, to maintain the contrast and color standard required by HDR. Thus the picture is impeccable, preserving natural contrast and brightness at a premium level.
Talking on the TV panel, they will still use Triluminous displays, that have the quality needed to sustain the HDR image standard.
Sony continues with Android as operating system in 2016. They bring version 6.0 on Smart TVs, which promises to be one of the most stable ones. We tested the X940D model, and we can say that Android is running on this TV, the same as on a premium smartphone. There are a lot more applications available, fast running games, movies can be watched online with no freeze, and Google voice search has been much improved and supports more languages now.
Sony 4K HDR TVs in 2016 – are they a success?
We can already say yes. Last year, Samsung took over more than half of the TV market, clearly dominating its rivals. Sony maintained its share, but they needed to reinvent themselves.
The new Smart TVs and HDR TVs bring what was needed, a superior image to nowadays standards, a great sound system and very stable and fast OS.
Time will tell how competitive the prices are of these models, and what Samsung, LG and Panasonic will bring onto the market as the year moves along.