Sony Europe announced the new MASTER Series ZG9 8K HDR Full Array LED and AG9 4K HDR OLED televisions. Sony’s MASTER Series TVs represent the pinnacle of picture quality available to home viewers, capable of displaying images that faithfully convey the creators’ intent. The MASTER Series is the name given to only the very best Sony TVs and provides premium picture quality, colour, contrast, and clarity approaching that of a professional-grade monitor. The MASTER Series TVs also feature Netflix Calibrated Mode and IMAX Enhanced to further ensure that content is delivered as intended.
Both new models feature the latest generation Picture Processor X1™ Ultimate for accurate detail and contrast. Introduced last autumn with the inaugural AF9 and ZF9 MASTER Series models, this processor plays a vital role in delivering the high-quality picture in the MASTER Series. Premium quality sound is a key part of the viewing experience as well, and both the ZG9 and AG9 models feature the new Sound-from-Picture Reality which faithfully reproduces the position of the sound on the screen so when actors are speaking, the sound appears to be coming directly from their mouths and not from a speaker off to the bottom of the TV.
ZG9 Super-Large Sized TVs
Larger TVs are becoming more popular and Sony’s goal with delivering new ZG9 98” and 85” TVs is to maximise the super-large screen experience in the living room. In order to deliver premium picture quality in such extra-large screens, Sony is introducing extra resolution with its first consumer 8K HDR television. With twice the number of horizontal lines and vertical lines, 8K provides four times the pixels of 4K (or 16 times the resolution of Full HD). This higher resolution results in a more immersive viewing experience as 8K means the larger-sized TVs look great up close with virtually no pixel differentiation.
But it is not just resolution that matters. As screen sizes get larger the processor plays an even greater role in delivering premium picture quality. Utilising a proprietary algorithm, the powerful Picture Processor X1 Ultimate has been optimised to handle the 33 million pixels of 8K. And the same processor enables the newly developed 8K X-Reality PRO to up-scale any content closer to true 8K picture quality using a new, dedicated 8K database to refer to for even more precise, detailed upscaling. With a long history and expertise in developing professional cameras and monitors, Sony recognises that precision in constructing fine components of signal processing results in an immediately visible difference to the whole image.
In addition, completely new dedicated 8K technologies have been developed for the ZG9 series, including Backlight Master Drive with full-array local dimming and 8K X-tended Dynamic Range PRO. The Backlight Master Drive on the ZG9 has ultra-dense LED modules which are independently controlled, delivering unprecedented contrast with punchy brightness and pitch blacks. To leverage the most out of this backlight system, 8K X-tended Dynamic Range PRO uses the saved energy to intelligently boost the brightness in the areas where it needs to be boosted.
AG9 Premium OLED TVs
The AG9 is Sony’s new flagship 4K HDR OLED TV available in 77”, 65”, and 55” screen sizes, in a very slim form factor. Image comes to life with the super-wide viewing angle, precise contrast and absolute blacks of OLED technology. Over 8 million self-illuminating pixels are precisely and individually controlled by Picture Processor X1 Ultimate. In addition to the processor, the AG9 has Pixel Contrast Booster for more colour and contrast in bright areas. As a result, the AG9 provides premium picture quality approaching that of a professional-grade monitor, showing images and colours as they truly are, as the creator intended. The processor improves SD and HD content closer to 4K HDR quality and shows 4K HDR content in stunning clarity.
The AG9 is very slim in depth; when wall-mounted it will fit closer to the wall. Furthermore, in order to bring the best viewing position and flexible usage, SU-WL850 has a swivel functionality so that the TV’s position can be adjusted as preferred.
For the ultimate in picture quality, the AG9 pairs the brilliance of 4K clarity with the brightness, colour, and detail of High Dynamic Range (HDR). Previously hidden areas of dark shadow and sunlight are now full of clarity and detail. The ZG9, the AG9 features Netflix Calibrated Mode, IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Vision™ and Dolby Atmos™ to deliver the viewing experience just as the creator intended.
Both the ZG9 Full Array LED and the AG9 OLED TVs feature Sony Android TV which supports a wide range of apps from Google Play™, including YouTube™, Netflix, Prime Video and more (availability varies by region.) To make the TV and home even smarter, the ZG9 and AG9 TVs have Google Assistant built-in. Additionally, both TVs have built-in microphones that will free users’ hands. Viewers can simply talk to the TV using Google Assistant to quickly plan the day, discover content, or play TV shows, films, and more. (Google Assistant availability depends on region.) The TVs also work with popular smart speakers such as Sony’s own LF-S50G and SRS-XB501G, Google Home or Amazon Echo devices. With smart speakers, users can control their TV and stream content by simply using their voice – with more features to come later this year.
Sony Android TVs will be compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. AirPlay 2 lets you effortlessly stream content from your iPhone, iPad and Mac right to your Sony TV. Watch movies and shows from iTunes and other video apps, and view photos directly on your Sony TV. Play music or listen to podcasts on the television and AirPlay 2 speakers throughout the home – all in sync. HomeKit lets you easily and securely control smart home products using the Home app or by asking Siri on your Apple devices. TVs can be added to the Home app and included in scenes or automations with other HomeKit accessories. For example, users can create a “Movie Night” scene in the Home app to easily turn on their smart TV and dim the lights, and simply ask Siri to launch the scene. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support will launch in ZG9, AG9, XG95, XG85 models in 2019.
For an even friendly user experience, a new easy to control smart remote enables viewers to control their connected devices such as cable/satellite boxes, Blu-ray Disc players, game consoles (supported devices vary by region) without switching remote controllers. Also added to the smart remote is an RF so the TV can be controlled without pointing the remote. And a newly developed user interface brings seamless and quick access to favourite apps and settings.