Sony XBR-A1E Bravia OLED 4K HDR TV Debut Packing Slick Audio Tech

Posted: Mar 17 2017, 6:19am CDT | by , Updated: Mar 21 2017, 5:07am CDT , in Technology News


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Sony XBR-A1E Bravia OLED 4K HDR TVs Jump on the Scene in 2017

Bravia OLED TV has sound that comes directly from the images on screen

Sony was the very first company to launch an OLED TV years ago in the form of that tiny XEL-1 11-inch TV. That was way back in 2007 and the TV was so small and so expensive that it wasn't that popular with buyers. Fast forward to 2017 and Sony now has a full line of OLED 4K HDR TVs that runs from the entry-level 55-inch unit to a mid-range 65-inch and finishing up with a high-end 77-inch unit. All of those TVs share the same specifications. Sony has finally given up all the details on its 2017 OLED TV line up.

"With over 10 years of OLED experience Sony is pleased to introduce the BRAVIA OLED 4K HDR TV, its first large screen consumer OLED television," said Kevin Brinkman, Director of Product Marketing, TV and Projectors, North America. "Our long experience with OLED technology, together with the new 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme, meant that this was the right time to return to the consumer OLED market. The A1E features a powerful mix of our exclusive image processing with a striking new design concept that is sure to make an impression in anyone's home."

All of the Sony OLED TVs will have the same features including the Sony 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme and the world's first use of Acoustic Surface sound systems. That latter feature may be the coolest thing about the Sony 2017 OLED range and is something no other OLED TV maker is offering. That Acoustic Surface Sound Technology makes the entire screen resonate with sound. Sony says that the integration of sound with the screen means that sounds and action are tied together in a way you can't get with other TV technologies.

The voices sound like they are coming directly from the characters speaking on screen and explosions sound like they are coming from whatever is blowing up. Sound and image synchronization are wide and works from all angles, even from well off to the sides of the TV. The Acoustic Surface tech also means that the Sony Bravia OLED TV line needs no external speakers of any kind on the front or sides of the screen so all you see on your wall is a thin, sexy OLED TV. The easel that supports the TV hides the subwoofer and cable management system and can be folded against the wall for wall mounting.

A cool sound system is great, but the meat of the Sony OLED TV line is image quality. Sony says that the entire line supports HDR with its X1 Extreme image engine supporting improved color accuracy, contrast, and clarity. The TVs in Sony's lineup support HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision. The image processor used also allows for non-HDR content to be improved to nearly 4K HDR quality using object-based HDR Remaster tech to detect and optimize each object on screen.

Smart TV functions are controlled by Android TV OS allowing the use of apps from the TV and streaming services. Sony also integrates Google Assistant so users of its OLED TV line can get answers to just about any questions they might have and control other devices around their homes. That feature is accessed via the mic button on the included remote control.

There are three TVs in Sony's 2017 Bravia OLED 4K HDR TV Line and the only difference is the price and screen size. The entry-level XBR-55A1E is a 55-inch screen and will sell for $4,999.99. Mid-range offering in the lineup is the XBR-65A1E 65-inch priced at $6,499.99. The top of the line set in the line is the XBR-77A1E with a 77-inch screen, Sony isn't talking pricing on that TV just yet.

Best Buy has started to ship the new Sony OLED TVs on March 21.

OLED TV shoppers who are looking for something that is less expensive than the entry-level Sony OLED TV will want to check out the LG OLED TV line for 2017. LG doesn't cram cool features into its TVs like Sony is, but they are much cheaper. An entry-level LG OLED TV will ring in at $1999.99. More details on the Panasonic OLED TV range for 2017 are here.

Right now only the LG OLED TVs are available from retailers. LG's best-selling OLED TVs on are still dominated by the 2016 models as the 2017 LG OLED TVs are not released yet. Prices are under pressure on the 2016 LG OLED TVs in the wake of the release of the new LG OLED TVs. The LG Electronics OLED65E6P Flat 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV sells for $3,497 instead of $5,000.

Philips has now stepped into the OLED TV realm with a new model for 2017. The big draw to the new Philips 55POS9002 is that it is the only OLED TV on the market to use Philips' Ambilight tech. Ambilight has lighting on the outside of the TV on the top and side edges that glow with the colors of the action on screen. What that menas is if you watch a scene with lots of trees, you will see green light up the room, if it's ocean on screen you will see blue light up the room. Ambilight is very cool and brings some immersion to your viewing. Pricing for the Philips TV hasn't been announced but I would expect the cost to be on par with the Sony offerings.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
Tech and Car expert Shane McGlaun (Google) reports about what's new in these two sectors. His extensive experience in testing cars, computer hardware and consumer electronics enable him to effectively qualify new products and trends. If you want us review your product, please contact Shane.
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