Sony 4K TV is Coming to Your Living Room This May

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Sony 4K
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Sony 4K

Sony 4K TV

Sony recently announced pricing for their 4K TV lineup, the 65-inch XBR-65X900A for $7,000 and the 55-inch XBR-55X900A for $5,000 — both featuring 3,840 X 2,160 4K resolution. Other 4K manufacturers are offering 4K TV’s starting around $20,000, but Sony is hoping to reach more thrift-conscious consumers by offering their 4K TV’s at a much more reasonable price. The only cheaper 4K TV on the market, is the $1,500 50-inch Ultra HDTV from Seiki.

“These new models will be arriving in homes just before the summer and are sure to bring the enhanced viewing experience of 4K TV to a whole new audience,” said Mike Lucas, senior vice president, Sony Electronics Home Division.

Both the 55- and 65-inch 4K TV’s will be released on May 19th, and they are available for pre-order today. The 4K TV’s are currently available for demonstration at 6 Sony Store locations: Century City, Calif.; Costa Mesa, Calif.; Houston; Las Vegas; New York and Palo Alto, Calif.

The Sony 4K TV’s feature all the bells and whistles that you’d expect from Sony including 4K upscaling, enhanced color spectrum, built-in WiFi, smartphone connectivity, dynamic backlighting, 65-Watt speakers, anti-blur movement, 3D-capability, Simulview gaming, and enhanced video calling.

Sony “Mastered in 4K” (1080p) Blu-ray Titles

To compliment the release of their 4K TV’s, Sony will also be releasing several “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray titles. These 1080p resolution Blu-ray discs are optimized for 4K upscaling on Sony 4K TV’s. The discs are backward compatible with today’s HDTV’s and Blu-ray players, including the PlayStation 3.

As a bonus, Sony will include three “Mastered in 4K” titles with the purchase of either of their 4K TV’s:  Angels and DemonsSpider-Man, and Ghostbusters.

“Mastered in 4K” titles currently available for pre-order include Angels and Demons, The Other Guys, Taxi Driver, The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-ManGhostbustersGlory, Battle: Los Angeles, and Karate Kid (2010). Sony plans to release several more titles throughout the year.

While not exactly true 4K, they are the closest thing to true 4K until Sony releases their 4K media player this summer.

Sony 4K Media Player

Sony also announced its 4K Media Player, the FMP-X1 for $699 — available this summer. The player will come pre-loaded with 10 feature films and video shorts in true 4K format (which differs from Sony’s 1080p “Mastered in 4K” Blu-ray discs). These true 4K titles include Bad Teacher, Battle: Los Angeles, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Karate Kid (2010), Salt, Taxi Driver, That’s My Boy, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Other Guys and Total Recall (2012).

In the fall, users of the same 4K Media Player will be able to access a fee-based 4K distribution service.

Lucas added, “As for content, these new sets enhance all of the video people are watching today, and this summer our 4K media player,  followed in fall by the video distribution service will demonstrate how Sony continues to lead in bringing the 4K entertainment experience to viewers.”

We’re looking forward to reviewing these incredible 4K TV’s in person.



Sony 4K TV Answers

Sony has answered a few frequently asked questions, we’ve posted them below:

What is the difference between 1080p and 4K?

4K Ultra HD TVs deliver more than 4 times the resolution of 1080P HDTVs. On a 1080p HDTV, there are over 2 million pixels that make up the image while on a 4K Ultra HD TV, there are over 8 million pixels. The resolution of an HDTV is 1,920 X 1,080 (horizontal X vertical) while the resolution of a 4K Ultra HD TV is 3,840 X 2,160 (horizontal X Vertical). Since there are 4 times more pixels, 4K Ultra HD TVs can more easily reproduce the smallest details. Due to this increased resolution, you can now sit closer to a larger TV screen and enjoy a clearer picture.

Will my regular cable programming, Blu-ray Discs, DVDs, and streaming entertainment appear different on my 4K Ultra HD TV?

Yes. The Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs enhance the picture quality of everything you watch with Sony’s exclusive upscaling technology. The Sony 4K X-Reality PRO Picture engine analyzes and refines images from all sources. Your TV shows, movies, sports, and streaming entertainment will look better. And with more than 7,000 Blu-ray discs on the market, there is plenty of movie content to enjoy at home, now upscaled to near 4K.

How close to the TV must I sit to appreciate 4K?

The short answer is that between 5 and 6 ft. is the ideal viewing distance for a 55” or 65” Sony 4K Ultra HD TV.However, on a 55“, you can now sit as close as 3.6 ft and enjoy a visibly smoother and more detailed picture (e.g you won’t see the individual pixels). On a 65“ TV, you can sit as close as 4.2 ft. to appreciate 4K.Since the pixels on a 4K Ultra HD TV are four times smaller than on an HDTV, it becomes harder to see them. In fact, you can sit closer to a 65” Sony 4K Ultra HDTV than you can to a 35” HDTV. When you sit closer to the screen, you feel like you are immersed in the action. You get the same visual impact as you would sitting in the best seat at a movie theater.

What can I currently watch in true 4K? In near-4K?

For your immediate enjoyment of your Sony 4K Ultra HD TV, Sony’s exclusive upscaling technology, ensures that everything you watch will be enhanced on the Sony 4K TV. The TVs display four times the detail of regular HD TVs so whether you’re watching broadcast TV, Blu-ray Disc movies, streaming entertainment, or home video clips shot with a smart phone, the 4K X-Reality PRO picture engine enhances the picture quality experience.

Starting in May, 2013, customers can purchase a select number of Sony Pictures Blu-ray titles optimized for 4K Ultra HDTVs. These HD titles were created from the highest quality 4K source materials with expanded color for a more vibrant and dynamic picture. They play on all Blu-ray players and PlayStation 3’s. They are the ideal Blu-ray Disc solution for new 4K Ultra HD TV owners and great for Blu-ray collectors as they also display excellent picture quality on standard HDTVs. These titles include: Angels and Demons, The Other Guys, Taxi Driver, The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-ManGhostbustersGlory, Battle: Los Angeles, Karate Kid (2010) and more are scheduled to release later in 2013.

Starting in the Summer of 2013, customers who own the Sony 55“ or 65“ 4K Ultra HD TV will also be able to buy the Sony 4K Media Player bundled with 10 feature films and video shorts in true 4K resolution. Later in 2013, the same 4K Media Player will also support a fee-based network video service offering a library of 4K titles for download.

When will more 4K content be available?

Native 4K content is quickly being adopted by Hollywoods‘ leading filmmakers. In addition, many studios are investing in the 4K restoration of films in their libraries. Films originally shot with 35MM film can be re-mastered in native 4K resolution. In addition, broadcasters and cable companies are investing in 4K technologies to be able to deliver more 4K content expeirences to consumers at home.

What device options do I have to enjoy 4K? Do I need a 4K Blu-ray Disc player and 4K receiver to enjoy my 4K Ultra HD TV?

You can start enjoying your 4K Ultra HD TV with your current Home theatre components. No new devices are needed. You do not need a 4K upscaling Blu-ray player or receiver to use with your Sony 4K Ultra HD TV.

Your current Blu-ray Disc player, cable signal or even your personal photos and videos make for ideal content to view on your Sony 4K Ultra HD TV. You are already creating 4K content when you take pictures on an 8 MP camera, and now you can finally enjoy the full detail of your photos on the big screen.

Coming later in 2013, you can enjoy feature films in true 4K resolution with the Sony 4K Media Player. It will come preloaded with feature films and video shorts. Sony will also launch a Sony 4K network video service offering access to a library of 4K movies and TV show titles.

What other 4K products and services does Sony manufacture?

As Sony did with the transition to HD, Sony is leading the way with the transition to 4K from the lens to the living room, including:

  • The world’s most extensive line of 4K digital motion picture cameras including the F65, PMW-F5 and PMW-F55 cameras
  • Complete line-up of 4K professional monitors and projectors
  • Industry training at the Digital Motion Picture Center at Sony Pictures Studios
  • Sony Vegas Pro software performs 4K nonlinear editing
  • Sony Pictures Colorworks is Hollywood’s leading house for 4K post production
  • Sony Pictures is releasing films like the 2013 After Earth starring Will Smith in 4K Digital Cinema and investing in 4K restorations of classics like Lawrence of Arabia and Taxi Driver
  • Sony is the world leader in 4K Digital Cinema servers and projectors with over 13,000 systems installed
  • Sony has a consumer line-up including a 4K Home front projector, A/V receivers with 4K pass-through, Blu-ray Disc players with 4K upscaling, and now a line-up of 4K Ultra HD TVs

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About the Author

Andrew Michael is the Founder of Ultra HDTV Magazine. His interest in the technology began in 2008, before the term "Ultra HD" became mainstream. Andrew has contributed numerous articles, and continues to evolve Ultra HDTV into the ultimate Ultra High Definition resource.

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