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Sony to launch a slew of home entertainment goodies

By Sara Barker, Thu 10 Jan 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Sony’s latest range of TVs, home entertainment and audio are all on show at this year’s CES Las Vegas.

Massive 4K & 8K TVs

With 8K televisions now coming of age in consumer tech, Sony is jumping feet-first into the trend. One of the company’s major announcements includes both an 8K LCD and a 4K OLED TV to join the MASTER Series.

The MASTER Series Z9G 8K TV comes in both 85” and 98” because Sony believes large TVs are becoming more popular. With extra-large screens comes premium quality – and 8K is no exception to that thinking. 

Sony explains: “With twice the number of horizontal lines and vertical lines, 8K provides four times the pixels of 4K (or 16 times the resolution of HD). This higher resolution results in a more immersive viewing experience as 8K resolution means the larger-sized TVs look great up close with virtually no pixel differentiation.”

The TV includes a picture processor that can handle 8K’s 33 million pixels, alongside upscaling.

In terms of sound, ‘Acoustic Multi-Audio’ and Dolby Atmos deliver audio through four front-facing speakers.

While the MASTER Series A9G OLED 4K TV is smaller (77”, 65” or 55”), it has the same picture processor. It is also fitted with a pixel contrast booster to provide better contrast and colour, while Acoustic Surface Audio and sound that ‘comes from the entire screen’.

Both MASTER Series TVs also include Android TV, as well as compatibility with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.

But don’t open your wallet just yet – Sony is yet to confirm pricing and release dates.

New soundbars and even a 4K Blu-ray player

Blu-ray is still a home entertainment option that’s worth supporting, Sony reckons – so a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player is one way to keep the quality rolling.

The UBP-X800M2 Blu-ray player supports 4K Ultra HD playback, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG).

Additionally, 4Kupscaling is also possible with the X800M2, transforming non-4K content to highly detailed, near-4K quality content.

The UBP-X800M2 also supports the latest and highest quality audio formats, including Hi-Res Audio and DSD. With the X8500 and X800M2, users can achieve the best home cinema experience with seamless pass-through of high-quality Dolby Atmos and DTS:X content, providing optimised picture and sound quality. 

The X800M2 is compatible with all major disc formats, including SACD/DVD-A, as well as 4K streaming services such as Netflix and YouTube. Users can stream their favourite shows via the Blu-ray player in ultra-high definition.

The HT-X8500 Soundbar includes Dolby Atmos/DTS:X with inbuilt subwoofers. 

“This 2.1ch Dolby Atmos/DTS:X compatible soundbar provides a high-quality audio in a slim and modern design. Thanks to Sony's unique digital signal processing technologies, such as Vertical Surround Engine, the X8500 can deliver up to 7.1.2ch surround sound no matter what type of room the soundbar is in.”

Once again, pricing and release dates are still to be announced.

Headphones to get Amazon Alexa support

Sony’s popular WH-1000XM3 and WH-1000XM2 and WI-1000X headphones will also be able to support Amazon Alexa soon. 

In the first quarter of 2019, those who own the compatible headphones will be able to use Sony’s Headphones Connect app and a firmware update to get access to Amazon Alexa.

"We are delighted to collaborate with Sony on listening experiences that combine high-quality sound with the simplicity of voice control," says Alexa Voice Service vice president Pete Thompson.

"With Alexa built-in, you can easily play music, hear the news, control smart home devices, access tens of thousands of skills, and more."

All about that bass

Sony has refreshed its EXTRA BASS wireless speaker lineup. New products include the RS-XB12, SRS-XB22 and SRS-XB32 portable speakers, as well as a high-power speaker (GTK-XB72) and an outdoor party speaker (GTK-PG10).

The XB22, XB32 and XB72 feature LIVE SOUND mode, which expands the service area of the sound via angled speakers and Digital Signal Processing technology, producing three-dimensional sound that puts users in the thick of the music as if they were at a concert or festival.

The XB22 and XB32 has ‘Party Booster’ mode, which reacts from tapping on them to create unique lighting and sound effects, including single- and multi-colour line lighting, respectively. Additionally, users can enjoy a range of fun party features on the XB72 via the Fiestable app, including voice control, motion control and an interactive party light. 

Sony will release the new speakers this year, but no date has been set.

Turntables spin right round

Vinyl lovers might want to check out Sony’s PS-LX310BT wireless turntable. It fuses modern technology and the ‘timeless experience of vinyl’, according to Sony.

The PS-LX310BT brings the warm sound of vinyl to any wireless speaker, soundbar or headphones with the addition of a built-in Bluetooth transmitter.

It will be available from select audio dealers this year.

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