Tom Butts /
08.30.2012 09:00AM
Sony Unveils its First Consumer 4K TV
84-inch XBR-84X900 will be available in select N. American retail locations for an undisclosed price later this year.
NEW YORK—Sony has announced the debut of its first 4K TV, an LCD panel that delivers images at four times (3840x2160) the resolution of full HD. The 84-inch XBR-84X900 will be available in select N. American retail locations for an undisclosed price later this year. The company made the announcement in advance of the IFA Show in Germany.

With the majority of U.S. homes now with HDTV sets—and little consumer interest in 3DTV, consumer electronics manufacturers have recently been touting 4K as the “next big thing” in visual imaging. At CES in January, several companies, including Samsung, Vizio, Philips, LG Electronics, and Toshiba, were showing prototypes of 4K TVs, some on OLED technology, which is also expected to play a role in the future of home displays.

But with little 4K content (or a way to distribute it to consumers), it could be awhile before consumers are able to take advantage of true 4K, which is now mainly relegated to digital cinema installations. Sony says more than 12,500 4K digital cinema projectors are in use worldwide and that its flagship F65 CineAlta 4K camera will spur more 4K content creation. Sony’s first 4K consumer item, the VPL-VW1000ES 4K home theater projector, was announced last year and is available through custom installers.

“Our professional division continues to see the migration toward 4K content creation with major film and broadcast productions,” said Brian Siegel, vice president of Sony Electronics TV Group.

For non-4K content, the XBR-84X900 uses Sony’s proprietary upscaling technology which incorporates the company’s 4K X-Reality PRO picture engine. The display is also 3D-capable and comes with passive 3D glasses.

The XBR-84X900 also incorporates a 10 Unit Live Speaker system for 5.1 with detachable side speakers as well as full network connectivity, allowing consumers control of their viewing experience via a tablet or smartphone with the downloadable Media Remote App. With built-in WiFi they can access movies, TV shows, and online video and music through the Sony Entertainment Network suite of services including Music Unlimited, Video Unlimited, Netflix, Pandora, Yahoo! Broadcast Interactivity and more than 50 other popular internet entertainment providers.


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1.
Posted by: Rodolfo La Maestra
Thu, 08-30-2012 - 9:29PM Report Comment
Hi Tom, I am disappointed that the 4K panel has implemented 3D using the passive method, a method LG showed on their 84" 4K LCD prototype at CES 2012, a set that is now starting to sell in Korea, and will be here very soon as well. Although the 3D passive showed well on that LG set at CES and the FPR grid was less visible than the unacceptable dual 540p-per-eye implementation of 1080p passive 3DTVs, it was still a misuse of the potential beauty of showing 4k pixels per eye, obtainable if using an active shutter method. I was expecting Sony would do so, rather than the LG passive approach, A) because of the previous active-shutter continuous support of Sony rather than passive, and B) because of their current 4K projector that supports active-shutter, which I have and is stunning in 2D 4K and in 4K 3D-per-eye (upscaling from 1080p Blu-ray in 2D or 3D, for now). I wish good luck to Sony on this passive 3D endeavor, which I assume is targeted to explore the market in the passive 3D world toward much needed revenue, like Panasonic is doing with a couple of LCD 3D passive sets this year after supporting active-shutter on all their 3D offerings since 2010. I understand that some viewers may have health/tolerance issues with active shutter, for which passive 3D was always a good option if they "need" 3D, but the issue of the relative leverage of deciding for the passive method purely based on the cost of the 3D active-shutter glasses, to a buyer of a very expensive 4K screen (such as LG's $22,000 LCD in Korea, or my $25,000 4K projector, and I assume Sony's 4K LCD screen will be closer to the $20Ks as well), should be non-existent. The price of active-shutter glasses should not have any leverage for such buyer when he/she can afford the high price of this level of 4K equipment, rather than the case of a buyer choosing a passive 3D method and buying a $1000 3DTV passive set when realizing the $150 price of 3D glasses, multiplied by 4 for a typical family, although now they are lower than that. Hopefully, an active-shutter option may eventually be added to these 4K display lines to fully use the 4K pixels per eye as I am viewing now, and not assume that 1080p per eye should be enough since the 4K set has enough horizontal lines in the vertical resolution for the two 1080p passive views to be displayed at once, and that should be enough for most including videophiles, wrong assumption. The current Blu-ray capped to 1080p 2D and 3D resolution is just a step, one should look at the 4K original transfers used for (truncated by) those Blu-rays and realize that a 4K (and soon 8K) display device should not be shorthanded using the 3D display method accommodating the current 1080p per eye. But rather look further ahead for a near future 4K Blu-ray in 2D and 3D and make full use of the 4K screen resolution per eye. They can manufacture the passive version if they like "to explore", but the 4K3D capabilities of an expensive and hopefully long lasting 4K set should not be shorthanded because of the current Blu-ray. Thanks for the article Tom. Best Regards, Rodolfo La Maestra




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