When it comes to televisions, this year’s CES is all about making sure you get to see the best possible range of colour and contrast. Sony’s answer to this is their new range of HDR 4K televisions – but they’ve still got an ace up their sleeve…
What is HDR?
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. If a television has a high dynamic range, it should be able to display more colours, better bright tones and deeper dark tones than an ordinary TV. This means the picture will appear richer, more vibrant and realistic. The image is closer to what the human eye can see, and you’ll discover details you never noticed before when watching HDR content.
Sony’s HDR TVs
We got to see Sony’s new flagship XBR series first-hand. It’s no surprise that the image is crisp and defined, but the fine detail these sets are capable of displaying is quite breath-taking. A video of sushi being prepared was so clearly defined you could see the texture of the fish change as it was being sliced. Later in the video, a display of finished sushi and sashimi was not only beautiful to behold, it almost looked like you could reach in and take a piece.
These LED TVs are also surprisingly thin. Sony have worked their magic to produce what they call the Slim Backlight Drive. LED TVs need a backlight in order to be visible, and this innovation allows for the TVs to be much slimmer without compromising picture quality. In fact, the bezel around the screen is so thin that the picture is practically borderless.
X-Tended Dynamic Range
So why stop with just HDR? Sony’s X-Tended Dynamic Range technology is designed to enhance and compliment the light and shade on your screen. This works by working out where the image should be brightest and darkest, and adjusting the backlight in those areas to increase the picture’s dynamic range.
We were shown three televisions all displaying the same film. The first one showed the normal HDR picture, and very nice it looked too. Across from this was what looked almost like an infra-red version of the image – You could see the brighter and darker areas, but no colour or detail. This was illustrating how the backlight adjusts and illuminates specific areas of the picture. In the middle we saw the two images combined – the HDR picture with the enhanced backlight. This really did make brighter sections more vibrant and, in turn, the shadows felt richer and deeper, giving a very immersive picture.
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