Sony TVs 2017: what you need to know before you buy Bravia

Sony TVs 2017: every Sony Bravia TV models and eries Numbers explained. There’s a whole new batch of TVs, including plenty of 4K HDR sets. Here’s what they all mean and everything else you need to know before buying one.

Below is the entire Sony Bravia TV line up for 2017. The company did show off some of its goods at CES 2017 – I’m disproportionately excited about the Sony A1 OLED – but now here is the rest of the range.

Before getting into the details, I’d like to point out the very welcome news that Sony says all its new TVs for 2017 will be HDR compatible. Even non-4K ones. They will all support HDR10 out of the box, and the top models (A1, ZD9, XE94, XE93) are compatible with Dolby Vision too.

So now you can have HDR, arguably a more impactful development than 4K, without shelling out for an expensive model. So far, Sony is the only manufacturer to do so – a brilliant move.

Speaking of HDR, all of Sony’s 2017 (and 2016) TVs will be able to handle Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). There’s nothing to watch in HLG right now but it can’t hurt to future-proof your TV.

Also, 3D is gone. None of the 2017 models support 3D. It’s not a surprise, demand for wearing extra specs in your living room has gone off a cliff.

With that out of the way, let’s look at some TVs. I’ll start with all the numbers and sizes first, and then go through the differences below.

Related: Best 4K TV

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Sony Bravia 2017 TVs – Ultra HD / 4K models

  • A1 OLED – 75, 65 and 55 inches
  • ZD9 – 100, 75 and 65 inches (late 2016 model, continues into 2017)
  • XE94 – 75 inches
  • XE93 – 65 and 55 inches
  • XE90 – 75, 65, 55 and 49 inches
  • XE85 – 75, 65, and 55 inches
  • XE80 – 55, 49 and 43 inches

Sony Bravia 2017 TVs – Full HD and HD-ready models

  • WE75 – 49 and 43 inches
  • WE66 – 49 and 40 inches
  • WE61 – 32 inches
  • RE4 – 40 and 32 inches

That’s just a handy list, so when you’re in the shop and typing numbers into Google, you can tell where model lies within the hierarchy. The most powerful models are at the top, and the most basic are at the bottom. The ‘E’ means it’s a 2017 model – all the TVs Sony put out in 2016 had a ‘D’ on their labels. So anyway, let’s see what those numbers mean.

Sony A1 OLED: Not only is this Sony’s first 4K OLED TV – this thing has no speakers but instead has some fancy tech that shakes the screen to make sound. Has to be seen and heard to be believed, but if you’re content with words then are our thoughts.

Sony ZD9: This is technically not a 2017 model, but it was released late into 2016 and in 2017 it maintains its position as Sony’s flagship LCD model. That’s because it’s stunning.

Sony XE94Sony XE94

Sony XE94, XE93: These are 2017’s top new LCD models, although still technically behind the ZD9. The XE94 and XE93 pack very similar tech, with one key difference: the XE94 uses a full-array backlight while the XE93 uses edge lighting.

Both feature an upgraded take on last year’s Slim Backlight Drive tech, which used two sequential light guide plates, providing twice as much light control as you get with typical single light guide plate systems. Now there are more separate lighting zones, which help with local dimming control. These models also have the 4K HDR X1 Extreme picture processing chip that helped make Sony’s ZD9 TVs so outstanding.

X-tended Dynamic Range Pro is processing that promises to improve contrast – an increasingly important thing due to the use of High Dynamic Range. All of that, on top of Sony’s wide colour gamut Triluminos display tech, which means a greater range of colours.

On the smart TV front, Sony continues to use Android TV. That means you can use Cast-compatible apps without buying a separate Google Chromecast, and it will also play nicely with Google Home.

Our review: Sony KD-65X93E

Sony XE90Sony XE90

Sony XE90: This takes us down to upper-midrange territory, and the number of display sizes available tells me that Sony expect this to be a popular option. It offers most of what the XE93 offers, minus the Slim Backlight Drive+ tech and Dolby Vision compatibility. It also features a step down in processing, using the 4K HDR Processor X1 (not the Extreme one as above). This model also stands out for being the only step-down model to have direct LED backlighting, as opposed to edge lighting.

Sony XE85Sony XE85

Sony XE85: We’re now approaching Sony’s entry-level 4K HDR TVs. The XE85 is much like the XE90, except it also loses out on X-tended Dynamic Range Pro. It’s still 4K and HDR, but it doesn’t have the advantage of beefed up contrast.

Sony XE80Sony XE80

Sony XE80: The bottom rung of Sony’s 4K HDR ladder. The XE80 takes much from the XE85, except for the 4K HDR Processor X1 chip. It will instead use the older 4K Processor X1, which was top-of-the-line a couple of years ago.

And that’s it for the 4K Sony Bravia TVs for 2017 – although personally I wouldn’t be surprised to see a ZD9 sequel (Sony ZE10?) later in the year. For now, let’s look at non-4K TVs, because the HDTV market is still thriving.

Sony WE75The Sony WE75

Sony WE75: This is the top dog of Sony’s non-4K range. It still uses Triluminos display tech, so even if you don’t get the sharpness of 4K you’ll still get some lovely colours. It holds on to the Android TV smart operating system too.

The big thing separating this 1080p TV from its predecessors is HDR compatibility. You’ll be able to enjoy HDR without 4K on streaming apps such as Netflix and Amazon. Sony also wants to target the gamers – those with 4K TVs are more likely to buy a PS4 Pro or Xbox One S, both of which do 4K and HDR, but the regular old PS4 and the PS4 Slim offer HDR too.

There’s no 4K Blu-ray, though. 4K movies require HDCP 2.2 (a form of copy protection) and these non-4K HDR TVs don’t have it. Also, don’t expect the sort of blinding HDR you get with UHD Premium TVs – Sony doesn’t go in for numbers, but I’m certain these models don’t reach the 1000 nits of high-end models. I reckon we’re looking at about 300 nits of brightness.

Related: What is UHD Premium?

Sony WE66, WE61
: The WE6 series is a bit of an odd one. It’s divided into WE66 and WE61. Basically the WE66 describes the 49 and 40 inch models, which are Full HD at 1080p. The WE61 is 32 inches and is HDR ready.

This series maintains the smart functionality (and HDR streaming capabilities) but loses out on the Triluminos display.

Sony RE4: I never thought I’d see a no-frills TV feature HDR, but here it is. The RE45 is a straight-up HD TV with no internet or streaming capabilities. But it does play nicely with your PS4’s HDR games.

Watch Now: QLED vs OLED

The new range begins shipping in Spring 2017. Sony hasn’t confirmed prices yet, but I’ll update this article as soon as I have that information.
What’s your favourite Sony Bravia TV this year? Let us know in the comments below.