Sony TV 2020: Here’s an outline of all the models, technology and announced prices of the Sony’s brand new 8K, OLED and 4K Bravia HDR TVs
The message in 2020 from Sony appears to be more evolution than revolution. The designs have been refined and features added to with a focus on picture and sound optimisation. Like LG, Sony has launched a 48-inch OLED in 2020, as well as bringing the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2 and Homekit to their 2019 and 2020 TV lineup.
Look for out for PlayStation 5 compatible TVs from the company, as select models have been said to be optimised for use with the PS5.
Related: Best TV
Sony TV 2020 highlights
New models for this year include the ZH8 8K Full Array LED, A8 (55- and 65-inch), and A9 4K OLED TVs (48-inch), plus the XH95 and XH90 4K Full Array LED sets. Dolby Vision HDR is supported on most of the sets aside from the entry-level models.
Ambient Optimization has been brought in for 2020 to optimise picture and sound quality for any environment. The sensor in the TV detects the amount of light in a room and adjust the picture’s brightness accordingly. With the sound optimisation, compatible TVs can detect objects close to the TV that could absorb or reflect sound, fine-tuning the set’s sound for a less-compromised audio performance.
The design aesthetic for selected TVs has been refined with what Sony calls its Immersive Edge design. The idea is to minimize the impact of the bezel and stand for a more unobstructed viewing experience.
Only select models will support 4K/120fps and features such as Variable Refresh Rates (VRR). These TVS are labelled as ‘Ready for PlayStation 5‘ and include the XH90 4K TV and ZH8 8K TV.
Select premium TVs in will support the IMAX Enhanced program such as the A8 and A9 OLED, the ZH8 8K TV, and the XH95. IMAX Enhanced content serves to offer the highest quality playback in the home with regards to resolution, colour, brightness, contrast and sound. You can find supported content on 4K discs as well as streaming services such as Rakuten TV.
Sony uses Android TV for its OS, but Android doesn’t feature the UK catch-up apps such as BBC iPlayer. To circumvent that, the TVs also include YouView, which does have access to the catch-up apps and the HD/terrestrial channels that platform offers. On the app side a recent addition to Android is BT Sport for any sports fans looking to keep up with football, rugby, MotoGP and others.
Sony promised that support for AirPlay 2/HomeKit and that has arrived and can be found on the ZH8, A9 (48-inch), A8, XH95, XG90, XH85, XH81 and XH80. Support for the 2019 models is possible via a software updated. Compatible models include the ZF9, AF9, ZG9, XG95 and XG85 (85-, 75-, 65- and 55-inch). 2020 models pencilled in for AirPlay 2/HomeKit are the ZH8, A9 (48-inch), A8, XH95, XG90, XH85, XH81 and XH80.
Speaking of Apple, the Apple TV app also launched on select Sony TVs, offering access to the Apple TV+ streaming service and Apple TV channels. Oddly it’s only available to download on the XH90 model, but will become available on select 2018 models and most of the 2019 and 2020 models by the end of the year.
Apple TV is not the only app that’s arrived on Sony’s models. The NOW TV app is now available on Sony Android TVs going back to 2016. For 2020 models you can get the app on the A8, A9, XH80, XH81, XH85, XH90, XH91, XH92, XH95 and the ZH8.
Sony TV 2020 — 8K TV
- KD-85ZH8 – TBC
- KD-75ZH8 – £8,999
The ZH8 is Sony’s new 8K TV for 2020. The highlight is the XH8’s new frame tweeter. It vibrates the frame of the TV to emit sound, giving viewers the impression that the sound is coming directly from the screen itself. As a full-array LED TV, expect this to be one of the brightest 8K sets on the market. And with Sony’s 8K X-tended Dynamic Range PRO, contrast is enhanced for brighter highlights and deeper blacks.
Sony TV 2020 — 4K OLED
- KD-48A9 – £1800
The 48A9 is Sony’s smallest OLED at just 48-inches wide. It has virtually all the features seen in the bigger OLED models with the X1 Ultimate processor, Acoustic Surface Audio and Dolby Vision.
Sony A8 Series
The A8’s picture processor has been bumped up to the X1 Ultimate, which boasts Sony’s object-based HDR remastering and Super Resolution technology. The Pixel Boosting Contrast is of most interest here, which enhances colour and contrast in bright areas for a more lifelike and richer image.
- read our Sony KD-65A8 review
Sony TV 2020 — 4K Full Array LED
Sony XH95 series
- KD-49XH9505 – £1199
- KD-55XH9505 – £1599
- KD-65XH9505 – £1999
- KD-75XH9505 – £3199
- KD-85XH9505 – £3999
Sony’s flagship 4K HDR TV bridges the gap between the 4K and OLED TV range.
The processor is Sony’s best-in-class X1 Ultimate. It comes with full-array backlighting with dimmable zones. Models 55-inch and bigger get Sony’s X-Wide angle technology for better colours and brightness from restricted angles. The XH95 also features the Acoustic Multi-Audio, Sound-from-Picture Reality speakers so audio is accurately positioned on the screen.
The X-Balanced Speaker Unit, which Sony claims is able to produce a high-quality sound from a thin enclosure, is available on the 55-, 65- and 75-inch screens. We’ve enjoyed reviewing both the 65-inch and 55-inch model, with both sets displaying some gorgeously intense HDR performance as well as strong motion and upscaling skills.
- read our Sony KD-65XH9505 review
Sony XH9005 Series
- KD-55XH9096 – £1299
- KD-65XH9005 – £1499
- KD-75XH9005 – £2199
- KD-85XH9005 – £3299
Another full-array LED TV, with the specification very similar to the flagship XH95. It has the X1 Ultimate processor and X-Balanced Speaker unit. There are few differences if you look closer.
Firstly, there’s no 49-inch version like there is with the XH95. Secondly, this looks to drop the X-Wide viewing technology (there’s no mention in the specs). Thirdly, the Acoustic Multi-Audio speakers are restricted to models 65-inches and up. Lastly, the design is slightly less premium in build and finish. This set is also Ready for PlayStation 5 with 4K@120Hz support.
Sony TV 2020 — Soundbars
Sony’s two home cinema launches include the 3.1 Atmos HT-G700 and 5.1 channel HT-S20R.
The HT-G700 (£450) supports Atmos and DTS:X, but does not feature any bespoke upward-firing drivers for the overhead channels. It produces the height channels through its Vertical Surround Engine and that makes this soundbar/subwoofer combo a good choice for smaller rooms. It also comes with a dedicated centre speaker for dialogue and eARC support.
- read our Sony HT-G700 review
The HT-S20R is a more standard 5.1 effort, featuring 400W of power and two rear speakers. Connections include ARC, optical and analogue, with Bluetooth also included.
Sony TV 2020 — 4K Ultra HD
Sony XH85 Series
- KD-43XH8505 – £949
- KD-49XH8505 – £999
The XH85 drops full-array LED backlighting and only comes in two flavours – 43- and 49-inches. This edge-lit LED TV has the X1 processor, as well as support for Dolby Vision and Atmos. Android TV provides numerous apps, as well as Chromecast and Google Assistant voice support.
Sony XH81 Series
- KD-43XH8196 – £699
- KD-49XH8196 – £799
- KD-55XH8196 – £999
- KD-65XH8196 – £1199
The XH81 has the 4K HDR Processor X1 for clearer 4K pictures. It also uses Sony’s Triluminos display for more natural and precise colours. Despite this set being further down in Sony’s 2020 TV range, there is support for Dolby Vision and Atmos.
The 55- and 65-inch tellies get the X-Balanced Speaker, and with Android OS there’s also Google Assistant and Chromecast streaming.
Sony XH8096 Series
- KD-43XH8096 – £649
- KD-49XH8096 – £749
- KD-55XH8096 – £949
- KD-65XH8096 – £1099
- KD-75XH8096 – £1899
- KD-85XH8096 – £2499
The XH80 is almost exactly the same as the XH81 for features with its X1 4K HDR Processor, Dolby Vision and Atmos. The X-Balanced Speaker is available in models 55-inches and above.
The main difference here appears to be a cheaper starting price for each size, as well as more sizes. The XH80 series includes 75- and 85-inch options.
Sony X70 Series
- KD-43X7053 – £599
- KD-49X7053 – £699
- KD-55X7053 – £799
- KD-65X7053 – £899
The X70 is the entry-level LED in the range. The processor powering the picture drops down to the 4K X-Reality Pro, which is capable of upscaling sub-4K images to “true 4K quality”. The telly uses Clear Audio+ technology, for greater sound clarity and separation.
There’s not much in the way of smart features. All you get is a built-in Internet browser and access to YouTube and Netflix.