Sony TV 2020: At CES, Sony detailed what we can expect from the Japanese brand in 2020, from its 8K TVs, brand new OLEDs and entry-level 4K HDR sets
While there was a focus on 8K for Sony at CES, unlike LG and Samsung it didn’t appear to be the case that it was promoting 8K over the rest of its 2020 TV range. There was news of a new OLED model size in a 48-inch set, as well as AirPlay 2 and Homekit arriving on their 2019 and 2020 TVs.
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Sony TV 2020 highlights
Sony managed to leak their own TV plans ahead of CES, and much of that was confirmed in their press conference, but what’s new with Sony’s 2020 BRAVIA lineup?.
New sets include the ZH8 8K Full Array LED, A8 (55- and 65-inch), smaller-sized 4K OLED TV A9 (48-inch), and XH95 and XH90 4K Full Array LED sets.
Ambient Optimization is a new for 2020 and works to optimise picture and sound quality in any environment. The TV’s sensor will detect the amount of ambient in the room and automatically adjust the picture brightness, whether that’s boosting it in bright rooms or reducing in dark rooms. It goes a step further by detecting objects in the room that can absorb or reflect sound, and fine-tune the acoustics for a better audio performance.
The design aesthetic of the new range has been tweaked by what Sony calls its Immersive Edge design. While not quite reaching the bezel-less approach of Samsung’s Q950TS, the idea is much the same in minimizing the impact of the bezel on the viewing experience, with the stand now located at the edge of the screen for a less obstructed view.
Select models will have support for 4K 120fps and faster response time thanks to HDMI 2.1 support for slick and speedy gaming performance that next generation gaming consoles can take advantage of.
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Back at CES 2019 Sony announced support for AirPlay 2/HomeKit, but that missed its purported 2019 release date. At CES 2020 the Japanese giant once again promised that AirPlay 2 will indeed launch this year on selected 2019 and 2020 models. The 2019 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.
Sony TV 2020 — 8K TV
Sony TV 2020 — 4K OLED TV
Sony A8 Series
Sony TV 2020 — 4K Full Array LED
Sony XH95 series
Sony XH9005 / XH9096 / XH9296 Series
Sony XH85 Series
Sony XH81 Series
Sony XH8096 Series
Sony TV 2020 — 4K Ultra HD
Sony X70 Series
X7052 / X7053 Series
What were the highlights of Sony TV in 2019?
Sony’s thoughts about HDR is not to add it to select screens, but slap it across its entire range of 8K, 4K and Full HD TVs. HDR10 is supported on the ZG9 and AG9 Master Series, and the AG8, XG95, XG90 and XG85 ranges are compatible with Dolby Vision.
Unlike Panasonic and Philips, Sony has not gone down the path of HDR10+. For 3D fans Sony has not included it in any of its 2019 models.
Dolby Atmos is available on the AG9 and XG95 models, and is due to appear on the ZG9 in a future software update before the end of 2019.
Google Assistant can be found on all the sets apart from the WG66, although that support may differ depending on your region. Voice control from Google Home and Sony’s own smart speakers is possible, and the Sony TVs work with Alexa.
Like Atmos, we’re still waiting to hear on the AirPlay 2 and HomeKit update, which once they arrive, will allow content to be streamed from an Apple device to a Sony TV. The TVs scheduled to get AirPlay 2/HomeKit are the ZG9, AG9, XG95, XG85 models. If you’re starved of streaming options, Chromecast and YouView have been built into all the TVs except for the XG70 and WG66 sets.
Sony TV 2019 – 8K/4K Master Series
ZG9 8K HDR LED Master Series
- KD-98ZG9 − £84,999
- KD-85ZG9 − £13,999
Sony’s first 8K TV in the ZG9 features the X1 Ultimate picture processor and 8K X-Reality Pro technology. The former promises richer images and the latter can upscale video close to 8K. The Backlight Master Drive returns with its full-array backlight technology that allows for brighter images and more vibrant colours.
There’s room for the Netflix Calibrated Mode and the IMAX Enhanced format for improved picture quality in those modes. There’s no Surface Audio tech, using Acoustic Multi-Audio. Atmos is still in pipeline, as is HDMI 2.1 certification.
In our review of the KD-85ZG9 we said it delivered “spectacular and gorgeous pictures” and excellent upscaling performance. The price and lack of 8K content are obstacles to purchasing this TV, but in many respects the Sony delivers.
AG9 OLED Master Series
- KD-77AG9 − £6999
- KD-65AG9 − £3799
- KD-55AG9 − £2899
The AG9 Master Series OLED is powered by the X1 Ultimate Picture processor, and along with the Pixel Contrast Booster, aims to offer consistent picture quality at wider viewing angles.
In reviewing the AG9, we found it did not disappoint. It’s a fantastic flagship with the “invisible Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound system ridiculously good, and the screen’s picture processing chops are a knockout.”
- KD-65AG8 − £2999
- KD-55AG8 − £2199
Below the AG9 is the AG8 OLED. We expect this to be the model of choice if you’re looking for a more affordable OLED performer. The 4K HDR processor here is the X1 Extreme and Surface Acoustic Audio is featured too.
IMAX Enhanced is onboard as is Dolby Vision. Build-wise, the stand can be rotated 180 degrees, which leaves plenty of space for a soundbar to be placed beneath.
Sony TV 2019 −XG Series 4K HDR LED
- KD-85XG9505 − £4699
- KD-75XG9505 – £3799
- KD-65XG9505 – £1999
- KD-55XG9505 – £1599
- KD-49XG9005 − £1199
The XG95/90 LED range replaces Sony’s 2018 XF9005. The XG95 comes with the X1 Ultimate processor, full-array local dimming and Sony’s X-Wide Angle technology for better viewing angles. Dolby Vision, IMAX Enhanced are onboard too.
The 49in XG90 replaces the 49XF9005 and carries over the same X1 Extreme processor, and also packs in full-array local dimming. There’s IMAX Enhanced, Dolby Vision and X-Motion Clarity processing for clearer, smoother images.
- KD-85XG8596 − £3699
- KD-75XG8796 − £2499
- KD-75XG8505 − £2499
- KD-65XG8796 − £1699
- KD-65XG8505 − £1699
- KD-55XG8796 − £1199
- KD-55XG8505 − £1199
The XG85 range is the mid-tier 4K range for 2019. The XG85 features the X1 picture processor, which isn’t to be confused with the Ultimate or Extreme versions, and Acoustic Multi-Audio for more accurate sound positioning.
Dolby Vision and Atmos are available but there’s no full-array local dimming here, just Sony’s Triluminos display for enhanced colour accuracy.
- KD-49XG8396 − £1099
- KD-43XG8396 − £899
- KD-43XG8396 − £899
The XG83 swoops in under the XG85 and is for those who aren’t chasing top specs. It comes in a range of sizes to fit different living-room setups. In terms of the picture processor, the XG83 includes the X1 processor, with the 4K X-Reality Pro technology capable of upscaling to near 4K quality.
Like the XG85, the display is boosted by Triluminos technology and Netflix is easily accessible via the standard remote control. The minimalist bezel is made out of premium aluminium.
- KD-65XG8196 − £1499
- KD-55XG8196 − £999
- KD-49XG8196 − £849
- KD-43XG8196 − £749
The XG81 is practically an exact replica of the XG83 in terms of features, but it’s available in bigger sizes. Build seems to be the most noticeable difference here, as the attached feet are styled differently and the bezel has a brushed-aluminium look.
- KD-75XG8096 − £2099
- KD-65XG8096 − £1299
- KD-55XG8096 − £949
- KD-49XG8096 − £799
- KD-43XG8096 − £679
Again, the XG80 range shares many of the features you can find in the XG81 and XG83. Like its siblings Google Assistant is built in, as is easy access to Netflix and smart features via Android OS.
- KD-65XG7093 − £1199
- KD-65XG7073 − £1199
- KD-65XG7003 − £1199
- KD-55XG7093 − £799
- KD-55XG7073 − £799
- KD-55XG7003 − £799
- KD-49XG7093 − £699
- KD-49XG7073 − £699
- KD-49XG7003 − £699
- KD-43XG7093 – £629
- KD-43XG7073 – £629
- KD-43XG7003 – £629
The XG70 is filled with numerous sizes and model names. However, in terms of features, it’s the bottom of Sony’s TV range for 2019. Smart features aren’t plentiful either: there’s no Google Assistant. Build quality is similar to the XG83, XG81 and XG80 with slightly different feet . This TV very much caters for a wider audience who aren’t looking to break the bank.
There’s support for Freeview Play, instant one-click access to Netflix and YouTube, and a built-in internet browser. It’s available in silver and black finishes.
Sony TV 2019 – Bravia Full HD
- KDL-50WG663 − £629
- KDL-43WG663 − £499
Last up is the WG66 series. It comes with Full HD LED screens that support HDR10. The picture processor is the X-Reality Pro, which refines images and reduces noise for better picture quality.
YouTube is built-in with a button on the remote for quick access. For sound it’s ClearAudio+, which Sony claims offers a surround sound-like experience.