While most of us have been pretty content with our 1080P HD displays, consumer electronics makers continue to up the ante, as they start to release their first production 4K resolution displays. One of the first to market with 4K displays is Sony, who recently released their first consumer 4K sets.
The Sony 4K Ultra HD TV series offers over eight million pixels on their 3840×2160 displays. This increased resolution makes for the sharpest picture you’ve ever seen on a television, putting your home theater at nearly the same resolution used in digital movie theaters.
Sony’s 4K TVs also tout a technology called TRILUMINOS which is designed to produce a wider color gamut, increasing the vibrance of colors – especially those occurring in nature and skin tones. Basically, this is a local-dimming backlighting technology which uses RGB LED colors instead of just white.
The displays also include a wide variety of applications for streaming content, including Netflix, HuluPlus, and YouTube, and have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Of course, all of these displays include 3D support, and also Sony’s unique SimulView tech, so PS3 players wearing 3D glasses can play against each other using the full screen at the same time. (No word of whether or not the PS4 will support this tech.)
Of course, the biggest challenge with 4K displays at this point is the lack of content available in the format. Thankfully these displays can upscale and enhance existing HD content, which does make images sharper and more vibrant than on 1080p displays, and lets you take full advantage of your current movie collection. You can also go for the optional Sony FMP-X1 4K media player if you want true 4K content. This player will sell for $700(USD) when it hits the market later this year, and includes 10 free movies. I wonder how good PS3 and Xbox 360 games look when upscaled on these displays. Of course when the next-gen consoles come out, they’re both going to offer 4K support, so that’s when gaming will really shine.
The XBR 4K Ultra HD series offers displays in 55″, 65″, and 84″ variants. While you can definitely see the difference in image quality on the smaller screens (I can’t believe I’m using the work “smaller” to describe a 55″ or 65″ display), the real benefit of 4K resolution starts to show on 70″ and larger displays – where pixel structure can be visible to the naked eye on today’s HD screens. So the real beaut of this collection is the 84″ model, the XBR-84X900, which sells for a whopping $25,000(USD). For early adopters without pockets quite that deep, there’s the 55″ XBR-55X900A and the 65″ XBR-65X900A, which sell for $5000 and $7000, respectively.