If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. That seems to be Sony’s mantra for its TV range this year.
That’s because included in its rather extensive 2017 roster is its first 4K OLED set, taking on the likes of LG and Panasonic at their own game.
That’s exciting. OLED’s slinky screens, inky dark blacks and pin-sharp pictures make a good case for the more the merrier as far as we’re concerned.
That's the big news, then, but Sony’s got a good number of 4K LCD TVs in its locker too, with its flagship ZD9 set making a triumphant return from 2016 to lead 2017’s line up as well.
Whether you’re in the market for OLED or LCD, there is some common ground across the ranges that we’ll clear up now. Firstly, all of 2017’s 4K sets play nice with two of the three main varieties of HDR. That'll be HDR10 and HLG, with the latter version being the one that the BBC is behind. Either will give you superbly saturated colours and top-drawer dynamic range.
They also continue their support for Android TV as their smart platform of choice, which means benefits such as Chromecast and YouView built in from the get go.
Got all that? Good. Now read on for the lowdown on all of Sony’s 2017 4K TVs.
Sony Bravia Z9D
Sony’s 2016 LCD flagship only made its appearance known in the latter half of 2016, so it makes sense that Sony hasn’t quite finished shouting about it yet.
In fact, the Z9D still leads the 2017 4K LCD product range, with its Backlight Master Drive tech promising a range-toppingly good picture. It packs in more than 600 LEDs behind the panel, each one individually controlled for a seriously accurate picture.
It also boasts the X1 Extreme processor for the best in Sony’s image processing capabilities, alongside X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro. This works hand in hand with the high-end local dimming to boost dynamic range by up to 16 times, compared to a bog standard TV.
It looks pretty swish too, with premium gold finish and cable management built into the stand to keep things tidy.
There’s a choice of three screen sizes, though you’ll probably only consider two of them unless you’ve had a recent lottery win (and have a pretty sizeable living room).
Screen sizes and prices: 65in ( ₹ 5,04,900)
Sony Bravia X93E / X94E
We’ve bundled these two together because there’s a lot of crossover, with one main difference – the X94E is a full array backlit set, while the X93E packs Sony’s clever Slim Backlight Drive+ edge-lit technology instead.
We’re not even sure the X94E really even counts as its own range when it comes in just one screen size (75in). As far as its standing in the line up goes, while it’s easily outdone by the Z9D’s denser backlighting line up, it’ll trump the X93E for contrast performance thanks to its more sophisticated backlighting tech.
That’s not to take anything away from the X93E though – its Slim Backlight Drive+ promises a picture that’ll put conventional edge lighting to shame. It uses improved tech that combines two edge LED modules with two layers of light guide plates, placed in sequence for better results.
This should double the number of local dimming zones compared to last year’s model for more control and a better picture overall, particularly when combined with the X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro processing that pops up here too.
Other benefits include a slimmer design and cheaper price to the X94E, thanks to its less bulky, less costly lighting skills.
Elsewhere, you can count both the X94E and X93E in on the top-notch X1 Extreme processor too, plus they’ll both also squeeze in a Dolby Vision firmware update before the end of the year, for the holy trinity of HDR goodness.
Screen sizes and prices: X94E – 75in ( ₹6,04,000), X93E – 55in (₹2,64,000), 65in ( ₹3,64,000)
Sony Bravia X90E
The X90E is the perfect example of trickle-down tech in action. While full array backlighting used to be reserved for only the priciest of sets, Sony is now delivering it to the upper midrange for the first time ever, and at screen sizes as small as 49in.
Boasting better contrast and improved colour accuracy than its edge-lit siblings, it means AV aficionados finally have an option that doesn’t require a serious talk with their bank manager.
It’ll take an expected step down in performance from the X94E though, due to the inclusion of the standard X1 image processor, in place of the X1 Extreme. The X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro tech isn’t as effective as it is higher up the ranges either, but this is the lowest range to feature it.
At the time of writing, Sony hasn’t said there’ll be a Dolby Vision firmware update for the X90E. If that’s important, you’ll need to save up for the X94E.
Screen sizes prices: 49in (₹1,54,900), 55in (₹2,04,900), 65in (₹2,84,900)
Sony Bravia X82E
If you’re looking for a smaller 4K TV set, the X82E range is your Sony go-to. Available in 43in, 49in and 52in, it uses Sony’s older processer, the 4K Reality Pro, but don’t let that put you off: it should be plenty powerful to keep a screen of these sizes looking smart.
The panel drops down to a native 50Hz refresh rate for the first time in the range, but that’s only to be expected as the prices get lower. Connectivity isn’t scrimped on though, with the same four HDCP2.2 compliant HDMIs as the flagship, plus Wi-Fi and Bluetooth all round.
Design-wise, it still looks as sharp as the rest of the range, with a slim aluminium bezel and clever stand that’ll keep your cables hidden from show.
Screen sizes and prices: 43in (₹87,900), 49in ( ₹1,24,900), 55in (₹1,54,900)
Sony Bravia X70E
We’re at Sony’s most entry-level 4K HDR set now, but you really have to pick through the spec sheets to tell it apart from the X82E.
From our digging, it looks like you’ll lose an HDMI port, so there are only three to play with, and there’s also no sign of Sony’s Triluminos display for a wider colour gamut.
It’s also rocking a slightly thicker design at 7cm thick (vs 5.7cm on the X82E and 4cm on the X93E), but looks just as lovely from the front with its slim bezels and an aluminium finish.
It also comes in a few more screen sizes, and with a few specs shaved off here and there, we’re hopeful that this will come in under ₹1,00,000 in its smaller sizes.
Screen sizes: 43in (72,900), 49in (₹94,900)