Wandering through the exhibition space at CES is an exercise in trying to determine what is real and what is fantasy (in addition to just being exercise, period). Everywhere you look, someone is showing off a new technology that just seems too good to be true, that there’s no behind-the-scenes trickery making possible such great sound or such a stunning picture. Of course, if we’ve learned anything in our years in this industry, it’s that the adage “too good to be true” is easily and regularly disproven, whether by a Dick Tracy-esque video watch or a TV whose picture is indistinguishable from reality. The latter is something we encountered at Sony’s CES display this year.
Alongside their flagship LED TV, the XBR-75Z9D, Sony displayed the conceptual X1 Ultimate 8K HDR LCD TV. This magnificent display was created to illustrate the capabilities of Sony’s next-generation X1 Ultimate processor, which has twice the processing power of the current X1 Extreme chip, and was engineered to maximize picture quality of both LED and OLED sets. Did we mention that this was an 8K display? It wasn’t too long ago that 4K resolution had viewers dumbfounded, and 8K resolution offers four times the detail of 4K in the same physical space. Between the increased resolution and the 10,000nit peak brightness (the highest possible in the HDR format) of the panel, this “Full-Spec” display may as well have been a window to an alternate reality. It’s one of those things that definitely can’t be conveyed in words or even video, and must be seen in real life to be fully appreciated. Sadly, for most people, there’s no telling when that will be. As all of Sony’s announced 2018 TVs are powered by the X1 Extreme chip, we’re guessing we won’t see any X1 Ultimate sets until 2019 at the earliest, and with 8K displays even further in the future.
Check out the following video for more technical information on Sony’s groundbreaking X1 Ultimate processor.