While not the best-kept secret to anyone who follows tech rumors, today Sony unveiled a pair of new televisions that will sit atop their product lineup: the A9F OLED TV and the Z9F LED TV. These flagship “Master Series” TVs leverage all of Sony’s most advanced technologies to offer reference levels of image quality, and are packed with other features that make them not just the best Sony TVs available, but arguably the best consumer displays in the industry, period. Here’s a quick look at what the new TVs offer.
Sony Bravia A9F OLED TV
When the Sony A1E hit the market, it wowed viewers with its combination of cutting-edge display technology and unique design—it looked just as good off as it did on. Innovative features like the Acoustic Surface Audio system—which used the glass of the screen itself to produce sound—were like nothing that had come before. And the Sony A9F continues to build on all of the things that have made the A-series an industry favorite. The already beautiful image on the OLED display is now powered by the Picture Processor Sony X1 Ultimate, the processor that the company teased at CES 2018. It promises increases in contrast and color volume, eking out an even more vibrant and realistic picture. Acoustic Surface Audio is back, with a twist: the Bravia A9F can itself function as the center speaker in a multi-speaker system, so dialogue and vocals will still come from the center channel, while a user’s other speakers can handle the rest of the audio.
Sony Bravia Z9F LED TV
And while the dawn of the OLED era promised to end the reign of the LED TV, the Z9F is proof that LED TVs still have plenty of fight left. We’d previously pitted each of these set’s predecessors against each other in our Sony A1E vs Sony Z9D video, and surprised a few OLED aficionados with the suggestion that the LED TV would be the better choice in many situations. The Z9D’s insane peak brightness levels (among the best of any TV), made it the better choice for rooms where ambient light couldn’t be fully controlled, and for critically viewing HDR content. If you were serious about HDR UHD watching movies, the Z9D was the set to own. It’s likely that this trend will continue with the Bravia Z9F, which also sees some picture quality boosts from the X1 Ultimate chip. Additionally, the New Z9F TV addresses a pair of the big nitpicks of its predecessor: picture quality degradation when viewed from an angle and a tendency to suffer from motion blur. The X-Wide Angle panel promises true color even at off-axis viewing, while upgraded X-Motion Clarity technology should keep even fast-moving action looking clear.
Both the A9F and Z9F will feature an array of Sony’s other flagship features, including all of the smart functions you’d expect from a modern TV. The Sony Master Series TVs can connect to both Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, so viewers can use their voice to control not just their TV functions, but their entire ecosystem of smart home products. As stated earlier, both sets are designed to offer reference image quality, meaning the every aspect of the picture is displayed as closely as possible to the director’s original vision. But while terms like “reference level” are often used by audiophiles and the most serious movie watchers, Sony recognizes that even casual watchers can appreciate stunning picture quality. So both of these new sets include a special Netflix Calibrated Mode, a feature that reproduces “the same picture quality on a TV as on a studio evaluation master.” So you’ll see Netflix Originals in the same quality as their creators envisioned.
The Sony A9F OLED and Z9F LED TVs will be available this fall, with pricing still to be announced.