CES 2019 Home Theater TVs & Electronics

CES 2019: Sony Z9G 8K LED TV and A9G OLED TV


CES is always full of surprises, but one thing you can always expect is the big brands showing up ready to rock. It’s why we love visiting the Sony booth every year. They always bring their most bleeding-edge products, whether it’s conceptual products or market-ready models—and this year it was both. Most buzzworthy? The new MASTER Series Sony Z9G 8K TV.

A favorite of home theater aficionados around the world, the Sony Z series TVs have always represented the pinnacle of LED display technology. They go toe-to-toe with OLED TVs for sheer picture quality (besting them in some categories, in fact) and are often cited as the TV to get for a dedicated non-projector home theater, especially for viewers serious about critically viewing HDR content. The upcoming iteration takes the series one step further into the future with the upgrade to an 8K panel. Yes, 8K. Present still are the features that made the previous generation Z series so lust-worthy: the flagship X1 Ultimate Processor, one of the best implementations of Android TV we’ve seen, Netflix Calibrated mode, Dolby Vision, and so on. But Sony has managed to up the ante by squeezing four times as many pixels as last year’s 4K Z9F into a panel the same size. You can probably guess the result.

Of course, the obvious talking point is going to be content, or lack thereof. It’s still the main talking point for 4k TVs. But that shouldn’t be a reason to keep the technology from progressing. There may not be any native content available to watch on the Sony Z9G 8K TV (and we’re not even sure if there’s technology that can deliver it to this TV, digitally or physically), but what you do watch on it is simply breathtaking. Sony’s proprietary algorithm upscales 4K content into video that’s nearly 8K in resolution, so you’re still getting a picture that beats any 4K LED screen out there, and the Backlight Master Drive full-array local dimming system bumps the contrast ratio significantly compared to the Sony Z9G’s predecessor.

For those looking for a premium display, but not interested in chasing pixels, we also got a look at the new Sony A9G OLED MASTER Series TV. Now in its third generation, the Sony OLED TVs have proven themselves as impeccable performers. The A9G offers further refinement of the series, with the most significant change being the adoption of a more conventional, upright design—addressing the most common gripe about the previous A9 OLED TVs. Sony has also added a larger size to their OLED lineup, with the A9F OLED now available in 55, 65, and 77-inch sets.

Pricing and availability for both the Sony Z9G 8K TV and A9G OLED TV are not set yet, but should be announced this spring.

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