4K OLED TVs from Sony and Pana: Samsung goes QLED


Panasonic unveiled its first HDR-capable 4K OLED TV at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, joined by Sony with its first Bravia 4K OLED TVs, and Samsung with its own QLED variants.

The Sony A1 series Bravia OLED TVs (pictured) use the company’s X1 Extreme 4K HDR processor, which is said to accentuate the visual appeal of 4K HDR content and is capable of drawing out the potential of self-emitting OLED panels to produce deep blacks and highlights.

Moving away from the traditional, Sony has fused together image and sound with its Acoustic Surface technology, which has eliminated the speakers that are normally placed around the screen. Sound is emitted directly from the screen, with the technology also vibrating the display, which Sony claimed heightens “the reality of the visuals”.

The company also unveiled the Bravia XE93 series of 4K HDR, which is equipped with Sony’s Slim Backlight Drive+ technology and the 4K HDR processor X1 Extreme features HDR remaster for upscaling of standard dynamic range (SDR) content to near-4K HDR quality.

Meanwhile, Panasonic has introduced what it claimed is the world’s first HDR-capable, Ultra HD OLED TV – the EZ1002. The Master HDR OLED panel on the TV outputs around double the peak brightness of a conventional OLED, according to the company. It’s Ambient Black Filter also soaks up ambient light and reflections.

Panasonic EZ1002 Ultra HD OLED TV
Panasonic EZ1002 Ultra HD OLED TV

The EZ1002 will be compatible with the new generation of HDR broadcast services anticipated this year. The 65in EZ1002 will be available in Europe from June 2017.

Samsung was not left out and it unveiled the 75in Q8C QLED TV, which it claimed provides an “incredibly accurate and precise picture that can be viewed from any angle or in any environment”.

The QLED TV is said to take Quantum Dot technology to new heights with advanced light efficiency and stability, as well as a wider colour spectrum. Its new panel design also reduces reflection to reveal “bold detail with unbelievable levels of contrast”.

Samsung also revealed its new Soundbar Sound+, which features a built-in sub-woofer, the H7 Wireless Audio and the latest UHD Blu-ray player. The new Soundbar and H7 both feature the UHQ 32bit, which upscales from any source that provides 8-24bit sound.

LG unveiled its first 4K Blu-ray player, the UP970. The player will also support Dolby Vision HDR imaging by means of a software update later in the year. It also offers enhanced dual-format HDR compatibility with support for the generic HDR10 format, offering consumers access to a wide range of HDR content.

Sony too showcased a new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player – the UBP-X800, a new flagship HT-ST5000 soundbar, and the new STR-DN1080 multichannel integrated amplifier at the show.

The UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player is said to produce high quality 4K HDR visuals. It also supports Hi-Res audio, which Sony claimed is capable of playing detailed, nuanced audio that it “true to the originally recorded sound”.

Samsung 75in Q8C QLED TV
Samsung 75in Q8C QLED TV

The HT-ST5000 soundbar also supports Hi-Res, as well as the Dolby Atmos next-generation 3D surround sound format. The STR-DN1080 amp is compatible with DTS:X, Hi-Res and Dolby Atmos, for sound that “moves about freely in three dimensions”.

Panasonic announced two new Ultra HD Blu-ray players – the DMP-UB400 and UB300. Ultra HD Blu-ray delivers 4K resolution pictures and also supports the BT.2020 standard, which provides a wider gamut of colours.

LG has also unveiled three new soundbars – the SJ9, SJ8 and SJ7, and the LOUDR sound systems – LOUDR CJ98 and LOUDR OJ98 – as well as the FJ7 portable ‘party audio system’.

The SJ9 and SJ8 soundbars both feature 4K sound, 4K Pass-Through – which delivers “pristine” quality sound without compromising image quality – and the ability to stream content using Chromecast built-in.

The SJ7 is a 320W soundbar that can be positioned either horizontally or vertically, thanks to its split bar design.

The LOUDR CJ98 sound system is said to be capable of generating 3,500W of sound, to create a “club-like atmosphere”. While the LOUDR OJ98 is equipped with a Party Kick Starter feature, which simulates the sound of a revving race car engine.

The FJ7 is designed with portability in mind and is equipped with handles and wheels. It is said to produce 400W of output sound without distortion.