Sony Unveils Impressive 2022 TVs Including QD OLED and Mini LED Sets
Sony adds QD OLED and Mini LED technologies to an eye-catchingly diverse 2022 TV mix.
Heading up Sony's 2022 TV effort is arguably the single biggest TV story of the whole CES: two TVs that use new Quantum Dot OLED (QD OLED) technology. The 65-inch 65A95K and 55-inch 55A95K combine a blue OLED element with red and green Quantum Dot elements to deliver a range of claimed picture quality benefits, including higher brightness than regular OLED TVs, immaculate black levels, a wider colour range, deeper colour saturations at all brightness levels, and wider effective viewing angles.
Despite the newness of the tech inside, these Sony QD OLED TVs benefit from all of the brand's regular TV features too, such as a new Cognitive XR Processor; support for Dolby Vision HDR; two HDMIs capable of handling the key new gaming features of 4K/120Hz, variable refresh rates and automatic low latency mode switching; and a premium version of the Acoustic Surface technology Sony applies to its regular OLED TVs, where the actual screen of the TV becomes a dynamic, forward-facing speaker system.
The new Cognitive XR processor is reckoned to deliver a better sense of depth with images than its predecessor and better control over the relationship between brightness and saturation when creating colour. This is said to result in finer management of a wider range of tones. The new XR processor also focuses more on automatically optimising picture quality to suit different ambient light conditions in your room. Additionally, it expands its ability to recognise and optimise its processing for different screen types to consider Sony's new QD OLED and Mini LED TV offerings.
SONY MINI LED
Yes, we said Mini LED back there as Sony has also added two LCD ranges, the 8K Z9Ks and the 4K X95Ks, that use Mini LED technology.
Sony's two Mini LED models again get the full gamut of the brand's processing and features. Including powerful versions of the Acoustic Multi-Audio technology Sony has been using with its premium LCD TVs for a few years now, where front-firing main drivers are backed up by separate bass speakers and tweeters positioned fairly high up on the chassis to create a more natural and large soundstage. The 8K resolution Z9K's will even get a new pair of 'height' drivers along their top edge to further improve their handling of Dolby Atmos soundtracks.
While we live in hope that Sony's new Mini LED TVs will sit in similar pricing territory to last year's equivalent regular LED models, it will still be a relief to cash-strapped Sony fans to hear that the brand will also be releasing a range of more affordable 'normal' LCD and OLED TVs over the coming weeks.
SONY OLED and LCD
On the OLED front, Sony will have two new ranges for 2022: The A90Ks, designed to deliver an optimum small-screen experience in 48 and 42-inch sizes, and the A80Ks, which will combine large high-brightness (complete with heat sink) panels with, again, all the latest processing advancements associated with 2022's Cognitive XR processor.
History suggests that the most popular and impressive models among Sony's more mainstream TVs will be the new X90K LCD models. Despite likely being aggressively priced, these will still benefit from direct LED lighting and local dimming (albeit using far fewer zones than you'll get with Sony's Mini LED sets); still get all the latest gaming features and XR processing power; and a powerful version of Sony's Acoustic Multi-Audio sound system.
If finances mean you need to look another rung further down Sony's 2022 range, you get to the X85K LCD TVs. These models, happily, continue to use direct LED lighting, where the LEDs appear behind the screen rather than around its edges. However, there's no local dimming or Cognitive XR processing. Instead, you get the older (though still good) X1 processing engine. The Acoustic Multi-Audio support vanishes on the X85K, too, replaced by a more straightforward 'X-Balanced Speaker' system. The X85Ks do, though, still support 4K at 120Hz, variable refresh rate and ALLM gaming features.
Bringing up the rear of Sony's CES TV announcements is the X80K range. These still benefit from direct LED lighting and get Sony's X1 processor. In fact, the only immediately evident and substantial area of difference from the X85Ks is that there's no longer any support over HDMI for the latest 4K/120 and variable refresh rate game features. Though we should add that there may be models/screen sizes in the X85K and X80K ranges that might use relatively low-contrast IPS LCD panels rather than our preferred VA panels.
It's impossible not to be impressed by at least the potential of Sony's 2022 TV range. Adding QD OLED and Mini LED models to the mix makes the brand look ahead of the TV tech curve again rather than behind it.
I’ve spent the past 25 years writing about the world of home entertainment technology. In that time I’m fairly confident that I’ve reviewed more TVs and projectors than any other individual on the planet, as well as experiencing first-hand the rise and fall of all manner of great and not so great home entertainment technologies.
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