Meet Sony’s First HDR OLED TV A1E Series in CES 2017
At CES2017, Sony has introduced their first OLED TV lineup named A1E series. This certainly is the encouraging news for you who are fan of OLED TV, because of course there will be a comparison when you are buying OLED TV and unlike previous years where OLED TV market is dominated by LG. In the market, Sony A1E will be released in three screen sizes, 55 Inch (KD-55A1E), 65 Inch (KD-65A1E), and 77 inch (KD-77A1E). There are three main aspects which be highlighted from Sony A1E series as new OLED TV by Sony: X1 Extreme Processor that claimed can produce superior picture quality with absolute black, Smart Sound Idea, and its design so called “One Slate”.
Unlike flagship LG OLED series that comes with ultra thin design with its wallpaper W7 Wallpaper, Samsung QLED TV with fancy metallic stands, or Panasonic EZ1000 with sound bar base approach design, Sony A1E series comes with different concept called “One Slate”. From the front, it looks very minimalist without a stand at all. Front panel and back are glass with a very thin metal frame as the support. The unique, there are no feet noticeable which sustain the panel, so is it is placed on the AV rack or table, the panel sits directly and looks leaning slightly backwards at a five-degree angle. With this design, this is impressed nothing visible outside of the picture, even there is no “Sony or Bravia” logo on the bezel. The back panel is also clear from connection ports. There is a dual function kickstand that serves to sustain the panel when the panel is placed on TV rack or table and as the TV’s built in wall mount and compatible with VESA system when you want mount your TV on the wall. In addition as the kickstand of the TV, it also serves as the house of TV subwoofer and all of the connection ports. The kickstand is also equipped with cloth cover so the TV really looks as a slate that you place in your table. A bit issue if when you mount this TV on the wall where the wall-mounting will block subwoofer.
As we know, one of the advantages of OLED technology than LED Technology is about its perfect black level and infinite contrast dues it has self lighting sub-pixels. But the spotlights of Sony A1E series is not about it considering other OLED TVs also offer perfect black level and infinite contrast that makes its picture quality is absolutely amazing because after all, OLED panel of A1E series is not made by Sony itself, but they bought from LG like Panasonic EZ1000 where its panel is also bought from LG. From here, we certainly will be disappointed if we expect the actual competition between them for their OLED lineup. As we already know about OLED TV, A1 Series also offers perfect viewing angle and motion handling as perfect as LG’s 2016 OLED TVs.
One of the highlights of its picture performance precisely is about X1 Extreme processor that also found the flagship of Sony’s 2016 4K TV lineup Z9D series where with this processor behind it, Sony A1E series claimed can reach brighter peak brightness than any model of OLED TVs released in 2016, even closer to 1000 nits as the standardization of LED TV. As we know, peak brightness is a shortcoming of OLED TVs where it cannot do as good as LED TV, even UHD Alliance set OLED’s peak brightness recommended is a half of LED’s peak brightness recommended for HDR 10.
In term of HDR, if in 2016 Sony supports HDR 10 only, in this year, Sony OLED A1E also already supports Dolby Vision like LG or Vizio HDR lineup. Even not only that, according to Sony’s claim, A1E also will be upgrade to be compatible with Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG), another free-royalty HDR (High Dynamic Range) standard jointly developed by NHK and BBC that use a different approach than HDR or Dolby Vision. One of the major difference is HLG doesn’t use metadata.
Nevertheless, a bit disappointing for 3D fans, there is no 3D technology behind Sony A1E series. Like Samsung that has removed 3D technology since their 2016 lineup, in this year Sonya has said 3D is dead. This means, there is no 3D TV released by Sony in 2017.
In term of Smart TV, Sony A1E continues to use Google Android TV as its smart TV platform and also still compatible with Google Cast. That make it is different to 2016 model, it will receive an update that make it s able to run under Android 7.0 Nougat. In term of apps and performance offered, they are not much different to 2016 model.
One of the highlights of Sony A1E series is about their speaker system where Sony names this system with “Acoustic Surface. It is the unique way to produce sound. Refers to its name, the sound is not transmitted by a discrete set of speaker but it will be transmitted from the display itself through vibrations. The main key of this technology is the actuators which placed behind the screen, where they will vibrate the screen to produce sound once they are inputted by audio signal. This course is very different to other Typical TVs where for transmitting the sound, there is speaker behind, below, or next to screen that impressed there is no connection between the pictures and sound particularly on a big screen size. Otherwise, with Sony’s Acoustic Surface technology, the sound and picture will be impressed fused, so will create better sound quality even for big screen size. Of course, this is a brilliant idea for improving sound quality of a TV especially for slim TV where so far, sound quality of slim TVs even for premium TV is not so impressive and unbalanced to stunning picture quality that produced. And so far, the addition an external sound bar is good solution for improving sound quality despite in other hand, it will take a place and adding to the hassle of wiring.
Sony’s OLED A1E series might be a new breakthrough by Sony in HDR 4K TV, but this is not really new considering it still use OLED panel made by LG, so to see the competition between OLED panels, this is still an expectation only. Nevertheless, with the difference in technology and features which support the panel, at least this will give you the options when you want to buy OLED TV in this year.
As we have mentioned, at least there are three brilliant ideas behind Sony A1E under consideration. The first is about the combination of OLED panel and X1 Extreme Processor that produces absolutely amazing picture quality, the second is about “One Slate” Design where Sony uses different approach to design their first OLED TV, and the last is about “Acoustic Surface” technology where it is a new way for transmitting sound that claimed can produce better sound quality than typical TVs that use a discrete set of speakers.