2012 has marked a spectacular return to form for Sony as far as its Bravia HDTV lineup is concerned, with the flagship HX853 series scooping up awards after awards in various publications and industry events – the 55-inch KDL-55HX853 we reviewed back in June remains the best LED LCD TV we’ve seen this year. Not content to rest on its laurels however, the Japanese brand is seeking to establish itself as the de facto leader in the movement towards the next step-up in picture resolution, namely 4K which boasts four times the pixel count of regular full HD 1920×1080 content.
Although several television manufacturers have unveiled 4K TVs at this year’s IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Sony is adopting a more holistic approach towards the resolution revolution, which is hardly surprising given that the firm is heavily involved in almost every step of the video chain, ranging from content creation and post-production to film distribution and end-display. (Incidentally, we believe this is the reason why Sony’s flat-screen TVs always handle 24p signal from Blu-ray discs flawlessly without introducing judder nor motion interpolation).
Preferring to pave the way rather than to play catch-up later, Sony has put a lot of effort into building its presence in various facets of the 4K ecosystem. Last year, it launched the world’s first native 4K digital motion picture camera in the form of the Sony F65 CineAlta, which has since been used to shoot Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” music video, as well as two of next year’s Hollywood blockbusters: After Earth starring Will Smith; and Oblivion starring Tom Cruise. The company is also active in 4K post-processing through its ColorWorks digital intermediate facility, and in the professional cinema display market via its SRX-T range of 4K projectors.
Despite this, Sony has not forgotten about the home theatre market. First unveiled at Japan’s CEATEC trade show in October 2011 as the world’s first true 4K home cinema projector, the Sony VPL-VW1000ES has been released in the UK this year, garnering critical acclaim aplenty in the process. Now, the Japanese giant intends to build upon its success by offering a direct-view display aimed at the (luxury) home entertainment sector.