Welcome to a new Bravia world in 4K

Kap Maceda Aguila - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Imagine that LED TV you have been drooling over  delivering images in sterling detail and quality to make the heart flutter, the knees weak, and the eyes water.

When they first appeared as an alternative to LCD and even plasma screens, LED sets were priced rather prohibitively. It’s not the case today. Numerous manufacturers scramble to get your attention at the appliance store with tempting deals and attractive tags.

Of course, you know where this is headed. The diminishing values are ushering in a new breed of screens that, at the very least, are nothing short of amazing. If you had been agog at the clarity of 1080p or full HD, then prepare to have bloodshot eyes as a consequence of non-stop viewing.

Introduced in the country 10 months ago by Sony, 4K (or ultra-high definition) televisions boast four times the resolution of full HDs (4K refers to 4,000 horizontal pixels). Recently, Sony unboxed two more Bravia 4K sizes to complement the original 84-inch, priced at an eye-popping P1.2 million. The new KD-X9004A series lineup is boosted by 55-inch (P299,000) and 65-inch (P399,000) screens to reach a “broader reach of consumers.”

The new Bravia sets boast a proprietary 4K X-Reality PRO processing engine “which not only reduces visual noise and corrects image shapes, but also upscales 2K (i.e., conventional full HD) content to near 4K native resolution,” according to a Sony Philippines release, which goes on to posit that X-Series TVs use Reality Creation database and Super Resolution processing — along with a host of technological features — to “optimize” images.

Sony leverages on its considerable girth and competitive, “end-to-end” advantage — with interests not only in consumer electronics but semiconductors, video games, media/entertainment, computer hardware, and telecoms as well. Native 4K content is nothing new in the big screen (by that we mean the movie theater), and it befits Sony to draw synergy from its myriad of businesses.

While there is presently no dedicated, consumer-level source material for 4K content, a growing number of Blu-ray titles “mastered in 4K” is becoming available. Although there is no official commitment yet, expect Sony engineers hard at work to come up with post-Blu-ray technology dedicated to 4K screens.

In an exclusive interview with NetWorks at the launch, Sony Philippines president and managing director Yasushi Asaoka intimated that Sony has the knowhow in shooting in 4K, down-converting for Blu-ray, and up-converting again for 4K — exactly why people should consider its new Bravia products.

“Even if we do not have 4K dedicated content, people will immediately benefit from our 4K TVs. It does not have to be 4K-native pictures,” Asaoka said. The new TVs process the signals and upscale it for the detail, texture, color range, and other benefits of 4K.

So, are we going to see 4K TVs edge out LEDs pretty soon? “I would say possibly yes,” Asaoka replied. “We have the technology, we can produce any size. But naturally, the 4K is more expensive than full-HD panel. If you make a 32-inch 4K TV, that will be a more expensive 32-inch TV compared to a normal TV.”

Asaoka was reassigned from the Sony headquarters in Japan last year, which gives a tempting insight into how important the Philippine market is to the corporate giant. “We see Southeast Asia as promising the biggest growth than most countries around the world,” he said. “As for the business volume, we are not so big compared to Japan or America, but in terms of business growth, we are at the top level.”

The Sony executive continued that TV sales remain the prime source of income for the company in the country, although business in the Sony Mobile (formerly Sony Ericsson) now is a “big portion” of the local portfolio.

In the meantime, if you are an early adopter ready to future-proof your TV viewing, 4K is here.

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For more information, visit www.sony.com.ph, like SonyPhilippines on Facebook or follow SonyPHInc. on Twitter.











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