There are many OLED TVs out there. Not all of them are Sony BRAVIA OLED TVs (opens in new tab).
It’s easy to think that all OLEDs are going to be much of a muchness. After all, there’s only one company that supplies OLED display technology to all the different TV manufacturers. But to think that would be wrong. That one raw material might be the same but there are many possible ways to put it to use. Besides, picture performance is not the only aspect to consider when making a great OLED TV.
Naturally, Sony prides itself on what it feels is the best picture processing around but if you want to know why else a Sony BRAVIA OLED (opens in new tab) should be top of your list, think sound, think design, think TV smarts and think access to a revolutionary, exclusive, high-bitrate streaming service too.
But let’s start with the picture. It may not be the only facet of a modern TV but picture quality is doubtless the most significant.
A picture processor is the brains of your OLED TV. It analyses the signal from the source material and orchestrates the pixels on the panel to fire at precisely the right colour and intensity to correctly paint each frame – and all at lightning fast speeds.
In 2021 Sony introduced its best TV picture processor yet, the Cognitive Processor XR. (opens in new tab) Sony claims that it’s the first such processor to use what it describes as ‘cognitive intelligence’ to decipher the source information in the same kind of way that humans perceive the world. Instead of just detecting individual elements like colour, contrast and detail, it can also cross reference each of these for a deeper appreciation of scene and object recognition.
The results have certainly been impressive for the 2021 Sony OLED TVs we’ve had in for review. We found that the top-end Sony A90J TVs (opens in new tab) deliver a supremely punchy and sharp performance both in the 55in (Sony XR-55A90J (opens in new tab)) and 65in sizes (Sony XR-65A90J (opens in new tab)). Even the step-down Sony A80J (Sony XR-55A80J (opens in new tab)) has a brilliantly detailed performance with vibrant colours to match.
And while the 48in Sony A9 (Sony KE-48A9) doesn’t use a Cognitive Processor, it does still benefit from Sony’s class leading motion processing tech which manages to smooth out judder without creating the dreaded sickly smooth soap opera effect – another unique and excellent reason to choose a Sony OLED TV.
It’s hard to believe, when you’re sitting there watching a Sony OLED TV (opens in new tab), that the screen is actually the speaker too. Most OLEDs have their speakers on the rear. The sound, then, has to get all the way around the panel before it can even try to project out towards to your sitting position. That’s why Sony OLED TVs simply sound better than almost all of the competition.
Actuators behind the screen vibrate the OLED panel to turn the screen itself into the speaker. Not only do the sound waves travel straight to your ears for a crisper, cleaner listen but it also helps the audio to match up with the picture. This is as good as dialogue gets without using a soundbar or other external speakers.
To take things to the next level, though, you can outsource some of your AV sound to external speakers while still keeping your Sony BRAVIA OLED TV (opens in new tab) involved. Centre Channel Mode is a way of turning your Sony BRAVIA A90J (opens in new tab) into the centre speaker in a full surround set-up alongside a home cinema amplifier and speakers
For something a little more streamlined, a Sony soundbar would make an excellent partner too. Pick up any of the HT-9, HT-A5000 or the What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Sony HT-A7000 and your Sony BRAVIA OLED TV can be used for the dialogue and centre channel effects if set to Acoustic Centre Sync.
So, whether you want to go TV only, TV and soundbar, or the whole home cinema hog, Sony’s OLED TVs offer all the options.
Sony has a reputation for bold physical design when it comes to TVs. While it’s hard not to like this year’s minimalist One Slate frame design for aesthetics, it’s the functionality of the feet that makes these OLED TVs (opens in new tab) really quite clever.
Depending on the size you choose, you’ll get either a 2 or 3-way stand option such that you can adjust the orientation of the feet to leave room for a soundbar without blocking the screen. In some cases you also get the choice of a narrow feet position in case you need to place your OLED TV on a piece of furniture of surface that isn’t so wide. Make sure to check the specs and do your measurements before you buy.
Google TV: thousands of apps, tonnes of suggestions
Sony has been quick to adopt the excellent Google TV operating system for its 2021 OLED TVs and an excellent choice that is. We loved the Google TV interface when it was first introduced on the Chromecast with Google TV at the end of 2020 with its easy usability and appealing look and feel.
Not only does Google TV bring access to all of Google’s screen mirroring and voice control capabilities, and over 5000 different apps, it’s also a great way to pull in some fantastic suggestions of what to watch next from your favourite streaming services all in one place.
Head to the home page of your Sony OLED TV UI and you’ll find a selection of programming at your fingertips from the likes of Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV and Discovery+.
It also presents you with films and TV shows that you’ve added to your watchlist while cruising the internet on the Chrome browser on other devices. Hopefully, Sony and Google will add more services to this hub in the future.
BRAVIA CORE high-quality streaming
The last great and unique bonus of choosing Sony for your next OLED TV is its Sony BRAVIA CORE high-bitrate streaming service. It’s only available on this year’s premium Sony OLED TVs (opens in new tab) (A90J, A80J, A84J) and it brings 4K lossless video access to hundreds of Sony Pictures films including "the largest IMAX Enhanced movie collection" – over 100 films remastered by IMAX and Sony Pictures to boost the image and sound on Bravia XR TVs.
Films such as Venom, Ghostbusters, Blade Runner 2049 and Jumanji: The Next Level can be bought with credits that come with a purchase of a Sony OLED TV. Expect the latest box office films at bitrates of between 30 Mbps – 80 Mbps, along with immersive DTS sound. In other words, similar or higher quality than that of most 4K Blu-ray discs.
To us, BRAVIA CORE feels like the direction all streaming services should be going to get the best possible results from 4K TVs. For now, though, it’s only available with Sony.
Those are the five great and unique reasons why it’s worth choosing a Sony OLED TV. Now it’s just down to which size and which Sony OLED TV model (opens in new tab). Have fun!
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