One of the most impressive things we've seen at IFA so far is Sony's forthcoming 84in 4K LCD TV, the €25,000 Bravia KD-84X9005.
OK, so it's not cheap, but the picture quality is sublime. We've seen it in action upscaling the new The Amazing Spiderman film on Blu-ray to 4K resolution, and let's just say we liked what we saw.
The set sports a 3840 x 2160 resolution panel, edge LED backlighting, and incorporates Sony's 4K X-Reality Pro super-resolution engine. With four times the resolution of conventional high-definition and a screen comprising 8.29 megapixels, Sony claims this is "unlike anything offered by existing televisions".
Given the density of pixels on the screen, Sony says you can sit just 1.6 metres from the TV and, despite it being so large, you won't see any pixels.
The Sony 4k TV is also a passive 3D set, with Sony claiming Full HD (1080p) resolution for each eye at the same time. There's also a SimulView mode for gaming so each player can see a different full-screen (rather than the split-screen mode some rival sets employ).
And it's not just the image quality that's been enhanced. Sony has added a 10-speaker sound system with special signal processing technology to ensure the sound quality matches that of the picture.
On either side of the TV there's a slim, vertical aluminium speaker column containing an array of two midrange drivers, two bass drivers and a silk-dome tweeter, powered by built-in digital amplification. Sony has also implemented its 'S-Force front surround 3D mode' to create a more enveloping soundfield.
Although there isn't a huge amount of 4K content to watch right now, Sony has teamed up with the Berlin Philharmonic to record a performance of Wagner's The Ride of the Valkyries, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, in 4K and is using that here at IFA to demonstrate the capabilities of the Bravia KD-84X9005 TV and its VPL-VW1000ES 4K projector.
The company has also unveiled its new 9.2 channel STR-DA5800ES home cinema receiver (below) with built-in 4K upscaling, which is due for launch in the UK in November. Price to be confirmed.
The Sony Bravia KD84X9005 4K TV will be available for pre-order online from October, with the first deliveries to customers expected in December. Better start saving now.
by Joe Cox