We spoke to Mark Whiteman, technical marketing and product planning manager at Sony TV, at the International News Stage at CES 2015, touching on all things television at Sony for the year ahead (and before the rumours around Sony offloading its TV and mobile division emerged).
The key messages for Sony in 2015? "Picture quality, we're improving that with the new processor, we've got some stunning design now - the X90C television set that's 4.9mm thick - and also Android TV as well," Whiteman told What Hi-Fi?.
"People want to watch 4K. You're seeing more and more 4K content come through; Netflix, Amazon have made their intentions known, YouTube in 4K - content is coming through. What's important to the customer is that whatever 4K content they're watching looks fantastic.
"To that end we've introduced a new processor this year for just that, the 4K processor X1... Specifically engineered for 4K content. It realises what the 4K content is that's coming in to the TV set. Is it streaming? Is it downloaded? It's then able to adjust where needed on clarity, colour and contrast."
Will we be seeing the 4K media players and streaming services in the UK? In a word, no. "For the European market we're really looking to third-party providers for content - Netflix, Amazon etc."
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Sony's also excited about its new Android smart TV platform. "Android TV has some key benefits. It's an understood and accepted operating system, and by far the world's largest OS - people are used to that OS. The other thing is it gives you the content you want and allows you unique ways to find it, like voice search... It's very easy, it's very intuitive.
"All our Android TVs are Google Cast Ready. What this means is you can be watching a clip on YouTube on your mobile phone as you walk in to the house, you can tap the little Google Cast button, and not only will it turn your TV on if it's off, but the video will then appear on your TV. And it's not the same as mirroring - there's no battery drain and you can use your phone for something else."
And what about TV technology? Will we see a Sony OLED TV in 2015? "In terms of Quantum Dot, we used that on some of our TVs from 2013. [But] from last year we developed a system in-house, so we're not using Quantum Dot any more."
"Sony brought the first OLED to market a few years ago with the XEL1. We've been involved with OLED for a number of years, and we're still looking into OLED as a technology, but we're concentrating on LED/LCD television sets - 4K in particular. We're at the point at Sony where we can deliver the very best picture quality using that technology."
You can watch the full interview in the video at the top of the page.
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