This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.
At CES 2022, Sony is bringing all the TV tech. The company’s new lineup of televisions skews high-end, as it has in the past, but encompasses more variety than ever. Sony will introduce its first mini-LED models, including a version with 8K resolution, beef up its gaming chops with the PlayStation 5 and even roll out a remote finder. And in a first for any TV-maker, Sony is going to sell two kinds of OLED TVs.
TVs that use OLED technology have the best picture quality available, and Sony’s lineup includes three series of OLED models. The most intriguing is the A95K series, which Sony says is its best OLED TV yet. This is just the second TV ever announced, after a model by Samsung, to use QD-OLED display technology. Sony touts better color and viewing angles compared to its other 2022 OLED TVs, namely the A90K and A80K.
Meanwhile, Sony’s best non-OLED TVs are the Z9K with 8K resolution and the X95K, with 4K, both of which use mini-LED technology and Sony’s “backlight master drive” for precise control of the full-array local dimming backlight. Sony is also packing in its latest version of the “cognitive” processor it introduced last year, promising improved color and depth mapping.
Beyond picture quality, the company is introducing a couple of interesting conveniences. Its highest-end TVs come with a remote finder function, similar to a feature we love on the Roku Ultra for example, that causes the clicker to emit a tone when you lose it (and it’s a remote, so you will lose it).
There’s also a new camera dubbed Bravia Cam, included with the two most expensive models and optional on the others. In addition to video chat from apps like Google Duo, the cam can help adjust the picture and sound according to room conditions and seating distance, spawn a pop-up or block the screen if someone (like a kid) approaches too close, engage power saving if you leave the room and (wait for it) even respond to rudimentary gesture controls. People who don’t like the idea of a TV with a camera can engage the built-in privacy shutter or simply remote the camera completely.
All 2022 Sony TVs will ship with variable refresh rate enabled, rather than relying on software updates to add the feature later. A new extra called Auto HDR Tone Mapping allows a PS5 console to automatically detect the model of the Sony TV it’s connected to and select the best HDR settings. Another new addition, called auto genre picture mode, lets the PS5 tell the TV whether it’s playing a game or other content, such as a streaming TV show or movie, and toggle the TV’s game mode on or off accordingly.
Sony TVs continue to run the Google TV operating system and select models have a mic — complete with a physical muter switch — for hands-free “Hey, Google” voice commands. New for 2022, Sony’s Netflix Calibrated picture mode will get the ability to adapt to different viewing environments automatically.
Here’s a look at how the models stack up, from high-end on down, including screen sizes.
Sony’s 2022 TV lineup
|Series||Display technology||Sizes (inches)||Resolution||Refresh rate||Remote finder||Bravia cam|
|A80K||OLED||55, 65, 77||4K||120Hz||N||Optional|
|X95K||Mini-LED||65, 75, 85||4K||120Hz||N||Optional|
|X90K||Full-array LED||55, 65, 75, 85||4K||120Hz||N||Optional|
|X85K||Direct LED||43, 50, 55, 65, 75, 85||4K||120Hz||N||Optional|
|X80K||Direct LED||43, 50, 55, 65, 75, 85||4K||60Hz||N||Optional|
In case you’re wondering, the size section of the A90K OLED is not a misprint: it indeed only comes in 42- and 48-inch sizes, which Sony aims, in part, at gamers. In terms of image quality, Sony said that its non-QD-OLED models — the A90K and A80K — would both perform basically the same, and as well as the flagship A90J OLED TV from 2021. It’s also worth noting that the cheapest TV with full-array local dimming is the X90K, successor to the excellent X90J I reviewed last year.
Pricing and availability of Sony’s TVs will be announced in the spring.