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Sony significantly expanded its 4K and UHD ecosystem with a series of new products the company introduced at a press event held in New York City. The list included two new UHDTVs, a new 4K camcorder, and the launch of the "Video Unlimited 4K" website. In addition to all the 4K news, Sony showed that a curved screen is not exclusive to OLED, by introducing a curved 65" 1080p edge-lit LED LCD—the KDL-S990A.


CNET's David Katzmaier (in blue) checks out the new curved LCD from Sony
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger


Sony Electronics President Phil Molyneux took the stage in the Jazz room at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan. Behind him, there was a TV—hidden underneath a shroud. There was no drama to the show, just a relaxed and straight-forward presentation. Within minutes Molyneux revealed the new Sony XBR-65X850A UHDTV, which forgoes fancy front-facing speakers for a slim profile and a lower price point.


I was fairly certain that a new TV was hidden beneath the shroud
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger


The new 65-incher sells for $5499, and the smaller 55-inch XBR-55X850A costs $3499. Both new UHDTVs are forward compatible with the recently announced HDMI 2.0 standard. In a dig against rival Samsung, Sony's President pointed out that all of Sony's UHDTVs have the ability to update to HDMI 2.0 via firmware, negating the need for an external box that requires replacement—a solution that Samsung had touted as a way of future-proofing its UHD offerings.


Sony's new UHDTV offerings forgo front-facing speakers in order to hit a lower price point
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger


Sony's strategy for maintaining its leadership in 4K and UHD relies on content creation as well as delivery. The new Video Unlimited 4K website makes digital download of UHD content a reality, at least for owners of Sony-branded UHDTVs. For now, the service requires the use of a FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Media Player.


Sony's new Video Unlimited 4K download service
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger


The service debuted with over 70 movies from several studios, as well as AMC's hit series Breaking Bad in UHD. Sony declared its intention to increase the UHD catalog to over 100 movies before 2013 ends. Rentals cost $7.99 for a 24-hour period. Purchasing a movie costs $29.99 and also includes a UltraViolet copy of the content, for HD or SD playback on other devices.


Sony fulfilled a promise to launch Video Unlimited 4K before the end of summer
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger


When it comes to content creation, Hollywood already invested in 4K. Theaters with 4K projectors playing 4K movies are finally becoming mainstream. However, the tools for creating 4K content have thus far cost too much for independent filmmakers to afford. The new Handycam FDR-AX1 4K Camcorder directly addresses this issue, dropping the cost of entry for a 4K video camera to $4499. This is definitely a disruptive price point for a product like this.


$4499 gets you a UHD-capable camcorder with tons of features
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger


During the camcorder demo, Phil Molyneaux noted that the FDR-AX1 was delivering full 60p UHD video to the XBR-65X850A through a HDMI 1.4 connection, a feat that was previously regarded as impossible. Molineux declined to mention how this was achieved. The effect of the increased frame rate and resolution were clearly visible in the sample footage.


Footage recorded in full 2160p UHD at 60 fps was played back via HDMI 1.4
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger


Not all of the TV-related news involved UHD. Sony brought a novel TV to the event, a 65" curved-screen edge-lit LED LCD—the KDL-65S990A. The curve itself was not as pronounced as what I saw on Samsung's 55" OLED—the new Sony is a better match for a typical living room setup than the curved 55" OLEDs from Samsung and LG. Furthermore, the 65S990A negates the notion that a curved screen is a differentiating feature for OLED. While acknowledging that OLED features superior black levels, screen uniformity and motion resolution, LCD allows for a larger curved screen that costs half as much.


Not every new TV at the show was a UHD model, Sony latest edge-lit LCD HDTV sports a curve
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger


Sony put on a good presentation; I left convinced that 4K UHD is not just here to stay; it is about to explode in terms of how much content is out there. For now, Sony's ecosystem is relatively closed—4K downloads require the FMP-X1 media player, which is only compatible with Sony's own UHD televisions.


Progress in the 4K UHD segment is coming quickly, with major manufacturers—and some lesser-known brands—introducing new models at a steady pace. Sony's latest offerings show the company is taking its early lead in the segment seriously, and is pushing the state-of-the-art forward by developing an entire ecosystem for ultra-high definition content creation and consumption.

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Curved seems to be the new Black, everyone is doing it. Projection wise, I even see people using a curved 16:9 projection system without a a-lens. IMAX screens are slightly curved and according to them, it provides for a more immerse experience. I can see where the trend is coming from, but for a TV? I don't know...
 

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If the display curved around the entire room, sure, bring on the curves. For 65" screens, though, I have a difficult time seeing the benefit. Perhaps to experience it in person is a different story, but I'm not sold on this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sytech  /t/1489254/sony-unveils-latest-uhd-4k-offerings-curved-65-lcd-hdtv#post_23704089


ATTN: SONY


Nobody wants curved screens, especially in an LCD display.


SIGNED: EVERYONE
Everyone +1
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic  /t/1489254/sony-unveils-latest-uhd-4k-offerings-curved-65-lcd-hdtv#post_23703163


During the camcorder demo, Phil Molyneaux noted that the FDR-AX1 was delivering full 60p UHD video to the XBR-65X850A through a HDMI 1.4 connection, a feat that was regarded as impossible. Molineux declined to mention how this was achieved. The effect of the increased frame rate and resolution were clearly visible in the sample footage.


Footage recorded in full 2160p UHD at 60 fps was played back via HDMI 1.4
photo ©2013 by Mark Henninger
So this raises some questions. Would some HDMI 1.4b interfaces or cables be capable of passing 2160p UHD at 60 fps? Probably if going by this demo.
 

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Sorry to go against the grain but keep the curved screens coming I for 1 love it, so that would be almost everyone except 1
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAV  /t/1489254/sony-unveils-latest-uhd-4k-offerings-curved-65-lcd-hdtv#post_23706006


So this raises some questions. Would some HDMI 1.4b interfaces or cables be capable of passing 2160p UHD at 60 fps? Probably if going by this demo.

In reading the HDMI 2.0 FAQ, it will be able to as long its a high-speed cable.


Source: http://www.hdmi.org/manufacturer/hdmi_2_0/hdmi_2_0_faq.aspx#136
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1  /t/1489254/sony-unveils-latest-uhd-4k-offerings-curved-65-lcd-hdtv#post_23706031


Sorry to go against the grain but keep the curved screens coming I for 1 love it, so that would be almost everyone except 1
Aren't you the guy who claims to be able to easily detect the difference between audio/HDMI cables?



LCD tech with its confined viewing angles is the last type of set that should be built curved.
 

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My parents had a curved screen tv when I was a kid. It also had the green red and blue floods shooting onto a mirror that reflected onto that curved screen just below it. Who would have thought.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sytech  /t/1489254/sony-unveils-latest-uhd-4k-offerings-curved-65-lcd-hdtv#post_23704089


ATTN: SONY


Nobody wants curved screens, especially in an LCD display.


SIGNED: EVERYONE

Forging signatures? Remove me from the list as well.


I'd love to have a curved screen and would pay a premium. To Sony, please do 2.35 curved screens so I can replace my projector.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisko213  /t/1489254/sony-unveils-latest-uhd-4k-offerings-curved-65-lcd-hdtv#post_23706128


My parents had a curved screen tv when I was a kid. It also had the green red and blue floods shooting onto a mirror that reflected onto that curved screen just below it. Who would have thought.

What goes around, comes around.




Some entertaining reading from the stone(d) age:
http://www.walvisions.com/ArchivePages/walvisions__kloss_novabeam_1_1A_2_reviews.htm
 

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Is there a downside to a curved screen?


If it costs the same and there's no downside, then what's wrong with having a curved screen?
 

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So, Sony is able to deliver 4K content on their 4k TVs at a reasonable price. Plus, they have a 4K camcorder that isn't ridiculously expensive.


Remind me again why 4K is going to fail?


Why is OLED going to be the future when you can get a 55" 1080p for $15,000?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KidHorn  /t/1489254/sony-unveils-latest-uhd-4k-offerings-curved-65-lcd-hdtv#post_23706560


Is there a downside to a curved screen?


If it costs the same and there's no downside, then what's wrong with having a curved screen?

Nothing, people just think they sound intelligent or great debaters by criticizing anything they don't own or that isn't a plain vanilla 16:9 LED or simply can't afford i.e. curved screens, scope, 3D, projectors, 4k etc.
 

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There's nothing wrong with a curved screen?


Hmmmm, sounds like someone should read up on the obvious and not so obvious drawbacks...especially when there's say, more than one human viewing the screen.


Crazy how they chased after a truly flat panel for decades, heh?



James
 

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And the Sony momentum just keeps getting bigger and bigger with 4K. But a curved screen with LED? Don't know about that one or why Sony would do that but it is what it is I guess.
 
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