Sony Unveils New LCD TVs with 'World's 1st Features' [Video]

Aug 29, 2008
Masao Oonishi, Nikkei Microdevices

Sony Corp announced four series of full-HD LCD TVs with a total of eight models including one that measures only 9.9mm at its thinnest part and another with 4x driving speed, which the company claims were developed for the first time in the world.

They are slated for launch in Japan in October and November as the fall 2008 models.

The model that is 9.9mm thick at its thinnest portion has a separate tuner and speakers

The ZX1 series features the thinnest portion of only 9.9mm. The model unveiled this time is a 40-inch product. It uses an edge LED backlight. With white LEDs arranged on four sides of a light guide plate, the backlight is thinner than those using a cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL). The TV has a contrast ratio of 3,000:1.

The main unit is composed of a monitor alone, and a tuner is built in the "Wireless Media Receiver." The monitor and the tuner transmit signals with each other via 5GHz wireless communications. A speaker unit is incorporated in a stand portion of a tabletop stand. When the TV is hung on a wall, dedicated speaker unit is attached below the monitor.

The thickest portion of the monitor measures 28mm. The company developed a dedicated wall-mounting unit with a thickness of 19.5mm. With this unit, the distance between the wall and the front surface of the TV is less than 50mm.

The mounting unit can be tilted up or down. The monitor weighs 12.2kg, and the dedicated wall-mounted speaker unit is 1.8kg. Thus, the TV weighs less than 15kg in total when it is hung on a wall.

Insertion of three interpolation images enables 240Hz driving speed

The W1 series employs the "Motionflow 240Hz" technology to enable a 240Hz driving speed. The "Motionflow 240Hz" is an advanced version of the "Motionflow," which creates double-speed images after correcting the blur in each of the original 60fps images.

While the existing version of the technique creates and inserts one interpolation image to enable a 120Hz driving speed, the new version generates three interpolation images. The W1 series comes in 46- and 40-inch models.

Local dimming by RGB LED backlight

The XR1 series is a high picture quality model equipped with RGB LED backlights. The TV features a virtual contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1, which is enabled by local dimming. To enhance the moving picture performance, the XR1 series employs the "Motionflow Pro 120Hz," which is designed to deliver smooth images by combining the 120Hz driving speed technology and partial blinking of backlight. The series comes in 55- and 46-inch models.

New engine reduces flicker noise

The X1 series is equipped with a new image processing engine called "Bravia Engine 2 Pro," which can reduce flicker noise. The series comes in 52-, 46- and 40-inch models.

The previous version, the "Bravia Engine 2," significantly reduced noise in darker areas, while the new engine incorporates the DRC-MFv3 chip for executing additional arithmetic processing to reduce flicker noise around areas that are moving subtly. Thus, the engine enhances the resolution without emphasizing the edges of the image.

Providing "high added value" and "larger display sizes"

The latest models all have a display that is at least 40 inches in size.

"We decided to offer 40-inch or larger models because the proportion of the 37-inch or larger models increased from 20% in October 2006 to 33% in July 2008," said Takao Yoshikawa, director of the FTV Business Division of the TV Business Group of Sony.

Meanwhile, Sony plans to continue providing 30-inch class models as the J and F series. The company also intends to continue expanding the market for low-price TVs to "try to work on both markets," according to Yoshikawa.

The expected market price of the KDL-40ZX1 in the ZX1 series is about ¥490,000 (approx US$4,507). The KDL-46W1 of the W1 series is about ¥400,000, and the KDL-40W1 in the same series is about ¥290,000. For the XR series, the KDL-55XR1 is about ¥750,000, while the KDL-46XR1 is about ¥600,000. The KDL-52X1, KDL-46X1 and KDL-40X1 in the X1 series are about ¥530,000, ¥430,000 and ¥320,000, respectively.

[Video] Click to see new Bravia TVs in video (Japanese).