Sony A1 OLED 4K TV assessment: Back to OLED with a bang

While ultra-high priced Sony OLED screens have lengthy loved an enviable popularity within the professional video mastering global, the logo hasn’t dipped its feet into the consumer OLED market because it released a minuscule eleven-inch model lower back in 2008. Until now.

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For 2017 Sony has ultimately re-entered the OLED TV internationally in a massive way. Literally. Its new A1 collection of OLED TVs come in fifty-five-inch, sixty five-inch, and 77-inch variations, with each screen squeezing in a 4K-decision pixel depend.

As you’d anticipate of a top rate TV range in recent times (the A1’s starting rate is £3,500 for the 55-inch version below scrutiny here), the 4K local display screen decision is sponsored up by assist for high dynamic variety (HDR) technology and a revolutionary, appealing design.


In fact, Sony claims that part of the cause it’s taken see you later to jump again in with an OLED TV is that it’s handiest now felt capable of making contributions enough of its personal layout and performance DNA to stand out from the gang. Does this ring actual?

From the front it seems as though the best visible thing is the image. Partly because the body around the display screen is remarkably thin and completed in a black tone that suits perfectly with the quite deep blacks you get with its OLED photos (extra in this later). But additionally due to the fact there’s no visible stand; Sony has designed the A1 like a photo frame, in which the display is supported by means of a fold-out rear leg.

Even more modern is Sony’s answer for purchasing invisible speakers into the 55A1. Essentially, the A1’s display screen is the audio system; twin excited arrays constant behind the OLED panel vibrate the screen to supply the TV’s sound. Sony has even provided you with a manner of permitting each left and proper half of the screen to supply its very own sound, to deliver a right stereo impact.

The downside to the 55A1’s extraordinarily minimal the front view is that it’s chunkier across the again than the maximum of trendy TVs. Also, at the same time as the fold out leg guide cleverly consists of a bass speaker to underpin the innovative the front audio system, the way this leg whilst folded in becomes a wall mount does mean wall-mounting this small screen television can compromise its bass performance.

Using an OLED panel in the 55A1 way that every one of its 3840 x 2160 pixels can produce its personal light and color, independent of its neighbors. AV fanatics have long been aware of the high-quality effect this could have on assessment, as opposed to LCD TVs that proportion outside mild assets across a couple of pixels.

The 55A1’s photographs are powered by way of Sony’s X1 Extreme engine – which in order that happens to be the most powerful processing system Sony has ever created. Among its highlights is a dual-database machine that compares incoming sub-4K content material against a built-in treasure trove of Sony’s TV enjoy to supply better noise discount and stepped forward upscaling on the fly.

The X1 Extreme processor additionally offers you Sony’s splendid Triluminos coloration management, which keeps to serve up magnificence-leading tonal subtleties amid continuously incredible wealthy tones. Sony’s precise and incredible Super Bitmapping machine is well worth a point out too, for the manner it eliminates shade striping from HDR sources of the type that now and again infiltrate HDR playback from maximum if not all other TV brands.

X1 Extreme also offers us arguably the greatest movement processing inside the TV International, Sony’s Motionflow device, in addition to being powerful sufficient to feature guide for the top rate Dolby Vision superior HDR machine (that’ll be thru a firmware replace later this 12 months). Right now the A1 can deal with playback of the industry fashionable HDR10 format, and the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) HDR platform broadcasters are anticipated to start using soon.

Sony KD-55A1 evaluation: Smart functions
Smart structures supported: Android TV, YouView
The 55A1’s clever interface and functions are the classic recreations of halves.

In the losing 1/2 is Android TV. Google’s supposedly TV-pleasant interface is bulky, often slow, almost immune to customization, pretty tons hopeless at streamlining get entry to your favorite content material, and possesses nearly no information of the kind of content the majority honestly need to discover on a TV in place of a cell phone. It’s liable to crashing, too.

In the prevailing half is YouView. This is designed to streamline get admission to the seize-up TV structures of the UK’s key terrestrial broadcasters, along with The BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel Five. Particularly welcome is the manner it lets you get right of entry to shows you can have missed via inclusive of them in an electronic program manual that scrolls again thru time as well as forwards.

One very last notice really worth including is that the 55A1’s Netflix and Amazon apps both assist 4K and HDR streams.

Sony KD-55A1 Review: Picture high-quality
For the tremendous majority of the time, the 55A1’s snapshots look not anything brief of beautiful.

Colors, for starters, are brilliant in their presentation of wealthy, brilliant tones with greater of the mixture finesse and tonal subtlety it is come to be a Triluminos trademark in latest years. Actually, Triluminos works even better than ordinary right here, due partly to the strength of the X1 Extreme chipset, and in part because of OLED’s capability to stick rich, bright hues proper next to deep, natural blacks.

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