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January 5, 2015
Targets higher image quality than ever before and drastically improved ease of use - two factors that define the inherent value of a TV - by leveraging unique Sony technologies while making effective use of industry open platforms
Sony Visual Products Inc. ("SVP"), a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation that operates its television business, is revamping its product platform for its BRAVIA® TVs in order to enhance their competitive edge and offer new value to consumers. SVP is continuing its dedicated pursuit of ever higher image quality as well as improved ease of use, both characteristics that determine a TV's total intrinsic value. It will adopt this redesigned product platform in its new BRAVIA lineup to be rolled out in phases throughout 2015.
SVP is striving to enhance the competitive edge of its products and improve the profitability of the business by concentrating its resources towards its in-house developed, unique technologies while at the same time making efficient use of industry open platforms. The new functionalities and capabilities of the BRAVIA TVs built upon this new product platform will be announced and exhibited at the "2015 International CES" to be held in Las Vegas from January 6, 2015 (local time).
SVP views the television as the heart of the living room; one that is inseparable from the wide array of entertainment content that is available. In short, SVP defines the TV as a "window to inspiration" that, with its breathtaking visuals and sound that pull the viewer into a whole different world, provides an immersive experience that is impossible to get with any other device. In order to realize this vision of what a television should be, Sony has been releasing large screen 4K TVs since 2012 and has been leading the charge towards even larger screens and even higher image quality in order to provide customers with a visual experience in the home unlike anything before.
SVP identifies three elements as being most critical to superior picture quality: higher image clarity, a wider color gamut, and higher contrast. It has continually pursued advancements in these areas in order to realize more realistic and immersive images.
Sony's 4K BRAVIA lineup in 2015 will feature a new 4K Processor X1 that enables even more stunning upscaling to 4K resolution and projection of native 4K images. The 4K Processor X1 is also able to handle the increasingly diversifying range of available content, including current-generation HD content as well as 4K content broadcasted and distributed in a number of video compression formats. It is a comprehensive image enhancement processor capable of taking the three important elements mentioned above - clarity, color, and contrast - to a whole new level.
The processor closely analyzes the resolution and other aspects of the input video signal and processes the image in accordance with the amount of information the signal holds.
The processor matches images with an original Sony 4K database, resulting in greater clarity and definition than ever before. Additionally, the new processor will further enhance the capability of the 4K X-Reality® Pro algorithm, accurately depicting detailed shapes and dramatically reducing noise when upscaling video to 4K.
The processor fully brings out the wide palette of colors that the TRILUMINOS® Display - which Sony has adopted since 2013 - can produce. Accurate color management closely analyzes the hues, brightness, and saturation of the inputted image and recreates colors in a fuller, more naturally textured display.
The processor efficiently expands the dynamic range of the signal in order to fully realize the potential of X-tended Dynamic Range™, which Sony has adopted since 2014. It achieves a more dazzling picture than before, with a wider brightness range that features brighter lights and deeper blacks.
While video content continues to become more and more diverse, mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets continue to evolve and spread. The trend towards watching video and accessing a variety of services and applications on mobile devices is also accelerating. Given this environment, cross-functionality with mobile devices is becoming a crucial element determining a television's ease of use.
Google Inc. has been expanding its Android™ OS from smartphones to new product categories, including wearable smart devices and TVs. In line with this, SVP has decided to adopt this new platform for its BRAVIA line, thereby offering a seamlessly integrated experience with mobile devices like never before.
All new 4K and some new Full HD BRAVIA models will come equipped with Android TV. You can operate these TVs and search for content just as you do with your mobile devices, via voice search functionality. Additionally, users will be able to stream content from their mobile device directly onto their large-screen BRAVIA using the Google Cast™ Ready feature, as well as access Google Play™ on their TV using the same login ID as their other devices. Finally, they will be able to download and play their favorite games and use their favorite applications on the large screen of their BRAVIA set.
Sony's 2015 line of BRAVIA TVs will also employ an advanced user interface exclusive to Sony products, One-Flick Entertainment. Combining this with Android TV will provide a true ease of use which is unique and exclusive to Sony. In 2015 models, the new content bar will enable you to directly access your apps. And the action buttons on the remote control place most of the important functions right at your fingertips, from audio and visual settings to social viewing functions that allow for a more interactive experience with your content.
SVP is aiming to strengthen its products' competitive edge and increase the profitability of the business in order to prevail in an increasingly competitive landscape. By looking to efficiently utilize cross-industry open platforms in fields where external resources are available, SVP allows itself to concentrate its internal engineering resources on the development of unique technologies such as the 4K Processor X1 - announced here for the first time - and One-Flick Entertainment.
Sony has taken a lead on other TV manufacturers by adopting Android OS, a platform from Google Inc. that is the most widely used smartphone platform in the world. With this, Sony's TVs will be online-ready, enabling users to access a multitude of services and applications. This adoption will also enable SVP to enjoy the benefits of the leading industry standard, and the very latest in Smart TV technology.
Along with adding support for Android OS in its BRAVIA line, SVP is also collaborating with one of the industry's leading semiconductor companies, MediaTek (Taiwan), in SoC (System on a Chip) packaging design. Doing so will allow SVP to realize a system LSI that incorporates its own unique image quality algorithm. MediaTek has a rich heritage of driving cross-platform synergy between home entertainment and mobile devices. This partnership will therefore allow SVP to shorten its development cycle for next generation TVs utilizing cutting-edge semiconductor platforms, take advantage of scale advantages in its procurement process, and improve its cost competitiveness.
SVP will continue pursuing partnerships in many directions both inside and outside Sony Group, enabling the company to provide customers with new value and better than ever BRAVIA products. It will also continue to build a solid foundation for a profitable TV business.