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Sony Could Still Be In Play Despite CES TV No Show

TV’s are set to be big at CES 2024 however one major brand, Sony is a no show at CES, instead they are set to fight their struggling TV battles from the sideline with the custom install and pro markets seen as their biggest opportunity due in part to a new processor which has not been released yet.

2024 is not going to be a battle over new TV’s, it’s more a battle of TV brightness and the display processor and the capabilities that a new generation of processors can deliver.

Sony wants the premium market more so than the consumer market, with organisations such as Melbourne based Audio Active who have the rights to Sony’s premium projectors and top end TV’s set to benefit from the Companies new processor technology which in tests reduces power use while still deliver an extremely bright screen display.

Back in 2018, Sony stunned the CES crowds with an 8K LCD TV capable of delivering astonishing 10,000 nits of brightness while still producing HDR pictures that looked natural and realistic.

And that’s where Sony’s battle is still being fought.

While quick to adopt new Quantum Dot OLED technology, which has a brightness advantage over LG’s standard WRGB OLED Sony is set to deliver a new prototype LED display.

ChannelNews has been told that Sony who don’t manufacture any of their TV’s has been working closely with TCL to deliver a TV that delivers high brightness and contrast at a reasonable price without burning up energy.

They believe that they can use Mini LED technology which is where TCL excel coupled with a new AI-enhanced processor to deliver a better viewing experience.

What their new processor is capable of is separating incoming image data into LCD and backlight data as intelligently as possible.

As a result, they have developed a driver that can convert backlight data to analogue levels; and an LED structure that can convert electrical signals into light as efficiently as possible.

The LED driver in Sony’s latest prototype screen technology is based around a new proprietary chip developed completely in-house by Sony engineers.

Sony claims that it also delivers the same level of performance power as its much bigger predecessor at a fraction of the production cost, enabling the resulting screen to deliver an increased LED count, more dimming zones, and more peak brightness without ramping up power consumption or prices.

What’s not known is whether TCL is going to get access to the new processor for their TV’s.

Sony claims that because the screen’s light can now be controlled on a more localised basis, the prototype display actually reduces power consumption compared with Sony’s previous consumer mini-LED TVs.

Sony has also worked hard to bring under control the amount of power a TV sucks up, particularly as TV’s have got larger and are using more power in the delivery of an overall large TV display.

Sony’s display engineers claim that effective local dimming, miniLED or otherwise, in an LCD TV is primarily determined by 3 components:

The TV processor, responsible for dividing the input signal into LCD and LED backlight data (sometimes referred to as the “dimming algorithm”).
The driver, tasked with converting the LED backlight data into analog signals.

The (mini)LED backlight, which transforms the electrical signal into visible light (then regulated for light/color levels by the LCD panel).

Sony believes it masters these disciplines better than any other, even if its LCD TVs do not always have the highest number of dimming zones among TV makers. In 2024, Sony will transition to a new 22-bit miniLED driver (10-bit current + 12-bit PWM, while the LCD panel remains 10-bit). The company claims that this driver is the world’s smallest, enabling the incorporation of more dimming zones.

Ironically Sony is not disclosing the exact number of zones, it did say that each TV size will have more zones than the equivalent Z9D/ZD9, which significantly raised the standard for local dimming back in 2016. Of course, there have been advancements in the field since then.

During a demonstration in Japan recently Sony revealed that when running the same picture content simultaneously on one of the prototype screens, a 65X95L and one of Sony’s 2023 OLED TVs with power meters attached, revealed the prototype to be capable of consuming as much as 30% less power than the X95L, despite all the extra brightness and contrast the prototype delivers.

In comparison an OLED screen could just about achieve a power advantage over the prototype when it came to dark scenes, but whenever a bright shot appeared the screen, the OLED would suddenly leap to using as much as 20% more power than the new prototype Mini LED display now being pushed by both Sony and TCL.

Sony has yet to reveal details of its 2024 TV range but when they do expect something special.

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