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Sony A9 4K OLED TV Preview

Now with a 48-inch screen size

by Phil Hinton

What is the Sony A9?

The Sony A9 is the company’s latest 4K OLED TV and includes all the features found on last year’s models such as Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. New this year is the inclusion of X-Motion Clarity for improved motion and easy connectivity to Apple devices using AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. The A9 comes in a single 48-inch screen size that is sure to please anyone with limited space.

This is a preview of the upcoming model and will be replaced with our full in-depth review when we receive the review sample.

Design, Connections and Control

The Sony A9 sports a minimalist design thanks to the use of Acoustic Surface Audio and a small, central aluminium stand that provides users with flexibility in smaller spaces.
    There are HDMI 2.0 inputs with support for eARC (enhanced audio return channel), but Sony still hasn’t embraced HDMI 2.1, which seems strange with the launch of the PS5 later this year.

    You can connect the A9 to Apple devices thanks to support for AirPlay 2, which allows users to stream movies, music, games and photos to their television right from their iPhone, iPad or Mac. In addition, Apple HomeKit technology provides an easy, secure way for users to control their television from their iPhone, iPad or Mac.

    In addition, with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa enabled devices, you may cast and control videos from YouTube with Google Home, or change the channel or volume with Amazon Alexa enabled devices.

    Features and Specs

    The Sony A9 has a host of features such as the X1 Ultimate picture processor, which includes Object-based Super Resolution, Object-based HDR Remaster, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR and Dual Database Processing.

    There’s also the Pixel Contrast Booster, which takes advantage of the panel’s eight million self-illuminating pixels by using Sony‘s panel controller for OLED to bring a significantly enriched visual experience with deep blacks, enhanced colours and a wide viewing angle.

    The A9 has support for 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) with wide colour gamut (DCI-P3/Rec.2020) and high dynamic range (HDR10, Hybrid Log-Gamma and Dolby Vision). Sadly, Sony still doesn’t support the HDR10+ dynamic metadata format.

    The addition of X-Motion Clarity for OLED results in brighter, clearer and more fluid motion than ever before, significantly enhancing sports viewing.

    There’s a new Ambient Optimisation feature that uses sensors and microphones to optimise the picture and sound quality in any consumer environment. It will automatically adjust the picture brightness to the ambient light in the room, boosting the brightness in bright rooms and reducing it in dark rooms for an improved viewing experience.

    The A9 also includes Sony's Custom Mode that, along with other calibrated viewing modes, provides various viewing options to suit users' tastes while faithfully preserving the creator’s intent. To date, Sony has decided not to support the new Filmmaker Mode.

    In terms of audio, the A9 includes Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio and an acoustic auto calibration feature. The Acoustic Surface uses actuators behind the panel, and turns the entire screen into a speaker. This results in an enhanced sonic experience, and there are two subwoofers for a better bass response. The A9 can also decode Dolby Atmos internally, producing an immersive experience through the use of psychoacoustic processing.

    The A9 features Android 9.0 Pie with the Google Assistant, Google Play Store and Chromecast built-in, which offers users easy access to content, services and devices via its extensive platform.

    Sony’s original user interface menus and voice controls are also enhanced for better daily use, and Sony’s voice-activated TVs work alongside Google Assistant to provide a smarter viewing experience.

    Verdict

    The Sony A9 is an attractively designed and well-specified 4K OLED TV. Its use of a 48-inch screen size is sure to please those with limited space, and it includes all the features found on last year’s models. It also boasts some new ones such as X-Motion Clarity and AirPlay 2/HomeKit support, but the lack of HDR10+ support will disappoint.

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