Sony might have perfected Mini LED TVs with its new 2024 lineup

In the high-end home theater segment, Sony TVs are about as good as it gets, and have been for several years now. The company is praised for its image processing and penchant for delivering fantastic image quality in both its flagship sets and its less expensive options like the X90L. So there is a pressure that accompanies each refresh of the programming. But Sony isn’t letting that stop it from making bold moves in 2024.

This year, the company’s main focus is on Mini LEDs. And more specifically, all eyes are on the high-end Bravia 9. There’s still one OLED in the new list – it’s the Bravia 8 – and last year’s A95L QD-OLED also remains. But Sony has spent years refining its own approach of integrating thousands of LEDs into a backlight system and precisely controlling them using technology that the company says is similar to that in its monitors. professional (and ridiculously expensive) mastering programs. The secret sauce is the XR Backlight Master Drive system, which acts as the brains to decide how best to use all those LEDs. And it can be done at a very granular level thanks to new silicon specially designed by Sony for this TV’s Mini LED structure.

To clarify some numbers, the Bravia 9 contains 325% more dimming zones than 2023’s X95L, which already offered phenomenal black levels with barely a trace of noticeable bloom. The X95L also got extremely bright, but the Bravia 9 can be 50% brighter at maximum luminance, Sony claims. It does this while consuming 20% ​​less energy than its predecessor. “Cinema is coming home” is the slogan for this year’s TVs, and Sony wants to reestablish Bravia as the brand capable of delivering an unrivaled viewing experience in the living room.

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The company has always paid attention to the details when it comes to the creator’s intent. In addition to Dolby Vision across the range, all new TVs except the entry-level Bravia 3 support Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode and a new Prime Video Calibrated Mode. The latter allows the TV to automatically optimize the picture of movies, TV shows and even live sports for the first time to present smoother action, for example for Monday Night Football.

The Bravia 9 costs $3,299.99 – and that’s only for the 65-inch model. Sizing up from there, it’s $3,999.99 (75 inches) and $5,499.99 (85 inches). For that money, you get all of the company’s bonus features like “X-Wide Angle” for consistent viewing angles and “X-Anti Reflection” to avoid unwanted visual distractions. The Bravia 9 also adds a pair of upward-firing tweeters to its multi-audio acoustic system for more immersive surround sound. Sony’s built-in TV speakers are on another level from the mediocre speakers you often get from other brands – although you’re certainly paying a lot for this quality.

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The rest of the 2024 lineup includes the Bravia 8, which uses a classic OLED (not QD-OLED). Sony claims it’s 31% thinner than the A80L and the company has reduced the screen bezels by 29%. The Bravia 8 includes all of the same calibrated picture modes as the Bravia 9 and continues to be a solid choice for gaming with its 120Hz panel, PS5 automatic picture optimization and game menu for quickly accessing games. settings. (Multi-view mode also now supports YouTube with your console input if you want to watch a tutorial while going through a level.)

The Bravia 7 is another Mini LED model whose overall performance should be comparable to the X95L, but at a significantly lower price. You’re looking at $2,299.99 for the 65-inch set, and the larger 85-inch model costs $3,499.99. Sony is keeping the X90L Mini LED TV in the lineup without any upgrades. Last year, reviewers ranked it as one of the best options for value, although it could have used additional dimming zones to reduce blooming, which was sometimes noticeable with dark content during of viewing the X90L off-angle. .

Rounding out the 2024 lineup is the Bravia 3, an old direct-to-60Hz LED TV that ditches many of the best attributes of Sony’s other models. However, you still get a taste of the company’s signature picture processing, so this could make for a decent secondary TV somewhere. All Sony TVs continue to run Google TV software with add-ons such as an Eco Dashboard for those who want to keep an eye on power consumption. And the Bravia 9, 8, and 7 are all ATSC 3.0 compliant.

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Sony is also updating its soundbar and audio lineup with the flagship Bravia Theater: Quad wireless speaker system. You can position the four speakers wherever suits you best (they’re now designed for easier wall mounting) and Sony’s 360° spatial sound mapping will do all its magic to get the most out of the 16 speakers. speakers in total.

If you hate cable clutter, this set-it-and-forget-it method is the best solution you could ask for. But at $2,499.99 (before the optional subwoofer), Wireless Life doesn’t come cheap. Sony’s more conventional Atmos soundbars include the Bravia Theater Bar 9 (with 13 total speakers) and the Bravia Theater Bar 8 (with 11). Again, these will map your room for ideal placement of sound effects in 3D space.

And if you’re a fan of more private listening – or want to watch TV without disturbing others at night – the $299.99 Bravia Theater U speaker could have its own unique appeal. You can pair it with two devices at once, and a built-in mic helps handle phone calls while you relax on the couch.

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You can combine any of these external speakers with the built-in sound of a Bravia TV, and Sony will make everything work well together by making sure each device handles the best-suited frequency range.

Sony’s 2024 home theater lineup will be available very soon and should start showing up at your local Best Buy in no time. Samsung and LG are already there with their own formidable competition. Suffice it to say, it’s a fantastic time to be on the lookout for a high-end TV that will keep you entertained for many years to come.

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