Sony KD-84X9005 84in ultra-HD TV review
4K picture, £25k pricetag
Huzzar! The resolution revolution is finally underway. Sony’s 84in KD-84X9005 is the first 4K consumer television to herald a seismic change to the consumer electronics and broadcast landscape. Look beyond its stratospheric price tag – all that expensive R&D has to be recouped somehow – and you’ll find a siren of a screen capable of ground-breaking image quality.
Vive la resolution: Sony's KD-84X9005 84in 4K Ultra High Definition TV
Sony president and CEO Kaz Hirai declared it "a breakthrough TV product” when he did the unveiling at IFA, and he wasn’t exaggerating. The KD-84X9005 begins shipping in the UK from December, exclusively available from posh corner shop Harrods.
The killer caveat is that there’s no native 4K content commercially available to watch on it. To get around this and help us evaluate the set, Sony ponied up a PC with bespoke 4K content. This largely comprised scenic shots from assorted picturesque towns and villages, plus a video performance of the Berlin Philharmonic recorded on Sony F65 CineAlta 4K digital cinema cameras. All very tasteful.
Short on content, big on R&D
It’ll come as no surprise to learn that when fed this full-fat 4K the screen explodes with detail. Indeed, spotting image minutiae quickly becomes addictive. With four times the resolution of Full HD, 4K enables even tiny objects occupying just a few inches of screen space to be held in stupidly sharp relief.
Such clarity proves particularly compelling with digital stills. While 4K movies remain the preserve of mastering suites, we all have photography able to benefit from being viewed large and sharp. Native 4K video content will come, of course, most likely courtesy of HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), the long-term replacement for H.264.
Next page: Breaking code
Re: Will it ever be cheap?
Ignoring any subscription, 25,000 royal portraits is something like 950 average price tickets to the RSC in stratford, or 1250 ringside seats at Giffords Circus, 431 of the poshest seats at the Edinburgh Tattoo, 500 return flights to Budapest. or 135 nights in the Lukimbi Safari Lodge in the Krueger national park. Or 4 Triumph Bonneville Steve McQueen Special edition. There are many more interesting things to spend your money on than 'casualty' or 'the X factor'.
Adding more pixels won't make 'Dallas' into 'Henry V'. Especially as the chance of anyone offering those pixels is slim.
Won't be many of these in Tesco.
Re: Nice to see
Human eye acuity is a maximum of 1mm at a typical viewing distance of 3m. So you'd need to be sitting within 2m of this set to be able to distinguish individual pixels (if you had perfect, or perfectly corrected, vision).
I don't think revolution means what you think it means.
Sky can't even offer us true HD now, it's only 1080i (not sure about Virgin), But I'm not sure how they are going to offer us 4K content within the next ten years without some serious spending on infrastructure, which they don't do anymore.
TV sure does look nice tho', I reckon they'll make great pretend windows when we're living on Mars.
@Dazed and Confused
Re: No need for the average consumer
>Same idiots that insist on valves sounding "better", I warrant.
Only those 'valve fans' are a self-selecting group, the test audience for 48fps cinema (self-correction, I had said 60fps in my previous post... but 48fps is more sensible as it is easier to downsample to 24fps) were film reviewers. Most of their feedback was negative, but it might not have been a fair test because a, the post-production and colour grading was not finished, and b, Jackson notes that it takes a while to for a viewer to 'settle in' to 48fps and the test footage was only ten minutes long.
Valves aren't inherently 'fuzzy', they can sound very clean and 'fast'. They do prefer to be left on, though. 30 seconds warm up before an evening's listening is acceptable for some, but I for one would probably go for the convenience of a solid-state solution if given a choice.
Similarly, vinyl: I have some albums on both vinyl and CD.. the low end on the vinyl can sound much more 'tangible'. However, music is commercially available at 24bit 96kHz+ (compared to CD's 16bit 44.1 kHz) and the equipment to play it back is not that much compared to a lot of hi-fi kit. A fair few sound cards, DACs and AV receivers already can.