TV manufacturers don’t often allow the public to take a close look at a new model when it’s first introduced. But Sony wanted their world-wide launch of their latest line of 4K Ultra HD TVs to premiere at the grand opening of Video & Audio Center’s Century City Super Store in southern California because VAC doesn’t hide the object of everyone’s desire behind a rope but instead lets the consumer come right up and look close. But there WAS a ribbon being cut before the Sony press conference began: one in which all the principles of Video & Audio Center, along with Sony representatives and the president of the Consumer Electronics Association took part.
Then it was time to see what Sony had brought to present. Joseph Akhtarzad, VAC’s co-founder, introduced Michael Faluso, Sony’s CEO, who spoke first to how Sony provides a complete eco-system for 4K: from studio production (Sony Pictures) to delivery (disc and streaming) to where the consumer can see the results — on a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV. Later the crowd watching would become active participants as the Sony FDRAX100B 4K camcorder captured video images of them and presented it live in native 4K on an Ultra HD TV screen (surprisingly small, it fits in the hand comfortably and has all the conveniences of any of today’s camcorders, even as it records in the utmost high-resolution).
Philip Jones, Sony’s Training Content Manager, took the mic and described some of the features that make the latest Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs so powerful: to begin with the prices have been made more consumer-friendly than anyone might expect. And the panels are brighter and have a greater color palette than was previously possible. But the price doesn’t come with any trade-offs; the flat-panels are as thin as can be imagined, even as the sizes are large (55”, 65” and 70” for example). Everyone could see that the pictures playing across the screen were brilliantly lit, colorful and with so much detail that it almost hurts the eyes. Netflix’s 4K offering, “House of Cards,” was streamed without incident — no set-top box or other device doing the decoding of the 4K stream because these Sony 4K TVs have the decoding built into the hardware. Beside one less “box” to have to hook up, this means that the 4K Ultra HD TVs don’t have to devote as much processing power to playing 4K content — and so slowdowns and other problems that could develop are circumvented. And of course they support the latest HDMI for connecting to external media players (the Sony FMPX1) plus support for 4K/60p playback for viewing 4K sports in the future (hah - take that, sports bars!).
When the talk was over, those who had been viewing from a distance now took the opportunity to move forward and look more closely at the Sony 4K Ultra HD TVs that were on display. Sony provided personnel to questions and queries, but few asked anything: seeing was everything and no one could fault the quality and realism that was being presented.
The evening came to a close with those who had attended agreeing that 4K TV was what was needed in their homes. And thanks to Sony’s pricing on their latest 4K Ultra HD TVs, many of those homes will be proudly displaying a Sony 4K Ultra HD TV.