Covering television sets can be a chore, even for tech journalists, because let’s face it: Even in this day and age, being interested in a new TV usually still feels like forcing yourself to eat right — special features and screen sizes be damned. I imagine the same is true among shoppers navigating the aisles of appliance stores, hoping to find the right set to bring home and show the family.
As a former retail employee, I can tell you the decision almost always comes down to just two things: size and price. Which in turn, thwarts any and all efforts to upsell. I don’t care that you’re selling a 4K TV that I can interact and have a conversation with. I just want something that’s affordable and will fit my living room nicely.
This hasn’t escaped Sony’s attention. So this year, the Japanese electronics giant has taken a different approach to showing off its latest Bravia line of televisions to the Philippine media, some of whom have followed the industry long enough to witness TVs require special glasses and bend and grow in size while significantly reducing their back fat.
The approach involved collaborating with furniture and lifestyle store Heima to create sets where Sony’s (relatively) new HDR televisions, which were first unveiled at CES back in January, could be displayed in a more familiar environment, in a place that feels like home.
Because we don’t sit on marble floors under bright white lights, surrounded by strangers and rows of flat screens of all sizes, when we binge-watch ten episodes of our favorite show, right?
We binge-watch in private — seated on a couch, remote in one hand and a giant bowl of popcorn in the other. And it is in that environment that I’d want to be sweet-talked into shelling out huge wads of disposable income for a TV that supports high dynamic range, among other attractions.
Now that we’ve approached the subject, can I just say that if I had deep pockets and 4K HDR was the streaming standard and I was actually on the market for a new TV, I’d be clawing at Sony’s door, pointing at a 4K HDR television while screaming, “Take my money!” Alas, I’m not any of those things.
I am, however, genuinely pumped about the latest generation of Sony HDR TVs that push picture quality forward to new levels of awesome.
I can devote a few paragraphs to discuss how HDR results in more realistic colors and a greater range of brightness and shadow detail, but the bottomline is the technology brings a more striking visual change than crowding more pixels into a given space.
Images look crisper in 4K resolution, obviously, but HDR affects viewing experience in more ways than one. It’s the next frontier for the industry, and it sells itself at face value, which is why Sony and other big-name manufacturers are wasting no time throwing their collective weight behind it.
Earlier this week, Sony announced a new service that streams 4K HDR content to compatible TVs for as low as $US30 per movie.
And if it is indeed the next big thing to hit flat screens, you can bet that Sony won’t be needing to spruce up the show floor any more than is necessary.
Pricing for Sony’s 4K HDR TVs starts at Php100,000, or about $US2,200, for the 55-inch model.