Sony has announced US pricing details for its premium 2019 TV lineup, including its first 8K LCD TVs and its next-generation 4K OLED models. The cheapest Sony OLED model will set you back a not entirely unreasonable $2,500 (£1,900), but if you’re more interested in its premium 98-inch Master Series Z9G 8K model you’d better be ready to mortgage the house, as you won’t find one for less than a whopping $70,000 (around £53,800)!
That’s right, Sony is asking for around a year and nine months’ wages for anyone who earns the average UK national income of £29,588 a year. It’s an eye-watering price tag for what would no doubt be the perfect companion for your 8K-capable PlayStation 5, but for that price you'll be assured of huge bragging rights for a good couple of years at least.
That’s assuming you actually have a house to mortgage in the first place.
We should note that these are US price tags only. Pricing and availability for the UK hasn't been announced so far, but Sony usually follows up with those details a few weeks after its US announcements, and the prices aren't usually that far apart so it's certainly a useful indication of what UK buyers can expect.
But what exactly do you get for your 70K US? Well, quite possibly, one of the best LCD TVs ever made. The Sony Z9G is powered by the company’s new X1 Ultimate processor that’s optimised to “handle 33 million pixels of 8K”, according to Sony’s blurb. The chip itself is able to “analyse each object in the picture” at 8K, while the 8K X-tended Dynamic PRO and Backlight Master Driver with full-array local dimming features all add up to one of the best pictures ever seen on an LCD TV. The TV sports further clarity enhancements such as 8K X-Reality Pro, dual database processing and object-based Super Resolution to upscale HD and 4K content to something closer to 8K. Sony also throws in colour enhancements via its Live Colour Technology, Precision Colour Mapping and Triluminos Display tech.
Of course that’s not to say it’s actually worth the hefty price tag. Most people will probably agree that it’s not, especially when the slightly smaller but still very large 85-inch version can be had for as ‘little’ as $13,000 (around £10,000). Certainly, the smaller of the two would seem to offer more value for money.
Then again, many would probably be happy to make do with one of Sony’s 4K OLED models, which come in two flavours this year. The more affordable A8G models are available in 55-inches and 65-inches and are priced at $2,500 and $3,500 (£2,690) respectively. The more feature-packed A9G model comes with a choice of 55-inch, 65-inch and 75-inch options, priced at $3500, $4500 (£3,460), and $8000 (£6,154) respectively. Additional features on these higher-end models include support for Dolby Atmos and HDMI eARC, which should ensure better images and audio. They also come with the more capable X1 Ultimate processor, and will add support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit in a firmware update this summer.
Sony is likely to follow up with UK pricing and availability soon, and we'll be sure to post an update when it does.