Sony thinks it knows how to counter the latest OLED and mini-LED TVs from its rivals: add a dash of intelligence. Its 2022 A-series 4K OLED TVs, plus its Z- (8K) and X-series (4K) mini-LED and basic LCD models, can use a new Bravia Cam (the 'bump' shown at top) for video chat, gesture control and even optimizing the picture and sound quality. They can tweak the brightness, voice emphasis and sound balance based on your viewing distance and direction. You can also have the picture dim when you leave the room, or display a warning when your kids get too close to the screen.
The camera is bundled with the flagship A95K and Z9K models, and is optional for Sony's other 2022 sets. You'll need a firmware update to unlock more than video chat, but the company hasn't said when that might arrive. And yes, Sony is aware of privacy concerns. There's a hardware switch to disable the camera, and neither the camera nor the TV will store private data. You can delete any positional data through the TV menu.
The new TVs improve image and sound quality whether or not the camera is present. The A95K uses a new Quantum Dot OLED panel to reproduce a larger color range at wider viewing angles, while the Z9K and X95K have smarter backlighting that reduces mini-LED's characteristic light blooming without lowering brightness. A Netflix Adaptive Calibrated Mode adjusts output based on ambient light, while Bravia Core Calibrated Mode alters quality to match a director's "original vision." And yes, there's tight integration with other Sony products — they can harmonize with higher-end soundbars and speakers (the built-in speakers are also richer), while PlayStation 5 owners can take advantage of both automatic picture mode switching as well as auto HDR tone mapping.
Other improvements include a switch to the unified, media-centric Google TV interface and smaller, simpler remotes that add backlighting and a find-my-remote feature. A95K uses also have a stand that can sit at the front or back to suit your viewing environment.
Sony won't provide pricing and ship dates until the spring, but it's using a familiar size strategy. The Z9K is unsurprisingly limited to 8K-friendly 75- and 85-inch sizes, while the A95K sits in the sweet spot with 55- and 65-inch variants. The A90K is built for gamers' desks and dorm rooms with 42- and 48-inch sizes (and an optional high position stand), while the 'entry' A80K courts the mainstream with 55-, 65- and 77-inch panels. The X95K comes in 65-, 75- and 85-inch flavors, while the full array LED-lit X90K comes in 55-, 65-, 75- and 85-inch versions. The X80K and X85K have 'just' direct LED backlighting, but are available in a wide range of sizes from 43 inches through to 85 inches.