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How Sony Is Making a Comeback
Just as we were beginning to think Sony was slipping away, they appear to be coming on strong with some new products and a profitable quarter to boot. We think it’s partly due to some exciting new products and aggressive stance on 4K TV. Here’s a list of some Sony products we think are pretty cool, but first a little history. Around 1960, U.S. manufacturers turned down a new aperture grille TV technology that made for a brighter and sharper image, which became Sony’s flagship TV technology called Trinitron. It looked better than shadow mask CRTs and was used not only in TVs, but high end computer monitors. The Trinitron color TV helped put Sony on the consumer electronics map. Sony went on to popularize the personal music player with the Walkman and game consoles with the PlayStation. In recent years Sony has struggled to compete with consumer electronics giants like Samsung and Apple, but is now starting to show its old brilliance with some very appealing new products.
Sony’s New 4K TV Uses Quantum Dots for a Better ImageSony has invested heavily in 4K TV technology making it part of every new XBR TV. Whether you think 4K TVs are ready for prime time or only make sense for very large TVs, Sony TV sets like the 65-inch XBR65X900A is a state-of-the-art TV that includes new quantum dot nanotechnology. One of the problems with LEDs as backlights is that white LEDs are made from combining blue and yellow exploiting a property called metamerism to trick our eyes into seeing white. Quantum dots are nanocrystals that emit light in different frequencies when energized and can add missing red and green to backlights resulting in better contrast and color fidelity. Although they have never explicitly stated it, to the best of our knowledge, quantum dots are the technology behind Sony’s trademarked TRILUMINOUS TVs. Sony has also added lots of processing power in the form of their X-Reality™ PRO chip used to upscale HD content to 4K content so you can take advantage of 4K resolution without having to wait for native 4K programming to be delivered to your TV.
Lots More 4K Home Entertainment Products

Sony has many other 4K products to go along with their 4K TVs. They offer a range of 4K receivers including the $699 STR-DA1800ES 7.2 channel Wi-Fi A/V to the $2099 STR-DA5800ES 9.2 channel receiver that offers 130 watts per channel and all kinds of connectivity options including the ability to use your smartphone as a remote control.

Until native 4K programming can be delivered to your set from a cable or satellite provider, on an optical disc, or by some other means, Sony is offering the $699 FMP-X1 4K Ultra HD Media Player with 2 TB of storage that comes pre-loaded with 10 in 4K movies along with some bonus material. At some point you’ll be able to download more content or have the media player reloaded.

Okay, we admit at $24,999 is a little out of range for the average consumer, but if you want the same 4K experience you get in many movie theaters today, the VPL-VW1000ES 4K Home Theater ES Projector with its ability to light up a 200-inch screen, you might want to consider one of these devices instead of that new car you were planning on buying.

Too Bad the New PS4 Game Console Won’t Play 4K GamesThe successor to the Sony Playstation 3, the PS4 is waiting in the wings. We understand that it will support 4K video and photos but 4K games aren’t going to be part of the equation when it goes on sale. We can sort of understand that it would require a very large hard drive and high data rates, but wouldn’t 4K games look great on a new 4K XBR TV. We also wonder if there will be support for 3D games on 4K TVs.
New VAIO Laptops Also Use Quantum Dots
The new $1249 Sony VAIO Pro 13 Ultrabook at 2.34 lbs. claims to be the lightest Ultrabook (a 13-inch MacBook Air is 2.96 lbs.). The new VAIO Pro uses a touchscreen version of the TRILUMINOUS display similar to the one used in their new 4K XBR TVs. Although the VAIO’s resolution is 1920 x 1080p, a 4K display would probably not make sense on a display this size.
Handhelds, Smartwatch and a Bluetooth Handset
If there’s one complaint we have heard about all the cool new mobile gear from Sony, it’s their naming system; too many things named Xperia and too many letters to remember. For example the 5-inch, 13MP Xperia Z bears almost the same name as the brand new 6.4-inch phablet called the Xperia Z Ultra. We’re especially interested in the Ultra with its TRILUMINOUS 344 ppi display and super light 212 grams and super thin 6.5 mm case (a 4-inch iPhone is 7.6 mm and 112 grams). The optional Sony Bluetooth handset pairs with any Xperia Z using NFC so you can leave the phablet or smartphone in a pocket or pocketbook. The new Sony Smartwatch 2 will go nicely with an Xperia Z or any Android phone allowing you to handle phone calls, email, social media or other functions from your wrist.
New Sony Cameras Are Different

The Sony Alpha NEX cameras with their big sensors and interchangeable lenses have received high marks from users and experts, but the new DSLT cameras with their translucent mirrors offer an interesting alternative to the traditional DSLR. Translucent mirrors don’t have to physically move out of the way of the sensor. DSLTs, as they are called, use a translucent mirror that transmits around 70% of the light onto the imaging sensor while reflecting the remaining light up to the camera's phase detection autofocus (AF) sensor. What you see on a high resolution electronic viewfinder comes from the digital image. The Sony Alpha SLT-A58K is a 20.1MP, 5 fps DSLT with a high resolution OLED display that costs around $600 the top of the line $2800 SLT-A99V offers 35 mm full-frame format and 14-bit RAW output.

Bottom Line: This Was Not a Fan Letter
We’ve been watching Sony for the last several years as it struggled to regain its footing under leaders like Sir Howard Stringer. Yes Samsung, LG, Apple and others have cool products but it just seemed like it was time to recognize Sony for, what appears to be a big comeback.

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