Bright Sony Bravia 9 TV heralds Mini LED dominance

Sony Bravia 9 TV launch
Image: Sony.

After keeping its cards close to its chest, Sony has come out swinging with its 2024 TV range, going big on Mini LED technology, led by the new Bravia 9.

When CES 2024 came and went without so much as a peep from Sony, pundits began to speculate as to the brand’s future in the TV market. In recent weeks, LG, Samsung, and Hisense launched their home entertainment devices in Australia. Now, Sony has joined the fray.

Even the official press release seems to acknowledge Sony’s position, claiming it’s “renewing” the Bravia brand. In doing so, the global tech giant has categorised its various TVs into simpler categories under a single banner. It also extends to Sony’s new range of “phantom”-powered Bravia Theatre speakers.

Over the next few months, four series of Sony Bravia models will arrive in Australia, including the flagship Bravia 9 Mini LED TV. OLED is still an option, but it appears Sony is favouring the brighter technology, alongside Samsung and Hisense, recognising that not everyone has a dark living room.

Sony Bravia 9 leads the way with Mini LED

Considered the peak of Sony’s latest range due to its brightness and overall contrast, the Bravia 9 comes in just two sizes: 75 and 85 inches. Although tight-lipped on the exact number of dimming zones and backlights, Sony claims the Bravia 9 is approximately 50% brighter than last year’s X95L TV, and has up to 325% more dimming zones.

Several technologies contribute to this TV’s viewing experience, namely what Sony calls X-Anti Reflection and X-Wide Angle. As the names suggest, it equates to fewer reflections and glare, while retaining picture accuracy when viewed from the side.

While OLED is generally considered the gold standard in contrast and light control, high-end Mini LEDs get mighty close. In the case of Sony’s Mini LED TVs, which also include the Bravia 7 range, a technology called the XR Backlight Master Drive serves as mission control. It uses a “unique local dimming algorithm” that controls “thousands” of backlights to precisely display imagery without losing details in shadows.

Sony Bravia 7 Mini LED TV launch
The Bravia 7. Image: Sony.

Another point of difference the Bravia 9 boasts is its built-in sound. It houses tweeters at the top and sides of the TV to produce more accurate directional audio.

As for the Bravia 7, Sony hasn’t outlined many of the specific differences just yet. It doesn’t include the same peak brightness as the flagship Bravia 9, nor the same anti-reflective tech. However, the 7 does share the same XR processor and precise backlight control. It’ll also be available in more sizes: 55, 65, 75, and 85 inches.

OLED quietly lingers

Interestingly, Sony didn’t make too much song and dance about its Bravia 8 OLED TV. It shares some features with the Mini LED models, like the XR processor and the dialogue-enhancing Voice Zoom 3.

Mini LED is clearly Sony’s focus, with OLED as an option for those who prefer the technology. Sony previously had multiple levels of OLED, which now seem destined to shrink. The Bravia 8 will come in three sizes: 55, 65, and 77 inches.

Sony Bravia 8 OLED TV launch
OLED seems to be less of a focus for Sony in 2024. Image: Sony.

Across the Bravia 9, 8, and 7 models, Sony has revamped its newly titled “Sony Pictures Core” Calibrated Mode. It exists to produce an image as close to a filmmaker’s intention as possible. Alongside the mode are separate calibration modes for both Netflix and Prime Video, the latter of which will also optimise for live sports viewing once the mode arrives via a firmware update.

Rounding out the refreshed range of TVs is the Bravia 3, an LED TV that misses out on most of the headlining features, presumably to offer an affordable alternative. Reflecting this, it comes in six sizes: 43, 50, 55, 65, 75, and 85 inches.

All new Sony Bravia models support the full range of Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and IMAX Enhanced formats, providing plenty of HDR and audio options.

As far as pricing goes, we have to wait and see. Sony didn’t confirm prices in its initial announcement, only providing launch windows. On that front, the Bravia 7 and 3 TVs arrive in Australia starting in May, while the Bravia 9 and 8 come out in July. Sony’s latest range of home audio gear is also scheduled for a July launch.

Read more TV news on GadgetGuy