During CES Sony showed consumers what the future of TV could look like with its 8K, 85-inch prototype with a claimed 10,000 cd/m2 nit brightness and new supercharged X1 image processor.

The LED LCD FALD (Full Array Local Dimming) 8K set, offered a staggering level of peak brightness – perhaps too vivid to be comfortably watched at length – plus deep blacks and vibrant wide colours. Given that most commercial HDR content rarely reaches 1000 nits of peak luminance (and is often much less), there’s no compelling reason to embrace such insane luminance in the home, however this is an impressive example of what is possible with bleeding-edge tech.

Of course, those wondering where Sony may take its LCD TV technology after the ZD9, will find many clues in this demo.

The 8K prototype employed the latest iteration of its X1 image processor, dubbed the X1 Ultimate, said to be four times as powerful as its predecessor. While the X1 Ultimate can clearly handle 8K, it also has a role to play with 4K.

Demonstrations of the X1 Ultimate image processing chip on a 4K OLED panel revealed a big increase in perceived detail and contrast, thanks to intelligent object-based image processing. A/B comparisons seemed to reveal more texture in generic objects, such as walls, trees and grass.

There’s currently on news of retail products with the X1 Ultimate chipset, however it’s likely that a new generation of high-end flatscreens featuring the silicon will be announced later this year.

The company unveiled an AF8 line of OLEDs at CES 2018, however these sit beneath the A1 launched last year, which continues as the flagship. Our best guess would be on a replacement model for the A1, with the new high-power X1 Ultimate chipset, to follow in due course (the A2 OLED?). Watch this space.

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