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The Sony Z Series

Here's what's inside Sony's opulent $7K TV

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Despite reports of staggering increases in video streaming on PCs and mobile devices today, TV isn't dead yet. One company who seems to believe this wholeheartedly is Sony, who has worked to cram enough innovation and luxury into its latest flatscreen television to warrant it a hot price tag of $7,000.

Announced Wednesday, Sony's new Z Series televisions are big - coming in 65-, 75-, and 100-inch models. But with run-of-the-mill TVs of the same size starting at around $1,000, one thinks that it would take a lot of effort and technological augmentation on Sony's part to balloon that price sevenfold.

So here's a rundown of what the heck is in these TVs to make them so freaking expensive.

The Ultimate 4K HDR Ultra HD TV
Sony, on its new Z Series TV

The "ultimate" 4K HDR processor

The Ultra High Definition (UHD/4K) resolution standard is making its way to most new televisions today, as are contrast-improving HDR (High-Dynamic-Range Imaging) features. But Sony's Z Series TV, including a new HDR Remaster system (which processes conventional video into an HDR look) and the company's most powerful 4K processing chip yet (called the X1 Extreme), is "the ultimate 4K HDR Ultra HD TV, " the company claims.


A more precise LED backlighting system

To bring even more exact contrast to its picture, Sony has equipped its Z Series TVs with a Backlight Master Drive system that illuminates each behind-the-screen LED independently. This is different from the way normal backlighting systems on TVs illuminate LEDs in clusters, causing sloppy light bleed. And though OLED TVs, like the ones LG makes, are cheaper and illuminate each pixel independently, LED TVs are, and have always been, much brighter than OLED TVs.

So, ultimate contrast? Maybe. Very bright? Yep.

Sony Backlight Master Drive
Sony Backlight Master Drive, illustrated by Sony.

An Android TV system

Baked inside of Sony's new TV, just like it's last high-end series, is Android. This means that not only will your Netflix and Hulu apps be a simple download away, but plenty of Google Play games will be, as well. (Its seems, however, that you'll have to go out and buy an Android TV gamepad to play any worthwhile games - so tack an extra $50 to that $7,000.)

3D compatibility

Whether this trend is dying off or not, the new Z Series TVs do play nice with 3D video movies and shows. So add that to its list of capabilities. The set even comes with a pair of 3D glasses - at no extra charge!

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It's fair to say that all of the above may or may not add up to the thousands in extra bucks that the Z Series costs. (The 75-inch is $10,000, btw.) Of course, who can put a price on knowing that, in your home, you have "the ultimate 4K HDR Ultra HD TV"?

A $7,000 TV?

The Z Series is up for preorder right now. Are you biting?

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