Sony unveils 2021 Bravia XR 4K and 8K TVs with with 'Cognitive Intelligence'

Sony's new range can read your mind with focal point AI

Sony XR TV
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony has been teasing a new breakthrough tech for its 2021 screens (and not just its 'Crystal LED' displays) and here we are. The brand new Bravia XR range comes with what Sony is calling the Cognitive Processor XR. 

Sony says that this new processor drops conventional AI and is instead designed to bring images and audio to life in a way that's specifically designed for the way humans see and hear. We're not sure who previous processors were designed for, but this new tech divides the screen into specific zones and analyses the focal point for each scene, applying more processing power to the part of the screen you're actually looking at. 

Instead of just identifying colour, darkness and detail individually, Sony says its Cognitive Processor takes it all in at once and synchronises everything accordingly. It also apparently analyses sound positioning to bring even more accurate audio into the mix. 

"The new Bravia XR TVs convey reality better than ever, thanks to the processing power of the world’s first cognitive processor, which goes beyond conventional AI," says the head of Sony Europe's TV business unit, Masaomu Ando.

And this new tech is coming to a vast line up of Bravia screens in 2021. Sony has revealed that XR technology will be available with the new Master Series Z9J 8K LED, Master Series A90J and A80J OLED TVs, as well as the X95J and X90J 4K LED screens.

The Bravia XR line up has an impressive array of features but, most importantly for new PS5 and Xbox Series X owners, is that all of the new XR range come with full HDMI 2.1 functionality.  This means these will probably soon be arriving in our best gaming TVs feature as they have full support for 4K gaming at 120fps, Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). 

Let's try and not be too salty if we bought last year's Master Series, eh? 

Sony XR TV

(Image credit: Sony)

The XR range also comes with Google TV which will draw together all of your apps and subscriptions in one place to make it easier to keep an eye on your watchlist. This will apparently hand over personalised recommendations and sync up across all devices.

Interesting too is a service called Bravia Core which has been developed with Sony Pictures Entertainment to 'showcase unique Sony experiences.' This is a preloaded service that means we can stream IMAX Enhanced movies and is the first in the industry to come with Pure Stream, a lossless streaming tech that means UHD Blu-Ray quality visuals. 

This is clearly broadband speed dependent but definitely interesting for those hunting for pixel perfect visuals without having to clog up the house with physical media boxes. 

Also streaming wise, the XRs all come with Netflix Calibrated Mode to make sure we're seeing things just as creators intended. 

And, of course, the XR range is smart. Not only is there a hands free voice function as standard - who wants to pick up the remote in 2021? - but full smart speaker compatibility. Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are supported so you can always make sure Jeff Bezos knows when you want to change the volume on your TV. 

Release dates and, most importantly, pricing will hopefully be on the way very soon. 

If you’re looking for a new TV and want to make sure you’re getting the best price, check out our constantly updated best TV deals

Louise Blain

Louise Blain is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in technology, gaming, and entertainment.  She has a weekly consumer tech slot on BBC Radio Scotland and is the presenter of BBC Radio 3's monthly Sound of Gaming show. She can also regularly be found on BBC Radio 4, BBC Five Live, and The Evolution of Horror podcast as well as writing for GamesRadar and NME. Louise loves finding ways that tech can make our lives better every day and no, she doesn't have enough smart lighting yet.