Sony's 2022 TV flagships offer QD-OLED and 8K Mini LED

Sony has revealed its new flagship TVs for 2022, and there's a big decision to be made between QD-OLED and Mini LED. On the one hand, the A95K 4K Master Series is Sony's first QD-OLED TV, promising levels of picture quality even higher than we've already come to expect from OLED.

The QD-OLED panel is up to 200-percent brighter than conventional TVs, Sony claims, but it also avoids using a dedicated white pixel. That means the color volume doesn't narrow as brightness ramps up, unlike in traditional panels where a brighter white pixel is used to improve overall screen brightness.

There's no significant change in peak brightness as a result, Sony claims, but a noticeable improvement in color saturation at that peak brightness. Off-angle viewing is improved, too, even over traditional OLED, thanks to no longer needing a color filter.

Powering it all is the Cognitive Processor XR, the dedicated chipset that Sony announced last year. It's been updated for 2022 TVs with new software, focusing on both picture quality improvements that can be measured, but also those "immeasurable elements" that improve the viewing experience in less tangible ways.

For example, the chipset is used to create a depth map of what's on-screen, and then avoid over-enhancing the background. That means the foreground subject stays clearly distinguished. Flexible color contrast control means the XR can independently adjust luminance and saturation; the 2021 software linked the two factors.

It's used to control XR OLED Contrast Pro on the A95K, which balances there brightness for higher peaks in glare and deeper blacks in shadow. It also's also used for XR Triluminos Max, for more detail in colors. The A95K has Sony's Acoustic Surface Audio+ system, where two actuators turn the OLED panel itself into a speaker, supported by two built-in subwoofers. Google TV is used, and there's hands-free voice control.

On the other hand, Sony is also joining the Mini LED crowd. The Master Series Z9K Series 8K TVs and X95K Series 4K TVs also use the updated Cognitive Processor XR, together with XR Backlight Master Drive for more precise control over dimming. Originally launched on the Z9D TV, which could independently control each of its LEDs for dimming or boosting, the system allows for less blooming without a sacrifice in overall brightness on the new, 2022 models.

As for whether you should go with QD-OLED or Mini LED, there Sony is insistent that neither is officially "best" for every living room. Both, it points out, are Master Series sets and thus considered the best of what Sony produces. However, which you should be moving to the top of your shopping list depends on what sort of content you view, and where.

If you're watching bright, full-screen content like sports, particularly in brighter environments, then Mini LED probably makes the most sense. They'll be the brightest TVs that Sony offers. If, however, you tend to view more cinematic content, and in darker spaces, then QD-OLED will probably bring the most rewards, with its broader dynamic range.

The Sony Master Series A95K will be offered in 55-inch and 65-inch sizes; the Master Series Z9K will be offered in 75-inch and 85-inch sizes (both in 8K resolution), while the X95K will come in 65-inch, 75-inch, and 85-inch sizes (all in 4K resolution). Pricing will be confirmed closer to their release, from spring 2022.