Sony Bravia Z4500, EX1 and ZX1: Exciting new TV gubbins

As we were in IFA, we decided it was probably a good idea if we went along to the Sony stand to listen to victory speeches about Blu-ray and more milking of the James Bond franchise

At its IFA 2008 press conference in Berlin, Sony announced that in addition to bleeding James Bond dry, it has three new landmark Bravia TV products available. The first, the ZX1, features a new LED backlight system that makes it just 9mm thick. The second is the Z4500, a 200Hz TV designed to reduce motion artefacts, and the last was a TV with built-in wireless HD, the EX1.

The ZX1's LED backlight apparently works by placing the LEDs at the side of the screen, rather than behind the panel as has been traditional. Sony never turns down an opportunity to impress, and produced the scalpel-thin TV on stage to much flash photography, and cries of joy from the assembled masses.

There were fewer ecstatic outbursts at the news that the company would be releasing a 200Hz TV. We've always loved the 100Hz technology in TVs -- when you're watching movies it can make a huge difference, although 5:5 pulldown is the real saviour of movies. It's fair to assume this is another quest to attach a large number to a product.

Sony also announced the EX1, a TV that features built-in wireless HD streaming. A small box, with all the HDMI inputs you could want, will stream 1080p video to the TV up to a distance of 30m away. Wireless HD has been the dream of the industry for some time now -- it'll make wall mounting much easier -- but it has yet to emerge as a truly credible way of getting media on to TVs.

Both of these TVs will be available in Europe in December this year. We assume the Z4500 will be affordable, but we think it's also fair to assume that the ZX1 will cost several arms and several legs. Still, if you're an octopus-human hybrid, that won't worry you. -Ian Morris

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