Sony’s new Bravia XR TVs boast ‘cognitive intelligence’

Sony Bravia XR 2021 TVs
(Image credit: Sony)

Sony's new line of 65-inch Bravia XR Master Series TVs are starting to roll out to retailers now, following a preview of the TVs back in January. These premium displays come with the Cognitive Processor XR, a new image processor that works to bring "cognitive intelligence" to Sony's products. 

Rather than relying only on artificial intelligence like Sony’s previous TVs, displays with the Cognitive Processor XR monitor what's in the frame in real time in a way that mimics how the human brain breaks down images. 

Essentially, the Bravia XR’s processor divides up a scene into different zones to cross-analyze at once rather than conventional TV processors, which typically detect singular elements, one at a time. In practice, this might mean the chip could focus on anything from a brightly-lit sign to highlight the neon colors or a speaking subject to ensure their skin tone is realistic. The result looks less artificial and helps bring viewers more into the experience with rich, true-to-life tones and depth with easily-defined focal points.

The chip also focuses on performance in 8K, according to Sony's global display and processor expert Kazuo Kii. Both the 75- and 85-inch versions of Sony's 8K Master Series Z9J TVs utilize the XR chip to bolster and optimize 8K performance.

This new crop of TVs also includes HDMI 2.1 features, but variable refresh rate has yet to arrive with the new sets, despite their other advanced options. VRR helps to reduce screen tearing and ensures the display remains in sync with what your system is outputting. It's compatible with Xbox consoles as well as PCs, but PS5 owners aren't currently able to take advantage of it. Sony says VRR is on its way, but has no estimated timeframe for its arrival just yet. 

Models like the 55- or 65-inch Bravia XR Master Series A90J OLED TVs offer deep blacks and bright colors as well as the advanced processing tasks for $2,999 and up.You can also opt for non-OLED models and choose LCD versions of the X80J models with standard image processing instead. Those TVs will start at a much more modest $850 for 55-inch displays and go up to $1,149 for a 65-inch set.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.