Up close with the Sony BRAVIA range: Part 1: Vision
Over the past few years, Sony has built a solid brand behind the BRAVIA name, with 45 TVs in the current range.
In this five part series, we’ll be taking a closer look at the technology behind the badge.
Today, we’re up close with vision, looking at how Sony ensures their BRAVIA sets display the best possible picture.
BRAVIA: Fully HD
All of Sony’s current BRAVIA TVs, except for the 15-inch portable set, are HD Ready. That is, they’re able to take and display at least a 720p signal, be that from a broadcast service such as Sky HD or Virgin Media, from a games console such as the PS3, or from a high definition disc such as Blu-ray.
Many of Sony’s larger BRAVIA TVs (40 inch and over) can display 1080p content. This is currently the highest HD resolution available, and can be found in many console games and high definition disc movies.
It’s worth noting that, although Sony’s smaller sets tend not to feature 1080p, there’s little benefit in having full high definition on smaller screens.
BRAVIA ENGINE: Enhancing the picture
Sony doesn’t simply push the incoming video to the display. It utilises the BRAVIA ENGINE to enhance the picture in real time.
Nearly all BRAVIA TVs feature at least the basic BRAVIA ENGINE, with higher-end models offering enhanced features. Rest assured, though, that even the ‘basic’ engine is no pushover.
Operating purely digitally, thus eliminating any risk of adding analogue noise regardless of the source material, the BRAVIA ENGINE performs a number of functions.
Firstly, it widens the range of gradation between colours, and between light and dark shades, thus smoothing out the picture. It also deepens green and blue hues, which would naturally be weaker colours without enhancement.
Through a process called comb filtration, it then reduces colour distortion, virtually eliminating the age old problems of visual distortion on complicated patterns, and reducing “dot crawl” which can be a problem with some source material. On-screen text, which can often be hard to read, is also cleaned up using MPEG noise reduction.
Contrast is enhanced where necessary, and moving pictures are smoothed in real time to reduce the appearance of jagged diagonal lines, edges, and of colours bleeding into one another. In addition, black pixels are deepened separately, so the rest of the picture remains bright.
High-end BRAVIA TVs also feature additional picture processing power thanks to BRAVIA ENGINE EX and BRAVIA ENGINE PRO.
Functions include composite component technology which offers enhanced noise reduction of the source material, an Image Format Processor to further enhance contrast, the Flat Panel Display Driver which makes final adjustments to the colours in moving objects, and Digital Rectify Creation which enhances even standard definition pictures by effectively quadrupling the number of pixels and makes the image sharper.
BRAVIA ENGINE PRO adds an enhanced version of the Digital Rectify Creation technology which also enhances high definition signals.
BRAVIA: LCD technology
The BRAVIA ENGINE only tells part of the story. In part two, we’ll look at the advanced technology built in to the LCD panel to make the viewing experience better.