Netflix "Calibrated Mode" Introduced With New Sony Master Series TVs (Exclusive)

Sony Z9F Master Series Netflix - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Sony

In a unique collaboration between a consumer electronics manufacturer and a content company, Sony is launching its new top-of-the-line "Master series" OLED and LCD TVs with "Netflix Calibrated Mode," created in partnership with the streaming giant, with the goal of helping viewers see Netflix content in the way that the filmmakers intended.

It's a concern often voiced, particularly in the cinematography community, that what is displayed on a consumer TV with its various settings, is not always the same as the look that filmmakers gave a project in the grading suite.

With this new mode, the menu setting effectively takes picture information that might be used in a grading suite with a professional reference monitor, and applies it to the display of the program, with the goal of allowing Netflix viewers to get accurate color and contrast, including when they are viewing content in 4K resolution or high dynamic range (HDR). This feature, developed by Sony picture engineers with Netflix color scientists only works for Netflix content, at least in today's announced models.

Zack Estrin, executive producer of Netflix's Lost in Space, saw some of his series on the new Sony display with Netflix Calibrated Mode, placed side by side with a Sony professional reference monitor. He claimed that he found the images to be almost indistinguishable.

Scott Mirer, vp device partner ecosystem at Netflix, noted that as the goal was to reproduce the directors' creative intent, Sony was a natural partner as it's also a content creator that understood the issue.

Asked if Sony would develop similar features with other content creators, Sony declined to disclose its product road map but emphasized its desire to reproduce creative intent. The company believes the processor in the newly announced OLED and LCD displays also helps support that direction.

The Netflix Mode will be available exclusively for 65-inch and 55-inch models of the Sony Master series A9F OLED and 75-inch and 65-inch models of the Sony Master series Z9F LCD TVs, which are scheduled for availability in the fall. Pricing has not yet been announced.