The electronics industry has always been plagued by too much jargon that is used to describe similar technologies. Try reading the packaging for several TV sets and you might see totally different language.

Well, the TV industry seemed to make progress toward fixing this at CES 2016 when an industry group called the UHD Alliance announced new standards to help people shop for ultra-high-def, or 4K, televisions. The organization's new Ultra HD Premium logo was supposed to simplify things for consumers: Buy something with that logo and you'd know you were getting top ultra-high-def performance (probably at a premium price).

That clarity for consumers lasted about 24 hours before Sony threw a wrench into the logo works. The company announced a bunch of interesting new TVs at a CES press conference. But at the same time, it announced its own "4K HDR" logo, which appears to compete with the UHD Alliance logo, and is just bound to confuse people. 

According to a Sony spokeswoman, the company wanted a 4K HDR logo that could be used across all its 4K products, not just TVs. It's not clear if the UHD Alliance logo might appear on the packaging for some Sony TVs, along with the company's own logos.

New Set Lineup

Its messaging aside, Sony has an interesting lineup of televisions. Sony's XBR-series TVs have typically been top performers in Consumer Reports' TV Ratings (available to subscribers)—the 65-inch 65XBR-X930C was one of our Top 5 TVs of 2015 picks—so we were eager to hear about the new model.

At CES, Sony announced three new series of 4K Ultra HD televisions, the XBR-X930D, XBR-X940D, and the XBR-X850D. All have what Sony describes as full HDR capability, and will bear the 4K HDR logo.

HDR, or high-dynamic range, televisions can provide a very wide range of brightness, between the darkest and lightest parts of the picture. New HDR standards are prompting many TV companies to make these sets for 2016.

The XBR-X930D and XBR-X940D sets are similar except for screen sizes and their type of backlight. The X930D line is offered in 55- and 65-inch sizes, and uses a new type of backlight technology Sony says can create grid-style local dimming without using a full-array backlight. Local dimming, which divides portions of the backlight into small zones that can be independently dimmed or brightened, depending on the scene, can help improve contrast and black levels.

The X940D is a 75-inch model that does use a full-array LED backlight. All the sets get Sony's Triluminos wider-color technology.

The XBR-X850D-series sets will be offered in 55-, 65-, 75-, and 85-inch screen sizes. They have the Android TV smart TV system with voice search and a new Content Bar interface that lets you access apps and other content more directly. They lack a super-slim design, and they're missing Sony's X-tended Dynamic Range Pro technology that can more precisely control backlight levels to boost contrast and HDR performance.

Sony said sets in all three series will be available early this year, but it didn't reveal pricing.

Sony also showed off a new high-intensity backlight called Backlight Master Drive, which it says can boost brightness to four times the level required for Ultra HD Premium certification. That should result in dynamic range that goes way beyond most current sets, though it's not all that apparent that any TV in your home would require that level of brightness. 

The other news for Sony was that later this year it will launch a new 4K app, called Ultra, from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Ultra is a premium service that lets you buy and stream 4K HDR movies and TV shows from your Sony 4K HDR TV.

You can be sure that we'll be testing several of these new Sony models in our TV labs this year, so we're looking forward to seeing how well they do.