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A Review of the Sony XBR-65X900C 65 inch 4K ultra HD TV

by on May 22, 2015
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Manufacture
Overview

Just as it seemed that 4K TVs could barely get any thinner, Sony breaks the bounds of expectation with the release of its acclaimed X900C 4K ultra HD TV., the thinnest LCD TV on sale to date. At just 0.2 inches thick over the entire breadth of its actual screen, the the X900C is not only a fantastic piece of Sony technology design, it’s also particularly spectacular as a 4K TV that you could mount on your wall for a very cool floating effect.

In addition to this remarkable thinness, the X900C is also one of Sony’s latest and best 2015 4K UHD models and has been much anticipated by 4K buffs and select TV buyers since its initial presentation to the public at CES 2015 in January.

Combining all the finest classical 4K TV features and technologies with some very interesting upcoming HDR capabilities, the X900C is definitely going to be one of the more interesting and unique 4K models from Sony in 2015. While it certainly isn’t a highly affordable model, more serious UHD home entertainment fans will definitely love it in almost every possible way.

The Good

It’s hard to even know where to start in describing all the positive features that the X900C comes packed with. This is one of Sony’s premier 2015 TVs and it really does show in the model’s overall design and specs.

The physical build of the TV is simply beautiful to behold. Sony doesn’t bother with the silly gimmick of curved design and what you get as a result is a simple window-like machine of pure elegance whose extraordinarily clear 4k resolution, wonderfully realistic color rendering and razor thin screen combine to create something that looks futuristic, minimalist and absolutely elegant whether its propped on its stand atop a TV table or mounted on your wall as if it were simply floating there.

Aside from these excellent physical attributes, the X900C also comes packed with some of the very best in home entertainment technologies that Sony has to offer.

For starters, it comes with the exquisite color rendering capacity of Triluminous Display, which is basically quantum dot nanocrystal technology by another name. In addition to Triluminous, there is also the presence of Wide Color Gamut and when the two visual innovations combine together, what you get is a truly superb picture quality that at least gives the best from Samsung such as the JS9500 and even from LG’s OLED 4K TVs a run for its money.

Additionally, the X900C includes the X-Reality PRO upscaling engine and its attendant video processing system. This means that even if you can’t get your hands on native 4K UHD content all the time (unlikely with a Sony TV), all of the HD and Full HD 1080p content that appers on your screen can be upscaled in a way that genuinely looks closer to 4K. When it comes to upscaling engines,, every major brand on the market offers one but Sony is known to be the best of the bunch at delivering actual quality in this area.

Check the Price of Sony XBR-65X900C 65 inch 4K ultra HD TV

3.2 - 6 Reviews

The bad

Very little about the X900C could in any way be called bad, but the TV does indeed have a couple of minor deficiencies that were disappointing to find out about when it was announced.

For one thing, unlike the other major Sony 2015 4K models, the X930C AND X940C, the X900C will not come with a specific HDR content enabling firmware update later towards the middle of 2015. Yes, it does feature X-Tended Dynamic Range but this isn’t quite the same as the HDR augmentation that these other Sony models will be receiving via firmware update.

Aside from this, we should also point out that the X900C doesn’t come with the local dimming technology that Sony has offered in the slightly older X900B. This isn’t a major defect but it wouldn’t have cost Sony that much to add it in to such an otherwise fine 4K TV.

Finally, the X900C does at least slightly suffer from the old 4K LED TV problem of color and contrast loss at off-center angles. It doesn’t suffer from this nearly as much as the majority of UHD TVs on the market, but put up next to an LG OLED TV, the inferiority of LED is noticeable in this regard.

Apparently, a lot of buyers are reporting lots of issues with light bleed.

Final Thoughts

Without a doubt, its few very minor deficiencies aside, the Sony XBR-X900C is one spectacular 4K UHD TV. It more than offers enough visual and connectivity technology to guarantee a superb 4K entertainment experience and its Smart TV functionality along with its connectivity are both top-notch among new Sony TVs.

Specs

• Screen size: 65 inch 4k TV - XBR65X900C, 55 inch version - XBR55X900C
• Smart TV: Yes
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes, X-Reality PRO upscaling engine
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz
• Screen Lighting: edge-lit LED backlighting
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes WiFi, Blue Tooth, NFC and Ethernet port
• Remotes: One-flick remote and standard button remote
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, 1 MHL port 3 USB 2.0, component, Digital Audio out, Composite, Ethernet
• Dynamic Contrast Ratio: Over 1 million
• Audio: 10W + 10W down firing 2 channel speakers with S-Force Front Surround sound
• TV weight with/without stand: unknown
• Dimensions: TV without stand: not yet known
• Processor: 4K Processor X1 Engine

Highlights

The major highlights of the Sony XBR-X900C would definitely have to be its design and 4k display specs.
As we’d already covered above, this is a beautiful 4K TV and though it’s not uniformly thin everywhere thanks to the thickened rear end along its bottom (where all the internal hardware goes), the minimalist effect is spoiled only very slightly by this small deviation from the ultra-thin 7 mm screen. However, mounted to a wall, the X900C would look particularly spectacular and its physical design has been put together to facilitate doing this in a way that maximizes the appearance of a large black window looking into another world.

As for the visual highlights of the X900C, it offers a powerful combination of X-Reality PRO HD content upscaling, X-Tended Dynamic Range and Triluminous display. These three work together to make any content you view on the TV --be it native 4K video, 1080P Full HD or 720p HD video- into a genuinely exquisite viewing experience.

Finally, we move on to the Android TV operating system, one of the primary highlights of the X900C and a feature now found in all 2025 Sony 4K TVs. In this area, Sony made the very smart move of letting go of its own Smart T OS design and entrusting the task to a far more experienced player, namely Google. Quite frankly the improvement is major. While Sony’s original 2014 Smart TV platform wasn’t terrible or anything like that Android TV beats it by a long shot in a number of ways.

The overall interface you as the user deal with is markedly more intuitive and navigable and the search features of Android for TV are superb. Best of all, there is a voice search feature in the X900C’s Android TV interface that has got to be one of the best we’ve ever seen. It’s fast, highly accurate and it’s good at hearing your specific commands even under less than ideal conditions of pretty intense background noise.

Furthermore, and obviously enough, the menu of the Android TV system is excellent for searching through Google Play options and apps. It also lets you log into all of your Google services easily and quickly.

Finally, the Android TV platform and Sony itself have worked together to make Google Cast a very efficient and easy to use option for the X900C. This function lets you beam content from any nearby iOS or Android smartphone, tablet or even laptop straight on to the much larger TV screen. This is particularly useful for games, movies and photos.

Visual Specs

In terms of visual specs, the XBR55X900C is only bested by Sony’s soon to be HDR-capable X930C and X940C 4K TVs. In every other regard, the TV offers a truly superb visual technology package that was only until very recently the best of its kind in the entire 4K TV market regardless of brand.

We say this because Sony was until 2015 the only player on the market that was regularly using quantum dot technology in its 4K TVs, in the form of the well-known and acclaimed Triluminous Display. Triluminous is still there and because Sony has had plenty of time to perfect it, it works exquisitely at delivering a much more vibrant and broader color range than a conventional 4K TV could offer.

The overall effect of the Triluminous Display technology is a color rendition that’s much more realistic and true-to-life than what man if not most of Sony’s competitors offer. In fact, only Samsung and LG could be said to come close in terms of color gamut thanks to their own quantum nanocrystal layers in some of their latest 4K TVs.

In addition to the Triluminous feature, the X900C, as one of Sony’s premium TVs, also includes the company’s X-Tended Dynamic Range technology, which is aimed at enhancing contrast to above-the-normal values. This contrast enhancement isn’t quite the same thing as the HDR capacity of upcoming firmware updates on Sony’s X930C and X940C TVs but it is a superb augmentation of ordinary LED LCD TV contrast levels and the resulting effect is very much visible, especially in conjunction with the wide color gamut of Triluminous.

In effect, these two key display technologies create a far richer, more realistic and almost three dimensional picture quality that shows even with conventional HD content.

And speaking of HD content, this is where we mention the final but crucial component of the X900C’s visual specs. This is the X-Reality PRO 4K processing engine inside the TV, designed to, among other things, upconvert normal HD and Full HD content into something that looks more like 4K UHD resolution.

At this particular feature, Sony truly excels and the X-Reality PRO engine is quite possibly the best upscaling system of its kind among all the major brands. Throw in Triluminous Display, and wide color gamut, and the HD content you also watch on the X900C will really look spectacular, almost as good as fully native 4K ultra HD video.

Connectivity

The connectivity package of the XBR55X900C is more or less the standard version that all of the company’s 2015 4K UHD TVs come with. It’s fully future-proof and consists of several HDMI 2.0 ports for attaching third party media devices and 4K media players or set-top boxes. These HDMI ports also come with full HDCP 2.2 content copy protection integrated into them, meaning that you’ll have no problems accessing any kind of restrictive content from third party players.

In addition to these, there are also several USB 2.0 ports, and MHL port, Ethernet connectivity and of course, full WiFi capacity.

Finally, the TV comes with the whole package of 4K streaming apps functional and ready to go via its web-connected Android V smart interface. Since the XBR55X900C is fully HEVC and VP9 codec compliant, streaming and decoding 4K content from Netflix, Ultraflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video straight to the screen is not a problem unless you have an internet connection that’s slower than 20Mbps.

If in case you do have a slow internet service plan, you can still get your delicious native 4K movies and shows via the Sony FMP X10 media player (sold separately). I’ts bloody expensive at an additional $700 USD but it does offer access to the single largest collection of UHD content available from any content provider today, thanks to the clout and reach of Sony Studios, the company’s media and production arm.

Pricing

The Sony XBR65X900C is for sale but receiving quite a bit of low ratings due to light bleed. The Sony XBR55X850C is better than the X900C but with the eventual firmware inclusion of HDR capability and it’s retailing right now for less. Update Nov 2015, do not buy, buy the Sony XBR55X850C or the Samsung UN48JS8500 instead.

Check the Price of Sony XBR-65X900C 65 inch 4K ultra HD TV

3.2 - 6 Reviews

Not so Great

Again, the XBR65X900C is far too good a TV to have anything in the way of any serious defects but to quickly summarize the few deficiencies we did find:

It doesn’t include the local dimming technology of several other top-shelf Sony UHD TVs, despite its otherwise comparable quality.

The X900C suffers the same problem as all other LED TVs on sale today in that its display quality fades in color and contrast when viewed from wider off-angles. However, this is just the nature of conventional LCD LED TVs and Sony can’t much be blamed for it.

Positives

• Excellent refresh rate
• Superb contrast ratio
• Very high color gamut
• Truly beautiful, minimalist physical design
• Full connectivity package
• Excellent HD upscaling engine via X-Reality PRO tech

Negatives

• Poor vibrancy at off-angle viewing
• No local dimming on screen
• No planned HDR firmware update

Editor Rating
 
Features
A

 
Quality
B

 
User Friendliness
A-

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
B-

Total Score
B

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User Rating
 
Features
B

 
Quality
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User Friendliness
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Connectivity
B+

 
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B

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Bottom Line
 

The X900C is going to be a truly superb 4K TV when it comes out and as far as Sony TVs go, it’s as fine a choice as any of the company’s other top-shelf models.

Check the Price of Sony XBR-X900C 65 inch 4K ultra HD TV

3.2 - 6 Reviews

 
11 comments
 
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  • jonathan
    December 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

    Hello, was wondering if you could give me some advice on a selection I will be making within the next few days. Not a huge tech guy but want quality. Looking at the sony xbr65x900c and the Samsung un65js8500. Which one would be better to have, weare nto gamers and typically watch satellite tv and sports a lot. Wife will most likely stream since the capability comes with on both. any advice would be helpful, on these or others I should be looking at. thanks.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 14, 2015 at 7:21 am

      Hi Jonathan, I replied to the other copy of this comment which you posted in the main “TV” page. Thanks

      Reply

      • Phil
        December 16, 2015 at 9:48 am

        Hi Stephen, what was the reply to the question above on which TV to buy, Samsung 8500 or Sony 900c? I am trying to decide between the two TV’s myself. I have had two Sony 850C that the motherboard’s were bad, so returned them. So, I am a little hesitant on the Sony. Depending on who you talk to at Best Buy, HH Gregg or Fry’s Electronics, seems more go away from the Sony. Thank you for your thoughts on this decision.

        Reply

        • Bill
          January 8, 2016 at 6:39 am

          I wish to preamble my response with that I’ve been a Sony-Flag Waving LOYAL AS H*** customer for quite the number of years – thus this is _not_ in any way an influenced response. Just trying to guide the next person researching this unit.

          I purchased this unit at a local A/V retailer just before the Christmas, and prices dropped- and not only paid (“that premium you shell out when doing so” at a “local” place) but add our local state sales taxes on this unit to go along with it, was by no means a TV in the “lower” category of products. Actually, when you read further, I’d say quite over-priced even at POST- Christmas prices.

          Initially out-of-the-box, I was already disappointed going from an OLED (I went backwards from the OLED -> back-lit LCD) to this exact same Sony model. WHY(?) was due to my OLED dying 21 days after the warranty expired. The “two-letter” manufacturer, so far for my budget made an affordable – again, for MY budget, one but if they break THAT soon, it’s time to research alternatives. Hence my purchasing the Sony “flagship” model for 2015.

          1st of all, my OLED was absolutely “The” (and still is) “The” best picture quality in all aspects I’ve ever been spoiled with on ANY TV or HD projector in the same category.

          Back to my Sony XBR issue – I researched the unit (on-line) _AFTER_ I purchased it and noted that quite the # of reviewers were describing an issue, that till this very day that I’m typing this, STILL hasn’t been addressed/fixed out of the Sony factory. I know this because the “defect” those who described it mentioned it only got worse over time. I _was_ ready to “settle” for a subtle flaw, but after realizing I too was exposed to the SAME issue(s) with the pictures, and knowing (or reading) that it would progressively get worse did I decide to return the unit for another brand and model.

          For that amount of MSR price, (those too from the on-line retailers) there should be _NO_ “defects” let alone _any_ “issues” with it. – I’ll close with this: RESEARCH this unit before you shell out that kind of $$$. Mind you, when you DO, pay _NO_ attention to the reviewers who get units from manufacturers (for _free_) and write their review. They are referred to as VINE reviewers. (Heck, if someone sent me a FREE $3K TV, I’d write a good review, too – and innocently “forget” or not mention that particular defect.

          I ended up with the “S” brand in the same price-range, have had it for only ONE night, but the difference (and lack of flaw as in this Sony unit) is incredible. If ANYTHING changes after I’ve had that “S” brand TV and I note it too isn’t “perfect” – I’ll update my post.

          RESEARCH, BIG TIME!!!

          Reply

  • bob
    March 16, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    I am going to return my sony 900c by 3-28.

    Reply

  • Krimzon
    April 15, 2016 at 10:33 am

    In my opinion the Buyer should beware of this TV, it has a design issue that as far as I have seen effects every tv of this model, the two bottom corners have a lot of light bleed as well as the top two corners (top not as bad) it washes out the corners with bright light so if you are watching anything with a dark picture or letter box you will have to deal with bright corners I had purchased this tv and then requested a replacement the replacement came with the same issue and then I went out to the stores and this tv was on display at all 3 stores and the corners were the same bright light washing the corners out, the sales people said at two of the stores that is was just from so much store use and lights being turned so high and so I asked one of them to open and plug it in and if there were no bright corners I would buy it, guess what out of the box it had bright corners too, the only store that was upfront was best buy the guy said the tv had issues and gets returned all the time so long story short I have yet to see a good 900C as of yet and it seems to be flawed and for 2k it’s not acceptable. The 850C or the 900 D seems to be great but watch out for the 900C unless quality doesn’t matter to you. As I said this is just my experience and opinion but Being disabled I went through a lot of trouble for this tv and just wanted to share

    Reply

  • Andrew Dodsworth
    May 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Do not buy this TV unless you like poor picture quality and poor customer service.

    I got one from Best Buy and had it installed and delivered by the Geek Squad. The light bleed is shocking, all the way around the edge but worse in the corners.

    Called Sony, sent them photos and after 5 days they came back and said it was in spec! What rubbish.

    I took the TV back to Best Buy and bought an LG.

    I will never buy anything Sony again. This TV is a waste of money at over $3000. Very poor show Sony.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      May 9, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      This is a very surprising experience you had Andrew. We’ve seen the X900C models up close and have noted some very good display specs (though we think Samsung’s 2015 SUHD TVs and some of the higher-end JU-Series 4K TVs performed better. However, display quality from one TV unit to another can vary slightly. It has been known to happen. What also surprises me is that you replaced the TV with an LG model. Was it an OLED or an LCD TV? I ask because LG’s 2015 LCD models consistently under-performed their Sony counterparts.

      Reply

  • Faisal
    June 13, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Hi, in the review it is mentioned X-Tended Dynamic Range but this option does not exist in my Sony 65x900c? I would like to turn this option on.

    Anyone please?

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      June 14, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Hello Faisal, Our sincere apologies. The X900C does not actually include X-tended Dynamic Range. In order to have this feature, you’d need to buy the X930C or X940C TVs from 2015 or their 2016 cousins, which all offer 4K HDR technology from Sony. We have corrected the review to cover this mistake on our part.

      Reply

  • DAVID
    October 20, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    This tv has HDR update. Please revise review.

    Reply

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