A Review of the Sony XBR-65X900C 65 inch 4K ultra HD TV
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.
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.
3.2 - 6 Reviews
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.
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.
• 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
3.2 - 6 Reviews
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.
• 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
• Poor vibrancy at off-angle viewing
• No local dimming on screen
• No planned HDR firmware update