A Review of the Sony X940C 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV (2015 Model) – XBR65X930C
The XBRX940C is quite likely the best Sony 4K TV there is to be found among all the models the company has put out in this year or last. With a 75 inch TV screen, this model offers a mix of enormously powerful high resolution speakers, absolutely stunning display technology and top of the line connectivity options. Furthermore, as what is essentially the flagship TV for the Sony 4K television brand in 2015, the XBRX940C also comes with a host of innovative and advanced new technologies such as phosphor-enhanced color, readiness for high dynamic range (HDR) and some truly powerful video processing technology.
Additionally, this model along with its very close cousin the Sony XBRX930C, offers Sony’s new Android TV platform, a direct LED backlighting system and some of the best local dimming technology on the market. Sony’s YouView content catch-up TV platform is just another excellent feature of the XBRX940C’s smart technology that we’ll also be covering here.
In basic terms, this model, the X940C is one of the three or four best TVs on sale today in the entire 4K TV industry and what it offers is some of the best in full-effect, completely modern home video technology. A lesser model from Sony would be the X850C.
It’s hard to know where to begin in describing all the good features that the XBRX940C includes in its design.
For starters, there is the excellent Android TV smart platform and the array of technologies that come with it for maximal ease of interactivity, full web apps access and access to content of all kinds, whether it be 4K video, HD or other formats and audio media. Furthermore, the YouView catch-up TV platform, which has just recently been released to the XBRX940C’s Smart TV via software updates that came in the summer, is a fine addition for optimized and personalized viewing convenience, in a whole line of other smart technologies that come with this TV.
Next, we should also mention the sheer range of display enhancement features that have been built into the XBRX940C. These include an X1 Processor for highly intelligent optimization of both 4K and upscaled HD or SD content to maximal levels of clarity, realism and precision. On top of this, the X Reality PRO upscaling engine itself is a masterful system for taking conventional HD and SD content and converting it into something that really looks more like 4K video. Sony’s newer model TVs all excel in this particular area.
In terms of brightness and contrast, the XBRX940C is nearly unbeatable on the market and is definitely the best that Sony itself has to offer. This is the case thanks to a combination of HDR-capable contrast enhancement technologies for better backlighting brilliance, deeper richer blacks through precision local dimming technology and other features, all powered by the highly intelligent algorithms of the X1 Processor engine.
As for the color palette of the XBRX940C, it comes to the user courtesy of Sony’s own well-tested Triluminous Display technology, which used to be the advanced mechanism of quantum dot nano crystals under the Sony brand. In fact, Sony is the company with the longest track record of delivering QD technology. It’s been in their TVs since 2014, while the next best QD competitor, Samsung, has only had it on offer since this year. However, in the 2015 models like the 75X940C, Triluminous Display now uses phosphor technology in favor of QD crystals and the improvement is very impressive.
Finally, the 75 inch screen of this TV is large enough to deliver excellent presence in almost any living room while also letting you appreciate the crisp clarity of 4K resolution as its meant to be seen.
4.7 - 4 Reviews
Sincerely, there is little in the way of what you’d call “bad” technology or design features in this Sony TV. In virtually all regards, the XBRX940C is at the very top of the entire market and along with the XBRX930C is the best of what Sony itself has to offer, and Sony is no slouch at releasing fantastic 4K TVs. However, a couple of minor stains on near perfection are worth mentioning, though none of them are anything close to deal breakers:
For one thing, the Android TV platform, for all of its user-friendliness still needs a bit more refinement. Nothing terrible here, it’s just that sometimes it delivers a less than precise experience and at times Sony’s own native Smart TV systems seem to offer superior functionality and usefulness. In essence, Android TV isn’t quite as smooth and intuitive as what LG offers with its WebOS 2.0 or Samsung with its new Tizen OS.
Secondly, this is definitely a bulkier TV. Sony has a habit of throwing minimalist elegance out the window in favor of a heavy, robust appearance that’s primarily beefed up by some of its TVs massive built-in speakers. The XBRX940C follows in this tradition and while you’ll get some absolutely stunning sound as a result, this is not your model if you want a TV that treads as lightly as possible on its feet.
Finally, despite the superb quality of the upscaling engine, some types of noise, lower quality content sources definitely scale up a bit off. This isn’t so much a fault of Sony’s X-Reality PRO upscaling engine as it is of crappier content itself but the effect can be a bit too forced with some kinds of HD and SD video.
The bottom line for the Sony XBRX940C is that you’re going to get one of the best 4K TV experiences on the market with this model. The XBRX940C is easily the equal of the Samsung JS9500 flagship SUHD 4K TV for 2015 and offers virtually all of the same essential technologies, just with a Sony design spin. Perhaps the only TVs on sale today that outdo the XBRX940C are LG’s OLED 4K models but they’re also quite a bit more expensive than even this top-shelf TV.
Screen size: 75 diagonal inches
Smart TV: Yes
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate (MotionFlow 1200)
Screen Lighting: Full-array LED backlighting with Local dimming
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
Remotes: Sony touch pad remote, conventional button remote and iPhone App remote
Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, 3 USB ports, Ethernet, RF connection, Audio Output, Component video, 2 x Composite video, MHL (HDMI port 2) Bluetooth.
Sound: 12.5 W + 12.5 W + 12.5 W + 12.5 W + 20 W + 20 W full range speakers with S-Force Front Surround and S-Master sound. Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Plus included
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: over 1 million
Other Display Features: Triluminos Display with local dimming and Dynamic Backlight Control
TV weight without/with stand: 123.46 lb / 125.22 lb
Dimensions: 39 x 76 x 4 inches without stand/ 41 x 76 x 13 inches with stand
Processor: 4K Processor X1
As we’ve already alluded to, there are some very impressive highlights to the Sony 75X9405C. They range from the visual technology to the smart TV software to the audio technology side. To start things off and break away from a recount of visual features, let’s cover the incredible audio features of this TV.
Unlike so many 2015 4K TVs, the 75X940C comes with a body design that completely rebels against the ultra-thin bezel-free minimalism that has become popular among most models (particularly top-shelf TVs from Samsung and LG). This however isn’t just a stylistic, trend-breaking rebellion, it’s done with very sound motivations in mind. Why? Because it allowed Sony to pack the 75X940C with some of the most astonishingly awesome speakers you’ll find built into any TV on the market.
The 75X940C’s magnetic fluid speakers have been a feature of many Sony 4K UHD TVs over the past year or so with new updates being done to them as each new TV model emerges. The same has happened with the 75X940C and the result is a deeply impressive level of sound that’s actually even good enough to be rated as compatible with Hi-Res Audio playback, offering full FLAC support and the capacity to play WAV files of up to a 96KHz/24-bit resolution. You’ll be very hard pressed to find this kind of functionality on any other 4K TV that doesn’t come from Sony itself.
This is a very worthwhile reason for the massive, thick-bodied wedge design of the Sony 75X940C and allows the TV to still look beautifully hardcore with the glossy black of the speakers looking like it has been carved righto out of the rest of the TV.
Moving along and still staying away from visual highlights in the 75X940C, we come to the TV’s array of network connectivity features. The connections on this TV are concealed away below a removable flap that sits at the rear of the set and consist of all the usual ports that any modern 4K TV needs. These include 4K HDMI 2.0 slots, three USB ports for playback on USB—accessible media devices and both Ethernet and Wifi connectivity built into the TV.
Additionally, Sony’s Android TV platform for smart TV lets this model offer both Google Cast support and some extensive interactive features thanks to a compatibility with any networked Android smart devices. Fans of Google’s vast content network can also easily access its thousands of apps and other media features thanks to the fact that a large part of the 75X940C’s Smart TV functionality belongs to Google’s own Android technology.
Furthermore, the smart platform of the 75X940C also includes some very impressive voice-recognition technology for accessing apps, manipulating media and doing all sorts of other entertainment related stuff.
Now, the single most important piece of technology in the 75X940C is definitely the X1 Processor Chip. This tiny internal piece of hardware does more for the wide array of graphics, color and contrast precision rendering in the 75X9405C than anything else and the resulting effect is genuinely impressive to behold.
The X1 claims to create a far superior level of color allocation for a more accurate representation of on-screen visuals and it’s likewise capable of doing the same for light and dark tones for maximal contrast and detail levels between brighter and darker sections of the screen. On top of this, the X1 is credited with superior levels of noise reduction during overall content playback and specifically for playback of content streamed via AVC, HEVC or VP9. In fact, overall sharpness and detailing of finer points of contrast and color are all controlled by the X1 processor through its different internal enhancement engines.
And to be honest, the effect produced is remarkably fine. The color vibrancy, realism and contrast detail levels of the 75X940C’s display look as good as anything produced by any other TV brand, even the Samsung SUHD JS9500 model that is this TVs direct rival. Levels of precision in pieces of native 4K content are presented better than anything we’ve seen in the vast majority of TVs and contrast details are both very precise and highly dynamic, with superb range between light and dark even within very small areas of screen space.
As we’d already said, the 75X940C takes the bar for how good a 4K TV is to some truly applause-worthy heights. While the Samsung JS9500 is a 4K TV that delivers a picture quality which is virtually unbeatable, the 75X940C not only manages to give it a run for its money, it also even possibly beats out the Samsung model in some ways.
For starters, the contrast levels on this Sony model are absolutely superb, with deep, rich black level performance and response thanks mainly to Sony’s highly fine-tuned manipulation of its full-array LED backlighting. Because of this, even very small fine points of light and diverse color can be made to look wonderfully clear and precise against a whole screen of black space. This is very, very difficult for an LCD/LED TV to pull off and the 75X940C does it with almost the same level of precision as LG’s OLED 4K TVs manage. In an LCD TV, this is about as good as technology gets for now and the 75X9405C excels at it.
Furthermore, unlike the Samsung SUHD TVs, the 75X940C manages to deliver some very wide 178 degree viewing angles that are also almost as good as those of an OLED TV in their richness during drastic off-center viewing. This is also very difficult for LCD/LED technology to manage but Sony has done it with the 75X940C.
Finally, in terms of color, the 75X940C is positively exquisite. Sony’s Triluminous Display technology really shows its chops in this model and the technology itself --which previously depended on light-polarized quantum dot nanocrystals that create different colors depending on their size as light hits them—has been even further augmented over where it stood in 2014’s Triluminous Sony TVs.
This is because Sony has now abandoned quantum dots in favor of phosphor combined with their LEDs, converting their light to form colors that are not only much more intense but also very refined and subtle at times. In turn, the realism and depth of the content viewed on the screen of the 75X940C could almost be said to look even better than what we’ve seen in the Samsung SUHD flagship TV. Motion clarity in the 75X940C works to further enhance this depth effect and creates a picture richness that almost looks as if its 3D.
Finally, all of the above technologies work to also make the 75X940C’s HD enhancement engine work spectacularly, as we’d already said, HD content scales up wonderfully and Full HD content sincerely looks almost as good as native 4K video, the difference is almost unnoticeable particularly for content from Blu-ray HD media.
The connectivity package of the 75X940C from Sony is pretty much your standard issue package that all of the premium and even economical 4K TVs of today come with. This model includes four HDMI 2.0 ports with full HEVC, VP9 and HDCP 2.2 compatibility. There are also the usual 3 USB ports and several audio ports along with some analog video and audio connections. As for the internet connectivity of the 75X940C, you get your hands on built-in WiFi connectivity and the usual Ethernet port for making sure you can gain access to the TVs full range of smart TV functions.
The Sony 75X940C 4K Ultra HD 120Hz 3D Smart LED TV is certainly not cheap as a premium Sony flagship model. It sells for $6,999. However, given that this TV is as good as or in some ways possibly better than its Samsung JS9500 counterpart, we’d argue that its actually remarkably affordably priced. The 78 inch JS9500 costs three grand more and only offers 2 more inches of screen display.
4.7 - 4 Reviews
To summarize briefly, the less than perfect aspects of the 75X940C are very few indeed. We could possibly complain that this TV isn’t as thin as rival models and that it’s heavy overall but given the audio power it delivers as a result of this bulk, this is a minor issue. Aside from that, the Android TV platform is not as good as the new smart TV systems in LG’s and Samsung’s 4K TVs.
• Exquisite Triluminous color
• Fantastic, nearly OLED-like contrast levels
• Beautiful 4K upscaling capability
• Generally excellent Smart TV platform
• Superb connectivity and media access
• Unbeatable sound
• Speakers add bulk and weight to TV
• Android TV could use a bit of refinement