A Review of the Sony X830C 4K Ultra HD 120Hz Smart LED TV Series – XBR43X830C, XBR49X830C Versions
As one of Sony’s most affordable 2015 4K UHD TVs, the Sony X830C was first introduced at CES 2015 in January and offers a combination of very good overall home entertainment quality while doing so at a very affordable low price for a 4K TV. Furthermore, the X830C gives you access to pretty much the same level of connectivity as even the best Sony 4K TVs while coming close to delivering the same sorts of visual specs as more expensive models.
While the screen of the x830C is rather small and things like contrast level and a couple other visual specs are a bit deficient, the overall visual experience of watching your favorite native 4K content and any sort of HD content on this new, highly affordable Sony model will not be at all disappointing.
As a starter 4K TV, the X830C is definitely worth its salt despite a few minor flaws that Sony could have avoided.
Despite a lack of certain highly advanced visual specs found in more recent and expensive Sony UHD TVs, the X830C delivers the goods on all the essentials you need for superb home entertainment.
To start with, the connectivity found on this little 4K TV is as complete as it gets. The X830C gives you all the most future-proof connections for accessing the best in both native 4K content from multiple sources and for accessing the wider web of apps, media and HD videos from any other source. 4K-related connectivity on the X830C includes HDMI 2.0 ports with HDCP 2.2 content protection compatibility, USB 2.0 connections, and HEVC/VP9 4K video compression codec compatibility.
The HDCP 2.2 compatibility is particularly important because older UHD TVs which lack it can’t actually gain access to 4K content from any of the latest set-top media boxes or from many streaming providers either. Thus, in this regard the X830C has you covered.
Moving beyond connectivity, the interactive control features of the X830C have been dramatically improved over those of 2014 Sony TVs. This model, along with all other 2015 Sony UHD TVs, features a brand new Android TV operating system and Smart TV platform, and this platform has been widely recognized for its extreme user friendliness and search functionality. Thus, in this regard, this highly affordable little 4K set is giving you something more than even the most expensive 2014 Sony TVs had to offer.
Finally, as far as visual specs go, while extended dynamic range and the enhanced color of Triluminous Display aren’t available in the X830C, you do still get the benefit of Sony’s particularly superb 4K resolution technology
4.2 - 94 Reviews
The Sony X830C is a great TV at its price level but at the same time, the low price does show in the lack of a few key features that even other highly affordable Sony models like the Sony XBR55X850C come with.
For one thing, this particular TV lacks the crucially useful technology of Triluminous Display, as we’d mentioned above. Thus, aside from also missing out on the sharper contrast levels of Sony’s Extended Dynamic Range technology, you also don’t at least get to enjoy the benefits of the very well reviewd enhanced color vibrancy found with Triluminous. Not including this was a bit of a low-ball move by Sony, even if the X830C is one of their cheapest 2015 models.
Furthermore, we should also criticize the fact that Sony still refuses to develop affordable full-array LED backlighting technology and implement it in all of its 4K TVs, regardless of price. Vizio did do this in both its P-Series and M-Series 4K TVs and both lines are even cheaper than Sony’s at the same screen size!
If you want a starter 4K TV that won’t break your budget too much, you’re probably better off going for Sony’s more expensive but generally better X850C model. The X830C is very affordable and of high quality but you might find a bit more value by choosing a Vizio model instead. It will cost even less and at least does offer full-array LED backlighting while including the same level of connectivity.
• Screen size: 43 inch - XBR43X830C, 49 inch - XBR49X830C
• 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: standard Sony 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: 26 lbs/28.2 lbs
• Dimensions: TV without stand: 37 7/8 x 22 3/8 x 2 3/8(13/16) in, TV with Stand: 37 7/8 x 23 7/8 x 7 1/2 in
• Processor: 4K Processor X1 Engine
As we’d mentioned in our previous review of the Sony X850C, one benefit of Sony’s TVs is that they don’t bother with the rather pointless, silly and ultimately useless design feature of curving their screens like Samsung and LG tend toward doing even for smaller TVs.
On a 100 inch TV, a curved screen might possibly be useful for better “immersion” but on anything less than 70 inch TVs, the idea is ridiculous and serves as more of an excuse to charge a higher price. The 43 inch screen of the X830C foregoes this sort of nonsense. This is a sort of negative highlight of the X830C and the entire Sony line of 4K TVs.
Moving on, the XBR43X830C doesn’t offer much in the way of extraordinary highlights given its relatively modest nature. However, it does come with a few cool new technologies that have remade Sony’s 2015 4K UHD TVs.
Of these, the most noteworthy would certainly have to be the new Android TV 4K platform of this highly affordable model. In this, Sony has really delivered some excellent value that any connectivity loving user can appreciate.
The Android TV platform is not only very intuitive in its design, it’s also wonderfully designed in terms of overall functionality. Furthermore, its integrated Voice Search functionalities are among the best you’re likely to find on any 2015 4K TVs. This is definitely a bit of extra for your money in the X830C.
Additionally, the App and Smart TV functions of the X830C’s Android TV platform are excellent at what they do. Sony made the right choice in abandoning its much clumsier old Smart TV OS and leaving this stuff to a company that really knows what it’s doing when it comes to search platforms and content interfaces.
Google has created a TV platform that offers an excellent search functionality, a menu loaded with Google Play options, easy access to the wider web and other Google services and the even nicer bonus of Google Cast, which lets you cast content from a nearby Android, iOS or Windows device like a tablet, laptop or smartphone straight to the TV screen.
4.2 - 94 Reviews
In terms of visual specs, the XBR49X830C doesn’t come close to delivering quality visuals like the considerably superior Sony X900B and other new models from the company do, and this is understandable since this is the company’s most budget minded 2015 4K TV. However, what is a bit hard to excuse is that Sony couldn’t even include the technologies they offer in their slightly larger but also economical 55 inch X850C UHD TV.
Thus, while you do get access to the essentials such as Sony’s superb ultra HD 4K resolution, Frame Dimming technology, CineMotion Reverse Pulldown technology, Live Color, Advanced Contrast Enhancer technology and Motionflow for smoother rendering of fast action, along with a native 120Hz refresh rate; other crucial features that the X830C could have had are missing.
Extended Dynamic Range isn’t available here, and that’s somewhat understandable considering the TV’s price but Sony also didn’t include Triluminous Display, something they did put into the X850C. Thus, the color vibrancy of the X830C, while very good by 2013 4K TV standards, is nowhere near as good as it could be.
On the other hand, the X830C does come with the excellent 4K X-Reality PRO video processing engine and its concordant HD upscaling capability. Thus, with this technology, you can at least enjoy the benefits of Sony’s particularly exquisite skill at upscaling HD and Full HD content into something that looks remarkably like native 4K content.
The connectivity features of the Sony XBR49X830C are the one aspect of its overall build that come identical to those of many more expensive and superior Sony UHD TVs. With this model your physical connection options are identical to those of the X850C and others above its class.
Thus, you can enjoy the benefits of 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, full HDCP 2.2 copy protection compatibility on all HDMI ports, 3 USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, WiFi and even an MHL port.
In terms of virtual connectivity, the X830C acts just like one much large, enhanced PC operating system thanks to Google’s Android TV platform. Thus, you gain full access to the entire landscape of TV compatible entertainment and content apps on Google Play, a full-blown web browsing capability, and streaming connectivity to all the major and minor sources of online native 4K content –ranging from Pay-to-view sources like Netflix and Amazon Prime 4K streams to free online content sites like Vimeo, YouTube and Hulu.
Furthermore, the X830C is fully compatible with a number of 4K media player set-top boxes. Among these, the most interesting would probably be the Sony FMP-X10 4K media player and its library of hundreds of premier 4k movies, TV shows and other programs in full native 4K resolution.
Finally, the X830C does give users access to PlayStation Now. This means that you can stream and play games straight from the PlayStation cloud just as if they were content, right on the TV’s screen, as long as you happen to have a DUALSHOCK 4 controller, which is sold separately.
As we said, the XBR43X830C is one of Sony’s most affordable 4K TVs for 2015 and right now it’s retailing on Amazon.com for just $798.00. The 49 inch XBR49X830C is retailing for $898.00.
4.2 - 94 Reviews
The Sony X830C is a budget, beginner 4K TV and thus it’s understandable that it lacks a number of premium features that are found in pricier Sony UHD TVs.
However, Sony has also gone a bit far in cutting back on specs at this price. The couldn’t even include Triluminous Display and the company still can’t manage to start giving its lower cost 4K TVs a decent full-array LED backlighting system. This practice is a bit of an insult to customers of Sony 4K TVs and the X830C definitely could have included at least Triluminous Display just like the slightly larger X850C and others like it do.
• Excellent refresh rate
• Android TV
• Great price
• Full connectivity package
• Wonderful access to 4K content
• No Triluminous Display
• Relatively low contrast ratio
• The screen is pretty small
• Could have included Full-array LED backlighting