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Sony X930D / X940D 4K HDR Ultra HD TV Review (XBR55X930D, XBR65X930D, XBR75X940D)

by on April 10, 2016
Details
 
Manufacture
Overview

The X930D/40D is an impressive combination of technologies, delivered in a particularly attractive design. Giving you everything you would hope for from a 4K home entertainment-worthy system. Furthermore, this latest and most powerful of the Sony 2016 Bravia TVs is highly capable when it comes to high dynamic range and some spectacularly rich color thanks in part to that same HDR technology and Sony’s own by now classic Triluminos Display color enhancement capacities. In terms of physical appeal, Sony has also delivered some very new and much lighter-bodied design craft for this and all of its 2016 4K TVs, but particularly as far as the X930/40D is concerned, considering the bulky body and massive side-mounted speakers we saw in the 2015 and 2014 cousins of this flagship model.

We should also note that Sony’s 2016 4K TVs and the X930/40D especially, are the company’s first models to come with full UHD Alliance Ultra HD Premium certification. Much like their Samsung 2016 SUHD cousins, the XBR TVs of this year all come with what are arguably the best HDR and color dynamic specs standards to-date integrated into them. Only last year’s X940C was arguably capable of matching this level of quality.

As for the X930D vs. X940D distinction --in case you’re wondering—both the X930D and X940D are essentially the same 4K HDR TV except that the largest in the line comes with full array LED backlighting, a 75 inch display and the very top end in all Sony 4K TV specs. Thus it’s distinct name as the X940D. The same was the case in 2015 with the X930C in its different sizes, with the largest full-array model being called the X940C. The 55 and 65 inch models are denominated as the X930D.

The Good

Replicating black truthfully and with near perfect darkness onscreen has been a challenge only LG and Panasonic have been able to successfully take on to date and only with their OLED models. Sony’s X930/40D however comes pretty close. Thanks to new LED backlight technology, the Slim Backlight Drive, which uses a grid-array edge-mounted system rather than a back-lighting system that distributes the back-lighting source precisely to each different region of the screen. As content plays, the screen is able to recognize high contrast areas and dynamically adjust the backlight, highlighting blacks and making other colors comparatively more vivid, a process called ‘local dimming’, but taken to a relatively new degree of precision and light isolation. The larger 75 inch X940D features a slight and somewhat more precise and powerful variation on this backlighting technology with its full array LED backlight, which improves even further on Slim Backlight Drive.

Furthermore, both models have their Ultra HD Premium certification to live up to, thus guaranteeing that the local dimming and black levels achieved by these and other above technologies manage to deliver at least 0.05 nits of darkness, the minimum UHD Alliance amount for LCD 4K TVs with HDR.

Coupled with Sony’s Triluminos technology for optimal color mapping, the result is quite breath-taking. Colors are not only rich and vivid, but incredibly natural, with no dimming, blooming or over saturation of subtle colors - an impressive feat for any LED TV. In our opinion, the only other range that comes close to providing such true colours and contrast is the slightly pricier LG OLED range, more specifically the EF9500 and the 2015 LG G6 OLED 4K TV, the top of the brands current 4K lines.

But the Slim Backlight Drive and Triluminos technology aren’t the only aspects that contribute to the X930D/40D's awesome picture quality. Sony has ingeniously bypassed the troubles with edge-lit HDR through their unique use of quantum dot technology. Where brands like Samsung have often used a ‘film’ of quantum dots over the LED base, like in their SUHD range, especially the JS8500, Sony has placed quantum dots in glass tubes alongside the LEDs in the X930D, which results in the edge-mounted diodes shining directly through them, actually improving luminescence and making the LEDs more efficient, particularly with the display of red and green colors.

Concern that the edge-mounted LEDs could be a problem when viewed from an angle turns out to be unnecessary; and only viewing at extreme angles affected the color levels. That being said, Sony’s X930D 55 and 65 inch models have pulled off the same feat that Samsung’s new 2016 SUHD TVs succeeded at. Namely their capacity for delivering 1100 or more nits of peak brightness for what is currently top-shelf HDR quality while merely being edge-lit televisions. In basic terms, this means that Sony, like Samsung has developed some truly, stunningly bright LED technology for its 2016 models and this flagship series as well. The effect is notable in the peak brightness this TV offers and in the rich deep quality of its black levels, both working to produce some superb contrast.

To enhance the picture quality even further, the X930D/40D is equipped with 4K X-Reality PRO, which uses a reality-creation image database that analyses every pixel in real time to bring stunning texture, contrast and color detail to any content from broadcast TV to video streaming. It’s up-scaling at its finest and in our experience lives up to the hype Sony’s own marketing gives to it. The upscaling engine offered by the X-Reality Pro engine does a fantastic job at sharpening Full HD, 720p content and even manages to usually (though not always) deliver some great 480p video enhancement for content that was originally formatted to a high degree of quality.

Interestingly as well, even native 4K video is upscaled in a way with Sony’s X930D and X940D TVs. Its resolution doesn’t improve but the perception of superior dynamic range certainly does, since the native HDR specs of both TV variants improve the contrast in SDR 4K content sources. This is the effect we noticed when observing the X930D displaying SDR video next to a non-HDR Sony X810C model. This effect in no way compares to the quality of native HDR video on the TV’s HDR display but it’s notable nonetheless.

Going beyond backlighting technology, the X930D/40D has everything that a brilliant 4K TV should have. HDR protocols are fully supported, with Amazon Prime already on board and 4K ultra HD Blu-ray discs definitely looking superb in the TV’s display with their encoded HDR fully on display. Furthermore, Sony’s own “Ultra” streaming 4K HDR movies service can now also be accessed from the X930/40D TV and all other Sony Android TV HDR models, with steep prices per movie but a very decent selection of 4K HDR titles nonetheless. Ultra is only available in Sony 4K TVs for now.

Sony has augmented the hyper-intuitive and user-friendly Android TV operating system for the X930D/40D, giving users unrivaled connectivity and customizable content options as never before. 3D technology is right at home in the X930D/40D too, and you can expect the same levels of impressiveness.

One of the biggest changes the X930D/40D brings is in its design. Sony has moved away from last years’ bulky side mounted speakers like we saw on the XBR-75X940C, to a strikingly sleek and clean look. Razor thin – thanks to the Slim Backlight Drive, the X930D/40D with its 11mm thick bezel can be mounted almost flush on the wall for a super stylish home entertainment system. Framing around the screen is also down to an absolute minimum, further enhancing its looks and viewing experience. Apart from losing the wing-like speakers, the X930D/40D also moves away from last year’s bulky wedge design to a clean minimalistic stand that looks elegant and hides unsightly cables while also weighing a decent amount less.

Check the Price of the Sony XBR65X930D 65-Inch 4K HDR Ultra HD TV (2016 Model) on Amazon

5.0 -11 Reviews

The bad

While axing the side-mounted wing speakers for the X930D/40D does wonders from a looks perspective and helps those of you who have space issues, it doesn’t do anything for the sound quality. Moving to internal speakers takes the viewing experience a step backwards, with less clarity and power. That being said, while some users might find the lightening up in the 2016 edition of the X930/40 TVs to be practical choice on Sony’s part, it is hard not to miss that meaty, robust full surround sound system we saw in 2015. The X930/40C TV easily delivered the best audio we heard in any of last year’s flagship 4K TVs and still does thanks to this particular cutback for 2016. Yes, the newer version of last year’s TV has really suffered in the audio department compared to its predecessor.

Next up, there are the display technology issues we didn’t like with the otherwise excellent X930/40D flagship models. Most fundamentally, there is the quality of the X930D variant’s local dimming technology. It falls a bit flat even by the standards of premium edge-lit 4K TVs. Samsung has managed better than this in its KS9000 edge-lit 2016 SUHD TV and Sony could have done the same considering the caliber of their consumer tech development reputation. However, they apparently didn’t and as a result, the X930D in particular presents too much blooming due to what we think are the large dimming zones and while this effect isn’t so notable for lower lighting situations in the screen, it becomes notable during particular highlights of peak brightness. We should note that the 75 inch X940D variant of this line doesn’t suffer from the local dimming problems in the X930D. Due to its full-array LED backlighting and a larger quantity of better compartmentalized local dimming zones, it definitely shows its superiority in this regard.

Finally, among the few other flaws we could find in the X930C was the quality of its grey uniformity. In an otherwise superb TV as far as display technology goes, the X930/40D offers up a downright poor grey uniformity, with edges that are considerably darker than the center of the display space on the TV. This won’t be a major problem for most display needs and content viewing but it can become visible under the right circumstances and is off-putting enough to be worth a mention.

Final Thoughts

Sony has definitely raised the bar on quality in its top-shelf 4K TVs for 2016. The X930/40D incorporates all the latest technologies it needs to compete heavily with the best Samsung 2016 LCD 4K HDR TVs for this year and does so with a few unique and welcome additions of its own that go the extra mile to make the TV just about all you need for an impressive home entertainment system. While a few minor flaws are there in the X930D TVs, none of them are in any way deal-breakers. In deciding between these models and Samsung’s flagship 2016 SUHD TVs, the two lines are very closely matched.

Specs

• Screen size: 54.6 diagonal inches (XBR55X930D) and 64.5 diagonal inches (XBR65X930D). 75 inches for XRB75X940D
• Smart TV: Android TV with Apps and Full Web Browser
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• VP9 Included. Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz native refresh rate (MotionFlow 960Hz)
• Screen Lighting: Edge-lit LED backlighting in X930D with Full-array in X940D
• Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
• Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Ethernet port
• Remotes: Sony smart remote
• Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0a ports, 3 USB ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Component, 1 composite, 1 Audio Out, 1 Digital Audio Out
• Sound:
X930D: 7.5 W x 4 Audio Power Output
X940D: 7.5 W x 4 Audio Power Output
• Contrast Ratio: 3,640:1
• Black Level maximum: 0.035 cd/m2
• 3D Technology: YES, Active 3D in all models
• TV weight without/with stand:
55 inch: 48.50 lb/54.9 lb.
65 inch: 59.52 lb/66.36 lb.
X940D: 80.69 lb/90.39 LB
• Processor: 4K Processor X1 Quad Core

Highlights

Our favourite aspects of Sony’s X930D are the Slim Backlight Drive (Full Array LED Backlight for the X940D), coupled with the Triluminos technology, or quantum dots, for optimal color mapping, deeper black levels and dazzling brightness. This is a major improvement for LED TV's, and having numerous regions means that you get much better local dimming performance and really minimal blooming. Being edge-mounted, there are some minor angle-viewing issues but these are extremely minimal and in any case the X930/40D offers much better viewing angles than it’s Samsung SUHD competitors.

The X930D/40D has been created to serve as a home entertainment system for the complete content spectrum; 4K streaming, 4K Blu-Ray, 3D, DVD, HDR broadcast TV as well as of course ordinary non-4K broadcast content. Furthermore, where the X930D really impresses is in its ability to augment even ordinary and lower quality content into something better than what it would be in a normal TV. This it does quite spectacularly. The X930D/40D features 4K X-Reality PRO technology (also seen in the Sony X830C), which delivers some truly superb upscaling. What takes this upscaling trend even further, as we already mentioned, is the addition of UHD Premium level HDR standards in the X930/40D, allowing it to also improve the dynamic range and contrast of non-4K content and even native UHD SDR video sources.

The last highlight we’re going to note here is the X930D/40D’s design. Sony has ditched last year’s bulky wedge design with its unsightly side-mounted speakers and replaced it with internal speakers, and a dazzlingly clean and razor thin look. Almost no framing around the screen adds more elegance than ever to the unit and makes it worthy of being the focal point in any living room.

Check the Price of the Sony XBR65X930D 65-Inch 4K HDR Ultra HD TV (2016 Model) on Amazon

5.0 -11 Reviews

Visual Specs

For starters, let’s go a bit into the motion control technologies of the X930/40D TVs, because they’re downright superb. In terms of judder control, 24p playback and Sony’s version of Motion Interpolation technology, the X930/40D is a truly stunning performer. Judder control is essentially perfect and the motion interpolation technology also delivers essentially flawless performance. Furthermore, the response times of pixels on the screen are superb as well, with low motion blur even during fast action sequences in both native 4K content and non-4K action video during things like sportscasts or action-packed movie scenes.

Then there’s the HDR in the Sony XBR 2016 TVs and the X930/940D in particular. It’s great and considering that it has been certified as “Ultra HD Premium” by the UHD Alliance (Though Sony uses their own label for this, called “4K HDR”), it very much should be. However, certification labels are one thing and seeing actual high performance first hand is another thing, and by the standards of LCD TVs, these particular 4K models excel at what they promise in this regard. 10-bit color is reproduced faithfully with very high precision and realism while peak brightness is optimal enough for some very bright highlights indeed.

In smaller 10% of screen space sections of the display, luminance can go above the 1100 nits required by the UHD Alliance, and the X940D can manage well above 1100+ brightness performance. As for overall contrast for for black levels vs. white performance, 0.054 nits was found to be the case in the X930/40D and even deeper levels of black under some local dimming conditions being achievable while white levels sat at about 105.2 cd/m2 .

Coupled with the smart Slim Backlight Drive (Full Array LED Backlight for the X940D) and 4K X-Reality PRO (also seen in the Sony X830C and X900C), the X930D/40D delivers crisp, clear images, deep true blacks and dazzling whites. At the same time, it revitalizes poorer quality content, filling in millions of additional pixels from its image database to every frame for hyper-realistic on-screen textures and details. Sony have also taken care to avoid oversaturation of subtle colours and the corresponding unnatural look that can be caused by upscaling by introducing a number of regions for local dimming. All in all, the X930D/40D's visuals really impressed with a distinctly natural look and, for those who love it, some truly top-shelf HDR performance which exceeds anything from 2015’s Sony 4K TV models.

Connectivity

HDMI™ INPUT:
4(outside1, center3) - (all models)

COMPOSITE VIDEO INPUT:
XBR-55X930D - 2 (1Rear/1Rear Hybrid w/Component)
XBR-65X930D - 2 (1Rear/1Rear Hybrid w/Component)
XBR-75X940D- 1 side

COMPONENT VIDEO INPUT
XBR-55X930D - 1 rear
XBR-65X930D - 1 rear
XBR-75X940D- 1 rear – Component/composite hybrid

RF CONNECTION INPUT
1 side (all models)

ETHERNET INPUT
1 side (all models)

USB INPUT
3 port (all models)

AUDIO OUTPUT
1 (Side/Hybrid w/HP and Subwoofer Out) (all models)

DIGITAL AUDIO OUTPUT
1 side (all models)

Pricing

Sony’s 4K UHD TV’s aren’t generally cheap by any means and the XBR-D models from 2016 are no exception. The 55 inch X930D sells for $2,198.00 on Amazon.com, the 65 inch model sells for $3,298 and the flagship 75 inch X940D retails for a very serious $7,998.00, a price that puts it above even most OLED 4K TVs in wallet killing power.

Check the Price of the Sony XBR65X930D 65-Inch 4K HDR Ultra HD TV (2016 Model) on Amazon

5.0 -11 Reviews


Not so Great

While we love the move away from the bulky, space-hogging side-mounted speakers, what we don’t love is the effect that internal speakers have on the sound quality, and the crisp, true sound of last years’ X940C is greatly missed. Furthermore, as we mentioned above, grey uniformity and some blooming during highlights under local dimming conditions in the X930D in particular are two other not so major defects of the X930D TVs in particular.

Positives

• Great black performance
• Local dimming produces exceptional contrast
• Brilliant 4K upscaling
• Superb quality of HDR technology
• Excellent color performance
• Android TV is great
• Sleek and thin design

Negatives

• Lackluster sound
• Some local dimming blooming in X930D
• Poor grey uniformity in X930D
• Enough with the Motionflow “960Hz”

Editor Rating
 
Features
A

 
Quality
A-

 
User Friendliness
A

 
Connectivity
A+

 
Price
B+

Total Score
A

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User Rating
 
Features
B

 
Quality
B+

 
User Friendliness
B+

 
Connectivity
B+

 
Price
B

User Score
246 ratings
B+

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Bottom Line
 

In our view, the bottom line for the X930D 55 inch and 65 inch 4K TVs and particularly for their giant 75 inch full-array X940D variant is that these are superb 4K HDR TV models. While the Samsung SUHD TVs of 2015 outperformed their Sony Bravia top-shelf counterparts from last year, at least slightly, in 2016 Sony is delivering even better performance and these models in particular create some stiff competition for the Samsung KS9500, KS9000 and the KS8000 TVs.

Check the Price of the Sony XBR65X930D 65-Inch 4K HDR Ultra HD TV (2016 Model) on Amazon

5.0 -11 Reviews

 
41 comments
 
Leave a reply »

 
  • Ben Ballard
    April 11, 2016 at 4:49 am

    Sony’s new HDR range is great…I’ve set up the KD55XD8599 HDR set next to a KD55X8509 set at work and run the 8K Patagonia video on YouTube side by side. You can really tell that the HDR set is superior in it’s colour representation, crisp whites and deep blacks as well as a few other minor details. I’ve yet to get my eyeballs on the XBR940D and will look forward to running the 8K Patagonia video as a test on this one and see how much it differs in image quality from the KD55XD8599 and KD55X8509.

    All in all the new 2016 Sony line up is looking spankingly gorgeous so far and to be honest I’m liking them more than the Samsung UHD sets, they offer just a little more for me as a consumer running Android as an OS. Yes, I know there have been reports of the OS being a little “clunky”, but in all honesty, I don’t mind as it offers me a better cross-platform useability than TIzen OS (you’re limited to Samsung’s very limited app store with Tizen) and is definitely better than Pana’s Firefox system. I understand (and have read reports voraciously) that apparently WEB O.S on the LG is also very good, but it’s just the sheer amount of pink with LG that puts me off! (Yes, seriously).

    Reply

  • Joe Slavadovavinsky
    April 11, 2016 at 7:49 am

    I hate when they don’t review the 3D feature. If it’s featured and as long as it’s featured, review it, darn it.

    Reply

    • Elroy Rebavich
      April 11, 2016 at 7:53 am

      I got a cousin named Slavadovavinsky works down on the docks.

      Reply

    • SFMike
      April 20, 2016 at 8:48 am

      Really agree! One of the things that has killed 3D is the way reviewers that, I assume, dislike 3D for some reason either refused to even admit it exists as an option on a model or mention it in passing with a comment about how they don’t like it or it’s a gimmick no one wants. Well I hope they now are all happy but it appears it will take the total exclusion of the feature to make them truly feel superior to a niche market they somehow want to destroy.

      Reply

      • Lawrence
        July 7, 2016 at 6:19 pm

        Indeed! It’s like a lot of reviewers think, ooh let’s keep hating it, then it will go away. And it is not that niche. I know a lot of people that like 3D and always want to watch in the Cinema’s. It’s just that some haters are hating it so much.

        Love 3D and VR and yes there is really a value added to the experience. But not everybody notice it or want to.

        Reviewers, if there is 3D featured, just test it or ask someone else to test it.

        Reply

    • Phillyblunz
      January 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Dont worry the 3d is completely broken and in no way useable on any 65x930d.

      Double image is insane, sony is refusing to fix too.

      Its a huge problem and all the 65x930d tvs have it bar none. Even the chinese version 65x9300d.

      Do not buy this tv!!! I am going to return mine soon.

      Gonna let them try to calibrate.

      Reply

  • MC
    April 12, 2016 at 8:51 am

    So which part of your review am I to believe? ” Our favourite aspects of Sony’s X930D are the Slim Backlight Drive (Full Array LED Backlight for the X940D), coupled with the Triluminos technology, or quantum dots, for optimal color mapping, deeper black levels and dazzling brightness. This is a major improvement for LED TV’s, and having numerous regions means that you get much better local dimming performance and really minimal blooming….OR…” the X930D in particular presents too much blooming due to what we think are the large dimming zones and while this effect isn’t so notable for lower lighting situations in the screen. ??

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      April 12, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Hello MC, the review covers two variants of what is in most ways the same TV. The X940D, as is explained in the review, does not suffer from the blooming that the X930D slightly has. The 75 inch model is called the X940D and is the only one with full-array backlighting, while the edge-lit X930D comes with weaker local dimming precision. However even in the X930D this isn’t a serious problem. We’ve seen it much worse in other 4K TVs.

      Reply

      • Ben Ballard
        April 13, 2016 at 4:43 am

        The earlier versions of the KD55X9005 (and 65 version) were terrible when it came to local dimming and edge bleed due to the fact that Sony had dropped the top edge LED array in order to get the set super thin. They subsequently sorted that out with firmware updates to control the bleed levels, but the damage had already been done within the first few months as to their unit sales.

        I’m glad that they’ve managed to sort the local micro dimming out with the edge lit arrays, however I hope that with the 2017 range they will go full backlit array on all models. Their new backlight masterdrive system (full array) should throw out some very nice NIT level brightness – anything about 1400 NITS should seriously blow away the competitors in the current market. Yes, 1400 NITS sounds a lot of brightness, but you won’t need your RayBans to watch your new 4K HDR set (see below).

        Just as a comparison :

        Bright sunlight is rated at: 110,000 – 120,000 Lux
        This converts to: 34,976.14 – 38,155.8 NITS

        A long way to go then on TV brightness output to equal what you see on a summer’s day….In 2 years though, the NIT (Nt) levels of 4K sets have increased by a magnitude of about 700-1000 Nt. The Sony XBR-65X900B released in 2014 had a Candela (Cd/m2) rating of 350,OR, 350 Nt. The 2016 X940D has a 1400 Nt level or 1400 Cd/m2.

        So you’d be looking roughly at another 50-60 years (if TV tech continues to develop as it has done in the last 2-3 years) to actually reproduce the brightness levels of bright sunlight! Although in that time I’m guessing we’re probably going to have hologramatic TV’s or something…..

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          April 13, 2016 at 5:36 pm

          Hi there Ben and thanks for the excellent points and I agree with you on the direct-switch for the X930D TVs (and quite a few others from Samsung and LG non-OLEDs perhaps) This is a technological upgrade that’s long overdue for the premium 4K TVs of the major brands and we know these companies are capable of implementing it, without even going to far on pricing increases if they get innovative. Also, 1400 nits doesn’t at all sound unreasonable for the 2016 and 2017 models considering that models like the KS9000 from Samsung, and of course Sony’s X940D can already manage spot brightness that approaches or matches this level of luminance.

          I’m also going to be optimistic and claim that we’ll probably achieve 30,000 nit capacity long before several decades from now. Dolby is already shooting for 10,000 to 12,000 nits of 10% window brightness and though I can’t back this with much more than speculation, we do know that consumer technology tends to advance in ways that are often nearly exponential. I wouldn’t be surprised to see something approaching 30,000 nits at least being possible in another decade or two.

          Reply

  • David Vargas
    April 16, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Hi,

    I would like your opinion. I am going to purchase this TV, but the only thing I am disappointed in this TV is the lack of Dolby Vision. I would like to have both HDR 10 and Dolby Vision. Do you think Sony will provide a firmware update that it will have Dolby Vision?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      April 17, 2016 at 2:32 am

      Hello there David, for now Sony is sticking to HDR10 because it’s the standard that the company considers to be the bigger placeholder in the current HDR content/display market. This however doesn’t mean they won’t move to include Dolby Vision as it grows in popularity. There is no firm date for this yet but Rei Abo, a senior TV product marketing and planning manager from Sony has stated that “Most content so far will be HDR 10, so we’ll focus on this first,”. The key words there are “at first”, implying an eventual inclusion of Dolby as long as it survives (and we think it will).

      For now however, if you want the best of both HDR worlds in terms of standards and in some sincerely superb 4K TVs (in many ways better than some of the Sony 2016 models we’ve examined so far), then go for Vizio’s P-Series. For the moment they only offer Dolby Vision but have confirmed to our site and to others that they will soon be delivering HDR10 and HDMI 2.0a updates to their P-Series models for this year. Here is the review of the 2016 P-Series. These are solid models almost across the board.

      http://4k.com/tv/vizio-p-series-2016-4k-hdr-ultra-hd-tv-review-p50-c1-p55-c1-p65-c1-p75-c1/

      Reply

  • David Vargas
    April 17, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Thank you

    Reply

  • Eric
    April 17, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    What 3D glasses do I use for the xbr75x940d?

    Reply

  • John
    April 18, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Hi,
    Is the 4K X-Reality Pro engine worth the price difference over the 4K X-Reality engine in the X850D?
    Cheers

    Reply

  • Jason
    May 10, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Hey Stephen, This review was awesome and appreciate your responses in the comments as well. If you were to put one of these in your living room would you go with this or the Samsung KS9500? Really struggling here. Not really wanting to pony up for the LG OLED and it seems that the X930D and the KS9500 are really the “big two” when it comes to premium brands and their flagship. I’ve spent all too many trips to BB comparing the two of these. The Sony does the blacks much better than the Samsung and makes the screen look much more lifelike. But the colors on the Samsung seem to be quite a bit brighter.

    I’ll be most watching day to day TV, sports, and gaming. Although if the input lag turns me off I’ll move the xbox back to the Panasonic plasma.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      May 11, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Hello Jason, That’s a tough question since they’re both excellent TVs. Before I respond to what you ask though, I find it interesting that you noted the blacks on the Sony X930D as deeper than those of the KS9500. We recorded the KS9500 as actually having the deeper black level and superior overall contrast between the two. It also comes with what I definitely consider to be a higher level of peak brightness. Or were you possibly looking at the Sony Full-array 75 inch X940D? It looks exactly the same as the X930D but is larger.

      That said, I’d probably pick the Samsung model between the two. The KS9500 isn’t actually Samsung’s flagship TV. That model is the much more expensive full-array LED-lit KS9800 but the KS9500 still delivers stunning specs. we particularly like the quality of its HDR and the color delivery on this TV is about equal to that of the Sony X930D, which is good since Sony is also known for delivering super color specs. Most importantly though, the overall quality of the KS9500’s HDR specs is the real selling point to the model. I’d probably pick it over the X930D for that reason. Though the Sony model does deliver slightly superior sports performance. Sony has always been particularly good in how they manage motion control with their 4K TVs.

      Reply

  • John
    May 29, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    How would you compare the 940D to the 940C? I can’t seem to find much of a difference aside from the speakers. Would it be worth it to get the 940D over the 940C?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      June 3, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Hi there John. For the most part the two TVs are quite similar in their settings. However, the HDR of the X940D is slightly superior due to a considerably (about 30% higher) peak brightness and some excellent color reproduction. On the other hand, the X940C delivers nearly identical color performance and ody enough, offers an even better native contrast ratio that’s nearly twice as good as that of the X940D. Also the X940C comes with the stunning side-mounted speaker power that we loved from this 2015 4K TV. If you can get the slightly older model for a lower price than its 2016 cousin, I’d go for it. It’s still very much up to date in its specs and in most ways the equal of or even slightly better than the X940D.

      Reply

  • Jeff Belack
    May 30, 2016 at 4:59 pm

    Hello Stephen,

    If the 940C is still available (NIB), at a very aggressive price, would it still be worth the extra money, going for the new 940D? Space is not an issue for me, either is the high-quality speaker system incorporated into the 940C, as I have a high-end 5.1 surround system in place already. However, the 940C can be had right now for almost half the retail cost of the 940D. What would I be losing in the way of any improvements, should I stick with a 940C “leftover”? Moreover, are those 940D improvements worth the extra $2800.00 or so? Thanks in advance for your opinions and guidance regarding this subject matter. Jeff

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      May 30, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      hello Jeff. To be honest, the X940C from Sony is definitely worth buying if you can get it at the discount you mention. For one thing, it delivers an audio quality that blows the X940D out of the water for richness and quality and in its HDR it is still a TV to compete with many 2016 models. In fact, while I don’t believe Sony gave it their “4K HDR” label, this 2015 model delivers high dynamic range specs that could almost match those set out by the UHD Alliance for Ultra HD Premium. The X940D doesn’t quit match th brightness of Ultra HD Premium standards but its black levels, color coverage for DCI-P3 and contrast are all worthy of such certification. As you probably know the model comes with full-array LED backlighting and Wide Color Gamut, along with Sony’s Trilumuinos Display color enhancement technology. Both models also feature the same VA panel display technology, allowing for more or less the same viewing angles.

      In basic terms, the X940D is only somewhat brighter than the X940C but in most other specs both TVs are either evenly matched or very close to each other. At the price you mention, you’d be making the better choice with the older model I believe.

      Reply

  • Jason
    June 18, 2016 at 6:29 am

    How good is this TV for gaming? Does it have high input lag?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      June 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      Hey there Jason, Oddly, the Sony X930D does have a somewhat high input lag and if you’re planning on doing some fast action live gaming, we’d recommend other models like the 2016 Vizio P-Series more than this model. However, as a 4K PC monitor or for slower-paced gameplay, the 930D is superb especially due to its excellent visual specs.

      Reply

  • xan
    July 2, 2016 at 4:06 am

    someone needs to review the XBR75X940D

    Reply

  • Qays
    July 15, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Hi Stephen,

    I’m seeking clarification on something that is more of a general Sony TV concern but also applies to this model as it’s something I am considering. All the models from 2015 did not support the HDMI 2.0 standard as they were not equipped with those inputs. This year’s models have been indicated to carry HDMI 2.0a inputs, however, Sony explicitly indicates that the max PC resolution is 3840×2160 @ 30 Hz. That shows no change from previous years as that conforms to the HDMI 1.4 standard.

    I have wanted to use the TV as an all-in-one entertainment interface for my gaming PC(4K capable), consoles and streaming services. No, I will not be going for fast paced online multiplayer in popular first person shooters that will require the crispest of response but I want to enjoy graphically beautiful games and just generally interface with my PC at more than 30 Hz. Is there any known workaround for this or is it just a limitation that Sony have forced into their firmware?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      July 16, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      Hi there Qays, I’m not sure where you saw that the X930D doesn’t offer [email protected], because we are sure that it does in fact do so. You can use this TV as a PC display for 4K visuals at 60Hz and in fact, if you even want [email protected] @ 4:4:4 chroma for sharper text, you can do so by activating ‘Enhanced HDMI’ for the particular input you use.

      On the other hand, I should note that the input lag of the X930D is not all that great. Even if you use the TV under its best gaming setting under ‘Game’ picture mode in the TVs settings, you’ll likely get no lower than 49 to 51 milliseconds.

      Reply

      • Qays
        July 19, 2016 at 12:35 pm

        It was on the specifications document found on the Sony US support site. I believe it was labelled marketing pamphlet which gives a detailed breakdown of all the specifications and ports and various technologies implemented. It only specified [email protected] using PC Mode and that’s why I was confused as it also listed [email protected] in the separate section outlining Video Signal. Was just wondering if they merely copy and pasted due to laziness from last year’s model or if in PC Mode the TV does not explicitly support [email protected]

        I understand the input lag is definitely a factor on this unit so I will be taking that into consideration when I make my final decision as well.

        Reply

  • Rg
    July 25, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    I own the flagship 75″ 940D model. it’s off the charts unbelievable. First off, I hate when they clump TV models that are very different. The 940D and 930D are totally different in how they illuminate the screen. The 940D is direct backlit and Nothing compares to it’s HDR 4K capabilities. OLEDs are the only thing that come close but they don’t come as large as 75″. Also the off-angle viewing is unreal with no fading. OLEDs still are correcting their blooming effects and this SONY hasn’t had any issues with picture quality for the past 3 months. Brights are unreal and the darks are as dark as the infamous Pioneer Elite Blacks. Motion refresh is incredible too. I also own the new Samsung 4K player and seeing 4K material with HDR and Dolby Atmos surround sound is stunning. The only issue i have found with this TV, is that you must ensure you have the latest HDMI cables. Yes, there is a difference to handle HDR and you new to deliver the 4K at 60HZ and some cables do not go that high. Usually it’s not a problem if you are running short cables to your system, but once you go over 8′ in cable length, then you risk picture drop outs or downgrades from 4K UHD to midlevel resolution. YEs it will be better than HD but you can lose full UHD. So ensure you have to proper cables. Found out the hardware but fortunately everything wasn’t boarded up on my walls and moldings. The 4K from You Tube and Netflix is mind boggling to see but once again you need to watch it from a 4K source. So trying watching 4K from an apple tV or older DVD player that has apps, isn’t going to cut it. It will be limited to the ability of the player. Regardless, the TV performs great. I have the thinnest wall mount (1 1/4″). Could have gone skinnier but then you risk trying to get access to the back or bottom of your TV for external hookups other than your permanent cables from your surround sound or gaming system.

    Reply

  • Alexander Petrie
    July 30, 2016 at 11:41 am

    I can get this Sony 55X930D used LIKE NEW for $999 no tax free shipping. Is it worth it?

    Reply

  • TC
    August 22, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Hi Stephen,

    For a TV in the 75+” range, how would you rank the X940D, KS9800, KS9500, and KS9000 if money were no object? Also, if money was a factor, how would you then rank them? That is, for someone who watches a lot of movies, TV shows, and plays a fair amount of video games.

    Reply

  • The Amazing A
    September 9, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Between LG, Samsung, and the 930D what TV set would work best as a pc monitor/4K blu Ray monitor ?

    Reply

  • harvey arnold
    September 22, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    what 3d glasses work for the XBR75X940D. i wont have one till early next year but thats the only info i cant find so far

    Reply

  • Miguel
    October 10, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Is it possible to provide the calibration setting used to review the television?

    Reply

  • JL
    October 20, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Bestbuy.ca is selling the 930D for cheaper than the KS8000 (55″ each), however not by much (~$100 difference). Which is better for the money? I would mostly be using the TV for gaming and sports.

    Reply

  • Mark
    November 22, 2016 at 8:31 am

    The XBR75X940D suffers from a very serious Manufacturers defect which Sony acknowledges, however they will not correct it. The TV (only the 940D) has an issue with a very slow pixel response time on images with Black objects moving on a white background, this defect can be seen everywhere, even then menu of the tv itself. Rotating between the inputs will show the issue. Here is a quick youtube video that will show this issue (https://youtu.be/QkWE94l-txI), look for trailing shadows. “Warning” once you see this issue you cannot unsee it.
    I purchased the 75″ 940D about a month ago. Seeing the issue immediately I quickly contacted the store I got it from and they exchanged it for me right away. After setting up the new one I noticed the exact same issue, I called Sony which in the beginning was very willing to help. We went through a series of settings and configurations, nothing could remedy the shadowing issue. The man on the phone promised me he would take care of this issue for me an offered to refund a portion of my money or exchange for another model, but first he would have to do another exchange. Eventhough I already exchanged it they said a factory fresh model from Sony (a different batch) may be different. As I waited for the new tv to be sent to my home I took the liberty of going to a couple of different stores to check out their demos of the 940D, all of which had the same issue I’ve been reffering to. Finally a week later my second exchange from Sony came. Again I set it up and just like the previous 2 the problem was still there. At this point 6 tvs I have now confirmed the issue with. So I called Sony back again, this time the person I spoke to told me he would escalate this issue to higher level of Sony Customer Support after we went through a series of tests again. This is where it all goes downhill. No one called me back so 2 days later I called Sony back, The person I spoke to this time told me that Sony is aware of the issue and it is accepted as normal operation. You can image how upset this made me after all the Great Customer Support I received up to this point. I’ve emailed Sony, I’ve called them on the phone, I’ve sent out request for Sony to call me back, but so far I am being ignored. They will not help me, they won’t even call me back. My advice to you is Stay Away from the Sony XBR75X940D, for a TV that costs this much the defect is a huge problem. If you don’t mind the lower end models the 850D and 750D or the Smaller 930D those models do not suffer from the same issue. Sony totally Screwed me and this was my 4th XBR tv I’ve owned. I will be exchanging it for a Samsung UN78KS9800FX. A much better TV with Better customer Support.

    I am an AV Technician I install and setup tvs like this all the time. Calibration will not help. Sony doesn’t care about there customers and I had to learn that the hard way. If you own the Sony XBR75X940D do yourself a favor and see the issue yourself and contact Sony. Maybe you will have a better experience than I did.

    Mark

    Reply

  • Mark
    November 25, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    The XBR75X940D suffers from a very serious Manufacturers defect which Sony acknowledges, however they will not correct it. The TV (only the 940D) has an issue with a very slow pixel response time on images with Black objects moving on a white background, this defect can be seen everywhere, even then menu of the tv itself. Rotating between the inputs will show the issue. Here is a quick youtube video that will show this issue (https://youtu.be/QkWE94l-txI), look for trailing shadows. “Warning” once you see this issue you cannot unsee it. STAY AWAY from the Sony XBR75X940D

    Reply

  • Dean
    December 17, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Stephen,

    I’m completely torn between the two. Can you sway me one way or another. I know there is almost a $2k price difference, so thats huge right there with the Samsung being more costly. Thanks. The Sony XBR75X940D or the Samsung 75 inch KS9000.

    Dean

    Reply

  • Ronivon Fideles
    December 21, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Hi. Stephen.
    If you were to put one of these in your living room would you go with this or the Samsung KS9000?
    Sony XBR-65x930D x Samsung 65KS9000?

    Reply

  • Dan
    February 13, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    Stephen,

    Hoping you can help me. I am between the X850D 75” or the X940D 75”. I use my TV mainly for movies, TV and gaming. It will be featured in the basement where I have it fairly dark. I currently have a LG 1080P and it does ghost a bit with the black levels.

    That being said, the major issue I read about with the X850D is the black levels. Are they really as bad as other sites claim? Is the X940D worth the extra $1,000 I would have to spend on it?

    Last question I promise, do you feel that the price of these TV’s will be reduced in the next month or so with the 2017 models being introduced?

    Thanks for your help. I am looking to purchase soon!

    Reply

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