Sony X930E Review (XBR55X930E, XBR65X930E) – Top Model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV XBR-X Series
Along with X940E series, Sony X930E series is the top model of Sony’s 2017 XBR-X Series. In the market, it is only available on two screen sizes, 55 Inch (XBR55X930E) and 65 Inch (XBR65X930E). But unlike the predecessor X930D/X940D, in this year, X930E didn’t come with 3D technology. As the instead, it comes with some improvements of their technologies and features that makes its performance is superior. 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme and Slim Backlight Drive Plus are the major Sony’s most advanced technologies that make its picture quality is really amazing. Additionally, in this year, Sony TV including X930E is not supports HDR 10 only, but they also already support Dolby Vision and even HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). But because it uses VA panel and like other VA TVs, poor side viewing angle becomes its major downside. So, what features that offered by Sony X930E series and how is its performance? How much is it?
Sony X930E Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||55 Inch (XBR55X930E), 65 Inch (XBR65X930E)|
|Backlight||Edge-lit LED (Slim Backlight Drive +)|
|X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro||Yes (10X)|
|Support HDR||Yes (HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG)|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme|
|4K-X reality Pro||Pro|
|Color Technology||TriLuminos Display|
|Advanced Contrast Enhancer||Yes|
|Motion Control||MotionFlow XR960 (native 120 Hz)|
|Key Apps||Opera Browser, Google Cast, PlayStation Now, and more|
|Remote||Voice Remote Control (RMF-TX200U)|
|RF (Terrestrial Cable)||1|
|Composite In (AV)||2|
|Speaker Type||Front-face 3-way speaker (tweeter/mid-range/woofer)|
|Total Audio Output||65 Inch (10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W) and 55 Inch (5 W + 5 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W)|
Performance of Sony X930E
Contrast and Color
Like X930D series, picture quality is the major advantage of Sony X930E series, even it is claimed offer better performance than the predecessor due the improvements of some technologies behind it. One of the improvements of X930E over the predecessor X930D series is about its picture engine where it is powered by 4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme that comes with additional some technologies embedded inside it such as Dual Data Base Processing, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, and Object-based HDR Remaster technology. As we know, X1 Extreme is first used on the flagship of 2016 model Z9D series. The other main technology of X930E is Edge Lit Backlighting with Local dimming called Slim Backlight Drive +. Along with X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro, this technology significantly improves brightness range that produced.
The result, although it is not as deep and string as what reached by OLED TVs including Sony’s first OLED TV A1E series, for LED TV, black level that reached by Sony X930E is very deep as well as the native contrast ratio, it also very strong. This allows the picture that displayed on the screen of X930E looks stunningly, even when it used in a dark room where black level and contrast is the most important aspect picture quality. Let alone, black level reached by X930E is lower than 0.05 nits as the recommendation for HDR 10, of course this makes it is able to display HDR 10 contents without any issues on black level. The result, detail of images on dark scenes or behind shadow looks clearly, especially when it is displaying HDR contents.
Otherwise, although it is not the brightest, peak brightness reached by Sony X930E is also very bright, even brighter than 1000 nits as the minimum recommendations of HDR 10. The result, picture that displayed on the screen of X930E is very bright and it is quite enough to fight the glare to maintain the quality of the picture looks consistently amazing, even in sunlight effects or when it is used in a room that has sunlight coming in through windows. Brighter picture also makes details images in highlighted sunlight effects also look still clearly like what is expected by HDR Technology itself.
Moving on color performance, with TriLuminos Display technology behind it, color of the picture that displayed on the screen of Sony X930E is also looks saturated and accurate, even for HDR contents that need wider color gamut than normal/SDR contents. Additionally, the precision color mapping insider the X1 Extreme also helps to improve the accuracy of color that produced. In addition to it can cover wide color coverage, even wider than 90% of DCI P3 color space required by HDR10, it also can process 10 bit depth of color signals well. This makes color gradient of the picture that displayed on the screen of X930E is nearly perfect without any major color banding or imperfections. The result, the color of the picture that displayed on the screen of X930E looks very accurate with very smooth color gradient, especially when it is inputted by HDR signals that mastered with wider color gamut and 10 depth of color.
From all visual specs that offered, overall, picture quality that produced by Sony X930E is good, even when it is used in a dark room. In a room with decent light or very bright room, its performance is still consistent due its high peak brightness reached by it. No matter the condition of the room where it is used, detail of images will be revealed well on the screen of X930E, especially when they are displaying HDR contents. This is due HDR technology indeed come for that.
Still about picture quality, combination of 4K X-Reality Pro and Dual Data Base technology inside the X1 extreme makes Sony X930E has incredible ability to up-scale lower resolution contents in near 4K resolution. Its performance even is including the best. 480p contents liken DVDs movies looks clearly and sharply with small details preserved well once it is up-scaled in 4K resolution. Moreover is the source is the 720p like movies from TV satellite, it looks clearer and sharper with small details preserved better. And when it is inputted by 1080p signals like movies from Blu-Ray player, the final images that resulted looks far better even not far different than when it is inputted by native 4K sources.
Side Viewing Angle
Side Viewing Angle is the bad side of Sony X930E. As a VA TV, this something that is reasonable considering spoor side viewing angle is a native characteristic of VA Panel. Color and contrast will started to deteriorate at around 20 degrees off center and front of the panel. And of course, the wider angle you are watching from, the picture will looks more degraded. So, watch TV on the screen of X930E from side viewing angle should be avoided if you don’t want to lose quality of the picture.
Motion Handling and 24p Playbacks
Sony X930E offers excellent motion handling when it was displaying video contents with a lot of fast moving scenes like sports program or fast movies. It is due its pixel response time is very quick. The result, there is only small trails following fast moving objects and this certainly is very good. Additionally, with MotionFlow XR960 technology based in 120Hz refresh rate panel behind it, this makes it is a great TV when used for watching movies. No matter it is 24p signals like movies from Blu-Ray, 24p via 60i signals like movies form satellite TV or even 24p via 60p signals like movies from streaming media, Sony X930E is able to display them smoothly without any judder noticeable. But even so, for removing judder without adding soap opera effect when it is displaying 24p contents via 60p/60i signals, you must set ‘Motionfow’ option to ‘True Cinema’ and ‘CineMotion’ to ‘high’. Additionally, Sony X930E also already supports both of 30 fps and 60 fps motion interpolation.
Like other high class 4K TVs that available in the market, Sony X930E is also equipped with 4 HDMI ports and 3 USB ports as their major connectivity. 1 HDMI port is installed on the side and 3 HDMI ports are installed on the bottom of the panel, while for USB ports, 2 ports are installed on bottom and 1 port is installed on the side of the panel. Additionally, there are also 2 Composite In (AV In), 1 Component In, 1 Ethernet, 1 RF In (Antenna In), Digital Audio Out (optical), and other. Additionally, although not as low as Samsung TVs, overall, the input lag of Sony X930E is low and that should be good for games, even for fast paced games. Combine to its quick pixel response time, playing games on X930E feels comfortably.
As its smart TV platform, Sony X930E comes with the latest version of Google Android TV. User interface is designed very attractively. Nevertheless, for navigating, Androids TV tends to more difficult than its competitors like WebOS by LG or Tizen by Samsung. Fortunately, most of the people have been familiar with this android OS on their android smart phone, so, this should not be an issue for most of people. Nevertheless, there is “Action Menu’ button on the remote where you can use it to access quick list of popular settings without have to navigate to the main settings menu, so this can solve this problem about difficult to navigate on Android Google TV. In term of navigating between different menus, Android TVs might not as simple as other smart TV platforms, but it offers some advantages about apps that provided. Google Play Store provides tons of apps, games, and contents from a lot of developer. Most popular apps certainly are also provided like Netflix, YouTube, HuluPLus, Amazon prime, and more. Additionally, it also already supports ChromeCast that allows you to cast video contents directly from your supported smart phone or tablet to your Sony TV.
As the remote, Sony X930E comes with basic remote. But even so, there is built microphone for voice navigation functionality or Google Voice Search. And with IR blaster in the box, this allows you to control your other devices connected on your TV with a single Sony remote.
Sony X930E is a great 2017 model of 4K TVs that offers stunning picture quality, no matter the light condition of the room where it is used. Each aspect of display specs like contrast, black level, brightness, black uniformity, and color are very strong that makes it is as the one of TVS with the best picture that released in 2017. HDR performance is also great that allows you to enjoy HDR contents like what was intended by HDR technology itself. Even not only HDR 10, it also already supports Dolby Vision and HLG. Special for HLG, there will be a firmware update once the standardization of HLG is confirmed. No matter it is used for watching movies, TV shows, sports, or playing games, Sony X930E performs well. Additionally, it is also has low input lags that makes you comfort when playing games without feels laggy. Additionally, Google Android OS also becomes its other attractive thing that offered by X930E that make you more comfort when enjoying 4K HDR entertainment in your home.
The only major downside of Sony X930E is about its side viewing angle where the amazing picture quality that displayed on its screen will start to deteriorate at 20 degrees off center. Nevertheless, it is not a major considering other top models 4K TVS that available in the market like Samsung QLED TVs also has the same problem. The other downside is about 3D technology where unlike its predecessors X930D series, X930E is not equipped with 3D technology. It seems Sony has removed 3D technology from their 2017 lineup.
Should I Buy this TV? This certainly comes back to your preferences and budgets. If you don’t have a plan to use it in a wide room where there are a lot viewers watch TV from multiple viewing angle and you don’t mind to spend a lot of money to buy a TV, Sony X930E might be a good option for you. Nevertheless, before you decide to buy it, there are a lot of user opinions from the people who have bought it where you can make as your further consideration.
- Deep Black Level and Strong Contrast
- Good dark room performance
- Very Bright Peak brightness
- Support Wide Color Gamut
- Great HDR Performance
- Low Input Lag
- Good Motion Handling
- Attractive Android TV
- No 3D Technology
- Poor Side Viewing Angle