Sony X940E Review (XBR75X940E) – Top Model Sony’s 2017 75 Inch 4K LED TV
Along with X930E Series, Sony X940E is the top model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV XBR-X Series. In the market, there is only a single screen size option available that is 75 inch (XBR75X940E). See last year model, it is a successor of X940D. The major difference than its brother X930E is about their backlighting technology where X930E comes with Edge Lit Backlight with Local Diming named “Slim Backlight Drive +”, whileX940E comes with Direct LED backlight with Full Array Local Dimming Technology. In addition to their backlight technology, Sony X940 and X930E come with similar technologies and features.
Technologies and Features
Coming as the top model of Sony’s 2017 4K HDR LED TV lineup, Sony X940 (XBR75X940) are powered by the number of Sony’s most advanced technologies that makes its picture quality and performance is great. One of the main technologies that offered is Full Array Local Dimming technology that makes its black level and contrast is including the best in 2017 for LED TV. Otherwise, for maximizing its peak luminance, there is Extended Dynamic Range Pro Technology behind that makes its peak brightness is really bright, including the brightest in 2017. And for delivering wide color gamut and good rendition of colors, like the predecessor X940D or other top model of Sony TV, it is powered by TriLuminos display. Since it is focused on HDR, great performance of each aspect of picture quality are required to show HDR images excellently like what intended by HDR technology itself.
As its picture engine, Sony X940E is powered by 4K HDR processor X1 Extreme Engine like what used by the Sony’s highlight of last year Z9D, where there are the number of Sony’s most advanced technologies are embedded including Dynamic Contrast Enhancer, Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object-Based Remaster Technology and Dual Database processing. Not only just that, unlike the predecessor X940D that only support HDR 10 only, Sony X940E now already supports most of popular HDR formats including HDR 10, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma), and Dolby Vision. Meanwhile, combination of X-Reality Pro Engine and X1 Extreme doesn’t only allow you to enjoy any content in 4K resolution, but also in 4K HDR quality.
For delivering smooth and clear picture quality when used for watching fast moving images or 24p movies, Sony X940E is powered by Motion Flow XR960 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. This allows this TV can interpolate both low frame rates content including 30 fps and 60 fps. Additionally, for connecting with other devices, Sony X940E is equipped with 4 HDMI and 3 USB ports, more than enough to cover your other electronic devices. And for offering attractive smart TV platform, it features Google Android TV Nougat version.
Sony X940E Key Specs
|Resolution||4K (2160 x 3840)|
|Size Available||75 Inch|
|Dimming||Full Array Local Dimming|
|X-Tended Dynamic Range Pro||Yes (10X)|
|HDR Formats||Yes (HDR 10, Dolby Vision, HLG)|
|Picture Engine||4K HDR Processor X1 Extreme|
|4K-X reality Pro||Yes|
|Color Technology||TriLuminos Display|
|Advanced Contrast Enhancer||Yes|
|Other Advanced Technologies||Precision Color Mapping, Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR, Object Based HDR Remaster, Dual Data Base Processing|
|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||10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W + 10 W|
|Price||See the price on Amazon|
Performance of Sony X940E
Picture quality of Sony X940 is including one of the best in 2017. Strong native contrast ratio and bright peak brightness are the major strength of X940, in addition to it also has good rendition of color and good performance on other aspect of picture quality. with full array local dimming is disabled, it might have about 5000:1 of native contrast ratio, similar to most of LED TVs with VA panel which available in the market, but once its local dimming is enabled, its native contrast ratio is improved significantly up to more doubled or more than 11000:1. Although not as perfect as what offered by OLED TV, this makes X940E is including LED TVs with strongest contrast ratio. Its native contrast ratio also can produce black level darker than 0.009 nits, a great value for a LED TV. The result, it has excellent dark room performance. Black colors of images can be shown really black, makes dark scene of images looks excellent and natural. Additionally, when displaying HDR image, black level reached by Sony X940E is also dark enough to reveal details of images in dark scene fairly well, makes shadow details of images looks excellent like what intended by HDR technology itself. As we know, one of the main purposes of HDR technology is making dark scene of image looks more details.
Otherwise, peak luminance reached by Sony X940E is also including the brightest in 2017. Combination of great performance of its Full Array Local dimming technology and X-tended Dynamic Range 10X behind it makes it can reach peak brightness brighter than 1000 nits, even when inputted by SDR signal. The result, when it is set in a bright room with a lot of lights of sunny window, the picture displayed on its screen still looks excellent due it doesn’t have significant problem when handling the glare and reflection of ambient lights. Meanwhile, when inputted by HDR signals, peak brightness reached by X930E even is brighter, nearly 1200 nits in 10% windows. This certainly makes highlight of HDR images looks excellent. Not just very bright, but it also shows highlight of HDR images in 1000 – 4000 nits like what intended. As we know, in this peak brightness range, HDR image is usually mastered. A bit drawback, in 50% and 100 windows or when displaying extremely bright scene, its peak brightness dim to below 1000 nits due its local dimming is not too effective in here. Nevertheless, the worst peak brightness reached by X940E is still pretty bright and brighter than most of LED TVs released in 2017.
Meanwhile, although not as wide as other premium TVs like Samsung QLED TV lineup, LG OLED TV, or its brother Sony A1E, Sony X940E still supports wide color gamut. Its color gamut can cover more than 95% of DCI P3 colors space, result in color of HDR images looks fairly accurate like what intended. There might still a bit issue when it is showing deep green, but it is not aloe since most of modern TVs also have the same problem. Additionally, its Rec.2020 color coverage of also fairly well, makes color of HDR images mastered in Rec.2020 like Dolby Vision contents also looks accurate. Of course, when displaying SDR images that usually mastered in Rec.709, it has no significant constraints. In addition to it has wide color gamut, its color volume is also fairly good. Its extremely deep black level and peak brightness makes it can shows its wide color gamut fairly well in its brightness range, even for extremely dark and bright colors. The only one that limits its color volume is its own color gamut coverage. Still about color performance, the Super Bit Mapping 4K HDR technology behind it also makes its color gradient looks very smooth, even when displaying HDR images mastered in 10 bit deep of color. In its brightness range, shades of colors looks very smooth. This is better than most of premium TVs where they usually have an issue when showing dark shades and grayscale.
Like other model of Sony 4K TV lineup, Sony X940E is also equipped with great performance UHD Up-scaling engine called 4K X-Reality Pro. No matter the resolution of your source, it allows you to enjoy them with the quality as detail as 4K resolution. Whether it is 1080p contents like Blu Ray Movies, 720p videos like movies from HDTV, or even low resolution videos like DVD movies with 480p resolution, all of them will be up-converted in 4K resolution fairly well and sharply with a lot of details are preserved well. Not even just that, with Object Based HDR Remaster Technology and Dual Data Base technology behind it, it doesn’t only allow you to enjoy them in 4K quality, but also as close as to 4K HDR. As we know, both of these technologies are developed to improve the brightness, color, and clarity of the picture based on the object, not just based on the picture at the whole.
Side Viewing Angle
Side viewing angle becomes the major downside of Sony X940E. Since it uses VA panel and poor viewing angle is the native characteristic of VA panel, of course this also makes the side viewing angle coverage of X940 is disappointed. Started at about 20 degrees, the color of the picture will looks shift, make the color of the picture doesn’t look as accurate as when viewed from the front and center. Additionally, its black and brightness also will be degraded at moderate angle. Nevertheless, side viewing angle coverage if X940E is still better than other TV with VA panel, particularly which used Edge Lit Backlight. With poor viewing angle coverage, this means this TV is not suitable when used in wide room with viewers watch TV from multiple angles. Nevertheless, as long as you don’t often watch TV from an angle, this should not be a problem for you.
Motion Handling and 24p Playback
For maximizing its picture clarity when displaying contents with fast scenes, Sony X940E is powered by MotionFlow XR960 based on native 120 Hz refresh rate panel. But unfortunately, the pixel response time of X940E is not as quick as other TVs, even for entry level TV. The result, the performance of X940E when handling motion blur is not so good. Following fast moving object, a trail looks far longer than most of TV. Luckily, it looks vague, so it is not to disturb your comfort when watching your favorite fast movies or sport. Nevertheless, when used to play 24p movies, Sony X940E offer great performance. No matter the type of the source, whether it is 24p videos like Blu-ray Movies, 24p videos via 60i signals like movies from satellite TV, or even 24p videos via 60p signals like movies from streaming devices, all of them will be displayed on its screen clearly and sharply with judder-free. However, to remove the judder without adding |”soap opera effect”, you need set “MotionFlow” to True Cinema” and “Cinemotion” to “High” on its picture setting. Additionally, since Sony X940E has native 120 Hz refresh rate panel, it has an ability to interpolate both of 60 fps and 30 fps contents up to 120 Hz as its native refresh rate panel.
Like most of middle to upper class TV, Sony X940E is equipped with 4 HDMI ports support HDCP 2.2 and 3 USB ports as its major connectivity. In addition to HDMI and USB ports, there are also 2 Composite In (AV In), 1 Component In, 1 RF In (Terrestrial), 1 Ethernet, 1 Digital Audio Out (Optical), and 1 Analog Audio Out (Mini Jack). Additionally, in addition to Ethernet In as a port to connect on the internet, X940E is also equipped with built-in Wi-Fi, allow you to connect it on the internet wirelessly. With all of these inputs/outputs provided, they are more than enough to cover your other electronic devices you want connect to X940E. Meanwhile, talking about its input lag, it is depending on the resolution of the source. In 4K resolution, although not as low as most of other TVs, its input lags is fairly enough in “game mode” and “PC mode”. With about 24 ms of input lags, it is low enough to play any 4K games even HDR 4K games comfortably and responsively, might also for fast paced games. Meanwhile, at 1080p inputs, its input lag is too high that is about 40 ms. When used to play casual games, it might still feel comfortably, but to play fast paced 1080p games, X940E might a be disappointed.
Like most of other models of Sony’s 4K TV lineup, Sony X940E also featuring Google Android TV Nougat version as its smart TV platform. On this version, it comes with some new features that makes it is more attractive like Picture on Picture mode, multitasking, and more. Additionally, it also comes with built in ChromeCast, allow you to cast any contents from your Tablet or Smartphone, allow you to enjoy them on big screen 75 inch of X940E. Meanwhile, as the preloaded apps, there are a lot of interesting apps provided like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Videos, Web browser, PlayStation Now, and many more. One of the advantages that offered is about its apps store named Google Play store where it is supported by many more developers and provide many more interesting and useful apps, games, and contents than apps store of other smart TV platform. But even so, like on last year version, navigation on Android TV is still a bit confusing, particularly for first time users.
As the remote, Sony X940E comes with Sony Voice Remote. This remote is larger than the remote of most of TVs and has a lot of buttons. On the remote, there is dedicated button to directly access Google Play Store and Netflix. But a bit unfortunate, it lacks smart features. The advantage, it is equipped with built in microphone that allows you to control some TV functions with your voice. Additionally, along with IR blaster included on its buying package, it can be functioned as a universal remote, allow you to control some main functions of other devices connected on X940E via HDMI port.
Sony X940E is one of LED TVs with the best local dimming technology. Its local dimming technology works effectively to boost contrast ratio and peak brightness, makes its contrast and peak brightness becomes the major strength of the picture produced by it. No matter the light condition of a room where you set it, the picture displayed on the screen looks excellent. Additionally, although not as good A1E series or Samsung QLED TV, its rendition of colors is also excellent, makes color of the picture displayed on its screen looks very accurate, even when displaying HDR contents which mastered in DCI P3 or Rec.2020 color space. Overall, as long as not viewed from an angle, picture quality of Sony X940E is excellent. Additionally, its HDR performance is also great and ascertained by Ultra HD Premium Certification, an award by UHD alliance for a 4K TV that is able to show HDR 10 videos like what intended. But unfortunately, its motion handling is not as good as most of other premium TVs, make it is not as the best when used for watching sports or movies. The other drawback, its input lags in 1080p resolution is also too high, make it is not suitable when used to play 1080p games, particularly for fast paced games. Fortunately, its input lags in 4K resolution is low enough to play any 4K games, so for gamers, its performance is not too disappointed. Meanwhile, although its navigation is a bit confusing, overall, its smart TV is attractive and responsive, especially about tons of apps provided.
Should I buy this TV? This certainly comes back to you depending on your preference. If your main consideration in buying TVs is picture quality and HDR performance, Sony X940E might be a good option for you. Otherwise, if you are searching a great TV for sport, games or smart TV, you might search other option. Nevertheless, for mixed usage, performance of X940E is excellent.
- Excellent Contrast Ratio and black level
- Excellent Full Array Local Dimming
- Excellent Black Uniformity
- Great Peak Brightness
- Good Rendition of colors
- Great HDR performance
- Side viewing angle coverage is disappointed
- Motion handling is not so good
- Input lags in 1080p resolution is too high
- The navigation of Smart TV is a bit confusing