Sony X900H TV Review (2020)||Sony’s First HDMI 2.1 4k TV X900H TV Review (2020) – Sony’s First HDMI 2.1 4k TV
SONY X900H TV:
So here we bought the Sony X900H. It fills an interesting spot in Sony’s LCDlinup – as their second highest end 4k model, below the X950H. Despite appearing lower in the series, itclaims to have features that the 950 lacks like HDMI 2.1 support for higher bandwidthsignals, and variable refresh rates. This is a first from any 4k Sony TV, whichmakes it one to consider if you’re interested in a next gen gaming console within the nextfew years. In this video we’ll put the TV to the testto see how it compares to the higher-end X950H.
SONY X900H TV REVIEW:
First we’ll look at the design of the TV andthen move on to the picture quality. We’ll look at the motion handling, input lag,and sound, and then see how it stacks up overall against the higher-end X950H. If you’d like to skip straight to our testresults, then check out the youTube chapters on the video. We bought the 55 inch X900H to test, but itis also available in larger sizes up to eighty five inches. We expect these other sizes to have very similarpicture quality. Note that in some regions including the UKand Europe, the model number might be slightly different, and it is often referred to asthe XH90. We expect these TVs to also perform similarlyto the US model we bought. So first up, the design. No surprises here, as Sony TVs follow a verysimilar design language. They tend to look quite minimal, and thisTV is no exception. There are thin bezels which look good. The stand also supports the TV well and feelsstable, without any screws required. It is a wide set stand which needs a largetable, but this is good for those who want to place a soundbar between the legs. Some variants of the TV in Europe may alsohave multiple stand positions to fit on a smaller table, but this isn’t the case forUS models. A single button to control the TV is locatedunder the Sony logo on the front, and you can do basic actions like toggle the power,change inputs, or change volume but you’ll definitely want to keep the remote close by.
Now moving around to the side of the TV, itlooks almost identical to the X950H. The thickness is about typical of most newTVs, so it won’t stick out much if you decide to put it on the wall using the VESA mountof the TV. The inputs are all directed out the side,and there’s nothing surprising here with four HDMI ports, two USBs and a tuner. Now, some of these HDMI ports are supposedto be HDMI 2.1, but we don’t know which as we’ll talk more about that later on inthe review. Like other Sony TVs but unlike other brands,there is a composite video input for those who want to connect older devices. There are also clips provided in the box,so you can route cables down the back of the stand and it works fine to have a relativelytidy setup, but definitely isn’t as impressive as some older Sony TVs like the Z9F. Now we’ll move on to the picture quality. We’ll be comparing to currently availableTVs but competing models may change as new TVs are released throughout the year. For an updated comparison with new modelsas we buy and test them, see the review page on our website which is linked below. The contrast ratio of a display is the relativebrightness of bright areas, compared to dark ones. It is one of the most important aspects ofpicture quality in a dark room, as a high contrast allows for details to be visiblein dark scenes, rather than getting lost in the gray. The contrast ratio of the X900H is relativelyhigh, and is actually better than the higher-end X950H . This is expected though, as the X950Hhas an extra layer to improve the viewing angles but it comes at the expense of contrast. The X900H without this layer results in agood contrast for watching movies or playing video games in the dark. Now, there is also a feature called localdimming to improve the perceived contrast. Basically, this is where different areas orzones of the backlight can be controlled independently to further deepen dark areas of scenes orboost brighter areas.
Overall this TV performs well and the resultis good, but it is limited by the number of distinct zones. The algorithm generally works well though,and we found overall performance to be similar to the X950H . Now as mentioned earlier, this TV doesn’thave the X-Wide viewing angle feature of the higher-end X950H, which otherwise helps toimprove the accuracy of the image when viewed at an angle. The result is worse than the X950H and abouttypical of most VA-type TVs. Those who really care about viewing anglesmay find it bad, but we do also get a lot of feedback from people who don’t mind theviewing angles of VA panels. As a result, you should check out the videohere to see how you find it. The full video is also linked in the description. If it is a problem for you, have a look atthe X950H instead, but do note that only some sizes have this feature. So on to reflections. Good reflection handling is important forthose with bright rooms. This TV has a semi-gloss finish, which diffusesreflections a bit across the screen. The result is fine and about typical of mostTVs, but bright direct reflections such as from windows or lamps facing the TV may resultin hard-to-see dark scenes. This isn’t as good as the X950H, but thehigher end model does have some rainbow artifacts and horizontal smearing from the viewing anglelayer so check out our video review for more information . If you do have some lights in your room, thena high SDR peak brightness is also important to overcome glare with brighter content. The X900H can get very bright for SDR, asthe whole screen can reach about five hundred nits. It is a bit strange that the smaller two percentwindow size doesn’t get as bright, as we haven’t seen this behaviour in other Sony TVs. Most people are unlikely to notice it though. Now if you watch HDR content, then high peakbrightness is important for different reasons. High brightness tends to be used in HDR contentto add bright specular details resulting in a more impressive image. In this respect the TV is decent, but at aboutfive hundred and fifty nits on our real scene it is a step below the higher end X950H. Also important in HDR content is ability todisplay wider color spaces, to produce more vivid details when the director intends forit. The X900H can display a wide color gamut withcoverage over most of the DCI P3 color space. This is good for those who plan to use theTV to watch HDR movies or play HDR games. Now a quick note on the pixels.
The fifty five inch model we bought has ablue, green, red pixel layout. This isn’t a problem and likely isn’tnoticeable for most people, but might be a consideration for someone who wants to usethis as a 4k monitor for their PC. This layout is fairly common on TVs, but canresult in slightly less clear text from a computer and only if cleartype tuning hasn’tbeen performed. In other cases, the text should always appearclear. Another important picture quality aspect isthe uniformity of the TV. We test the gray uniformity of each TV bytaking a photo of a mid-level gray and a dark-gray. This shows uniformity issues which affectall colours, including dirty screen effect or vignetting which can be distracting whenwatching sports or playing video games. The X900H we bought has great uniformity,so it won’t really be distracting for most people. Note that this does vary between units dueto tolerances in the manufacturing process, but we expect our unit to be representative. Let us know in the comments below if you buythis TV and how yours compares! So now on to the motion handling, and we’llstart with the response time. To learn more about motion on TVs, check outour video series which should be linked up he re. The response time is an average of the timeit takes a display to transition from one frame to the next. A high response time results in blurry imageswhen watching sports or playing video games.
The X900H has a fast response time which isgreat, resulting in clear images without much motion blur. Like the X950H though, those sensitive toit may notice slight overshooting in dark scenes causing some artefacts, but we don’texpect this to be a problem for most people. The photo of our moving logo also looks smoothand clear. Like the higher end X950H, there is backlightflicker at seven hundred and twenty hertz but it isn’t really noticeable, so whilethe TV isn’t flicker free it shouldn’t be a problem for most people. Now if you really care about the clearestimage, then black frame insertion is a useful feature as it introduces more flicker to thebacklight but as a result it reduces the amount of persistence blur. On this TV and most other Sony’s, it canbe enabled by increasing the Clearness slider in the ‘MotionFlow’ menu. It works fairly well as you can see in ourmoving logo photo, however for 60 Hz content the minimum backlight flicker is one hundredand twenty hertz, which results in the duplication visible. A quick word on ‘X-Motion Clarity Plus’. This is a term Sony uses when they combineblack frame insertion with motion interpolation. On the X900H this is achieved by putting theclearness setting to 1, and smoothness to 2. We haven’t tested how this combination ofsettings looks specifically, but if you’re a fan of the soap opera effect then it maybe a good option for you as it combines a 120hz flicker frequency with 120hz interpolation. Now, if you’re a gamer then low input lagis very important to reduce the delay between an action in-game and when you see it on thescreen. At about fifteen milliseconds for sixty hertzsignals it is excellent and feels very responsive. It is a bit lower for one hundred and twentyhertz signals too, which is great for fast-paced gaming. Now, something unique about this TV is unlikethe higher end X950H, the X900H is advertised to support HDMI 2.1 features of variable refreshrates and higher bandwidth signals.
This is great to hear, as a lot of peopleare anticipating the next gen game consoles, or even just gaming on TVs with variable refreshrate from their PC. Unfortunately at the moment the X900H doesn’tsupport variable refresh rates, but this is expected to come in a future firmware update. Check out the review on our website for anupdate on this. As always, we’ll keep the TV until it isdiscontinued and in the meantime we’ll update the review as soon as this firmware is publiclyavailable. Now, in terms of higher bandwidth HDMI 2.1signals we’re unfortunately not able to test this on the X900H as there’s no HDMI2.1 graphics card available. We did buy a Club 3D adapter to send HDMI2.1 signals via displayport but this is brand new and we haven’t yet received it. We will also update the review soon afterwe receive the equipment to test this though. Another consideration is there’s no indicationfor which of the X900H’s ports support HDMI 2.1. There’s rumors that its only via HDMI 3 and4, but we aren’t able to confirm this yet. So now on to the smart features. Like other Sony TVs, this one runs AndroidTV which works well and feels very smooth. This is great, because Sony TVs have a bitof a reputation of a slow interface, but this seems to be changing. With access to the google play store there’sa huge variety of apps, and the large remote works well to browse through content or there’sa dedicated button to quickly get to Netflix. And lastly, for the sound. This TV does have a different speaker configurationto the higher-end X950H, and also lacks a room correction feature. Overall though the sound is still decent andabout typical of most TVs. The frequency response is well-balanced anddialog sounds clear, but as always for better sound and more thump or rumble in the bassyou should look into an external sound system or soundbar.
SONY X900H TV CONCLUSION:
So overall the X900H is a very interestingTV. Some of the advertised features aren’t readyyet though, which is a bit disappointing. We’d love to try out the first 4k Sony TVwith variable refresh rate support, but we’ll have to wait for a future firmware updateinstead. It is still a very solid performer though,with good picture quality, especially for those with fairly dark rooms. If you’re after a TV for gaming then itis definitely a good choice, but it might be best to verify the HDMI 2.1 firmware updateis available first – no one likes to pay full price for a beta test while they waitfor advertised features! For most other uses though, the X950H is abetter TV with better viewing angles, a brighter screen and more impactful HDR, and betterreflection handling. So that’s it! What do you think of the Sony X900H? Are you interested in it for gaming or a futureconsole? Let us know down below.