£999.00 on currys.co.uk
Sony has released a series of new Sony Bravia XH90 LED TVs designed specifically for future gaming consoles, allowing you to render games in 4K resolution at 120 fps. Full review Sony Bravia XH90: (Full Specifications & Features)
Everyone loves to compare OLED and LED. Now here is such an attempt again. On the test we have the LG CX and Sony XH90.
The range includes four models with screens of 55, 65, 75 and 85 inches. At the end of this year, an update will be released that will include support for 4K / 120 fps. The Sony Bravia XH90 Series features Full Array Local Dimming & Boosting Technology. Depending on the content displayed, the technology dynamically adjusts brightness and contrast levels. This series is equipped with a Sony X1 4K HDR processor
Also, the new TVs are equipped with Sony Acoustic Multi-Audio technology (except for the smallest model). Sony calls it the “Sound from Picture” technology, which allows you to hear the sound exactly from the place on the screen where it comes from. The Dolby Atmos X-Balanced speaker delivers very high-quality sound in the ultra-slim TV case.
Sony 4K HDR TV is equipped with a calibrated Netflix mode, the device runs on the Android TV operating system, there is support for Google Play, YouTube, NLZiet, NGO Uitzending Gemist, Videoland, Pathe Thuis and other services. There is also the possibility of voice control using the Google Assistant.
What is usually the first thing a buyer pays attention to when choosing a TV? Definitely this is the appearance of the front. In the Sony XH90 series, the new aluminum bezel around the screen captures the eye. Of course, the thickness of the bezel is not the same as that of smartphones, but it is very close to this.
In the center of the bottom of the Sony KD-55XH9096 TV screen is a highlighted logo. The legs of the Y-shaped stand are made in the style of “Metal Blade Stand”. The distance between them can be adjusted except for the KD-85XH9096 TV, where the stability of a huge panel is extremely necessary. The TV case is made of black plastic.
The interface part is located on the left side, the connectors are directed to the side and down. Note that the Russian segment of the Sony XH90 series TVs consists of a pair of rulers – these are the XH9077 and XH9096. Their difference is only in design color. The XH9077 TVs have a silver gray finish and the XH9096 is black. In a word, this is a copy of the design decision of the XH95 series.
Sony TVs always try to look their best in terms of content playback capabilities. So in the XH90 series (X900H), naturally there is support for Dolby Vision and HDR in 4K. Full-power backlight is factory calibrated in Netflix Calibrate Mode. Thus, the manufacturer promises to play television shows and movies, as they were conceived by the creators of Netflix.
It is worth noting that to use the Netflix calibration mode, you only need to use the Netflix application, which comes pre-installed on Android 9.0 TV. Unfortunately, this does not work if you try to watch Netflix through the Apple TV 4K or PS4 Pro. Already standard operating system Android 9.0 Pie supports voice control Google Assistant.
In addition, the XH90 series works with Alexa, which is important for the US market. There is also an integration of Apple HomeKit and AirPlay 2, which allows the KD-55XH9077 and KD-55XH9096 to easily control various home automation scenes. For example, Siri and streaming movies, music, photos and games from iOS and macOS devices. It has now become very convenient and simple, an additional plus to the capabilities of the Sony XH90 series.
If you do not plan to purchase a soundbar, then there is good news in terms of acoustics. The XH90 Series features Sony’s new acoustic multi-speakers, which should provide a full and rich sound scene. In the test samples, the impression was that the sound was emitted directly from the TV screen KD-65XH9096 (KD-65XH9077).
Indeed, the soundtrack is so fantastic thanks to the new audio technology that thoughts about the soundbar recede into the background. Of course, the entire TV is not able to replace a separate soundbar, but the speakers used in previous series are a shame. Especially when compared with the 75-inch model KD-75XE9405. The only caveat regarding the new speaker system is that this feature is only available on Sony’s 65-inch and larger “XH90” models.
In conclusion of the section on opportunities, I would like to dwell on models for the US market. As you know, the manufacturer, following a philosophy that does not require a soundbar to enjoy high-quality sound, focuses on streaming video content. Starting with the X900H series, Sony equips TVs with the tuner Nextgen ATSC 3.0.
Such a tuner allows you to receive 4K content over the air. But even in the USA, support for this standard is minimal so far, although this is some impetus for watching 4K content that differs from broadcasting traditional cable operators and broadcast channels.
Looking a little ahead, the PS5 game console will support 4K @ 120fps games, and this requires the HDMI 2.1 interface. Although Sony never mentions HDMI 2.1 specifications anywhere, the XH90 series will be equipped with them. 4K and 120fps compatibility will appear, but this will happen after a future software update.
Given that 4K @ 120fps is required for HDMI 2.1, older TVs with HDMI 2.0 will not get what they want through firmware updates. It is likely that the XH90 will be one of the first series, where we will see HDMI 2.1. The rest of the interface part coincides with the Sony XH95 TVs.
According to some reports, it became known that the Sony XH9096 and XH9077 series of TVs will be the first among the models of this manufacturer, offering HDMI 2.1 support with VRR and ALLM. The first function (VRR) is a variable refresh rate that provides the best possible playback without delays in the game process (when using a PC or console, these devices must also support VRR). The second function (ALLM) allows the TV to automatically switch to game mode when a console connected via HDMI is detected.
And finally, another super killer feature, but not specifically for this model, but for all Sony TVs. It’s about PWM. We are well aware that OLED displays use PWM to adjust brightness, which means they flicker quickly. Now we will not go into details, we will soon have a lot of material about this. The main thing is that many people are very sensitive to flicker and their eyes get tired of PWM.
But few people know that most LCD TVs also use PWM. Moreover, they flicker at a fairly low frequency – 240 Hz. And believe me, even if you don’t notice the PWM on your smartphone, you will feel it on the big screen TV. Especially if you are playing a console.
So, Sony also use PWM in their LCD TVs, but unlike competitors, they put a better expensive controller that flickers at 720 Hz, at which PWM no longer affects vision, the human brain and its eyes simply do not notice. Therefore, especially if you buy a TV for a gaming setup or just get tired of your eyes from monitors, be sure to consider this when buying.
The TV has a full direct backlit VA matrix. Resolution – 4K. Apparently, there are not many local blackout zones at all. But somehow, magically, Sony has achieved stunning black levels, while the glosses around bright objects are almost invisible.
But since this is a VA matrix, the viewing angles are not maximum, at an angle the picture becomes paler. For whom viewing angles are very important, take a closer look at the XH95 model, there everything is ok with viewing angles.
The TV supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision technologies. This is, of course, good, but the peak brightness is not very high here. Therefore, you can only fully enjoy HDR in a dark room.
Nevertheless, this TV produces a very good picture. Largely thanks to the built-in Sony X1 4K HDR processor. It controls the backlight, upscales the picture in 4K, improves colors and contrast in every possible way.
And I mean just image enhancement, not embellishment. There’s even a special Netflix Calibrated Mode that lets you watch Netflix content in natural mode to convey the author’s intent.
But stop talking about banal things. Let’s move on to the killer feature. There is such a thing that you will not find mentioning either on Yandex.Market or on the Sony website. The thing is, this TV supports HDMI version 2.1. Moreover, there are even two such ports. What does it mean?
Compared to the previous HDMI 2.0b standard, the new version has 4 very significant advantages. First of all? throughput has grown dramatically: 48 Gbps versus 18. And this will allow you to output video in 4K at 120 fps. Gamers, you know what I mean, huh?
The next moment, HDMI 2.1 supports VVR technology, i.e. variable refresh rate or Variable Refresh Rate. This means that the frame rate in the game will automatically sync with the refresh rate of the screen, just like G-Sync and FreeSync from NVIDIA and AMD.
Further more, with ALLM – Auto Low Latency Mod – TVs will automatically switch to low latency mode when you connect a console or PC that supports this feature, and new consoles will support it.
And finally, there is such a feature as eARC – Enhanced Audio Return Channel, or an improved audio return channel. This technology allows you to transmit uncompressed audio from your TV to your receiver, including multi-channel Dolby Atmos or DTS: X audio.
All in all, HDMI 2.1 is a very significant advantage. Then why doesn’t Sony specify this in the specs?
First, let’s see what other Sony models support HDMI 2.1.
Yeah, the most premium models support high resolution eARC, but the only model that has full support for all features is the XH90. Sony may not want to increase internal competition. Or maybe the reason is completely different.
The thing is, this feature is not yet available. And we ourselves cannot test it, and we do not even know for sure which two of the four HDMI ports are 2.1 here, probably these are ports 3 and 4, they even shine a little more.
BUT! Sony promised that they will add support with the firmware update, this is 100% information. And we really hope that the update will come before the release of the PS5 and Xbox Series X. Well, what if you decide to take the Xbox. Why not, it’s your choice. Nobody will judge you. Except for friends, mom, and casual passers-by. This is the choice of everyone…
Review Summary XH90
In conclusion, Sony’s XH9096 review summarizes. The XH90 TV series was the continuation of last year’s XG8505 line, and not the XF9005. Unlike his older brother XH95, the series in question has the smallest diagonal of 55 inches. But this is not the main difference. The main emphasis that the manufacturer makes on reducing the price for the consumer is the installation of a simple X1 GPU instead of the X1 Ultimate. But the alleged presence of the HDMI 2.1 interface makes this series pretty attractive.
Take material from the resource: letsgodigital.org