Passport characteristics, delivery set and price
Official website Sony
The design is strict, neutral, so nothing distracts the viewer from what is happening on the screen. The OLED matrix is protected by a mineral glass front plate with a mirror-smooth surface.
An effective anti-reflective filter reduces the brightness of reflected objects to such an extent that screen specularity does not interfere with viewing in most situations. But the reflection of bright light sources on the screen is still visible. Fingerprints do not significantly reduce anti-reflective properties and are relatively easy to remove.
The rear panel of sony bravia 4k and narrow, rolled bezel with rounded corners are made in one piece, made of steel with a durable dark gray finish. Non-working screen frames for such a diagonal are very narrow – from the border of the display area to the outer borders of the order of 9 mm from the top and sides and 23 mm from the bottom.
From below, the distance is increased both due to a wider field of the front glass, and due to an insert made of transparent plastic with a dark backing and a mirror-smooth surface. This strip reflects a little more than the glass of the screen, which in rare cases can be noticeable.
In the center of the strip there is a dim white light indicator and somewhere – the IR receiver of the remote control and the light sensor. In standby mode, the indicator does not light up, it glows when turned on and blinks when receiving commands from the remote control, and even then this can be turned off in the settings menu.
The thickness of the screen in the thin part is only 5.5 mm, but the rigidity of its structure is quite high, there are no fears that it is about to bend, for example, when carrying the TV set.
However, the overhangs of the thin and flat part of the screen are not very large, but this is enough to visually hide the rectangular block protruding backward, which houses all the control and power electronics, connectors, the speaker system and additional stiffeners, including for attaching the stand.
The rear bump cover is made of black plastic with a mostly matte finish. Most of it has a vertical undulating relief, and only the upper part is completed by a plate with a glossy surface. From behind, the TV looks neat.
There are ventilation grilles at the bottom end of the unit and near the niche with connectors. Also, air comes out from under the lining on the upper end, and possibly through the slots on the side.
Also on the bottom end there are grilles of two low-frequency loudspeakers (subwoofers) and holes for their phase inverters.
The standard stand consists of two corner legs made of steel and having a resistant black semi-matte finish. The legs consist of two parts – a base and a short stand, completely recessed inside the screen unit. The stand on the base can be fixed in two positions. In the first, standard, the base will rest on the surface of the table / stand with a plane, and the height of the TV sony bravia 4k will be minimal. This is how it looks in the official image:
There are rubber pads at the points of contact of the bases of the legs with the surface on which the TV stands. Cable channels on the back of the leg bases allow you to secure a pair of thin cables (or one thick one) and route them back.
An alternative way to install the sony bravia tv without using a standard stand is to mount the TV to the wall using a bracket for VESA mounting holes 300 × 300 mm.
The 1.5 m power cable is not formally removable, but under the cover on the back it connects to the TV using a connector. The surplus can be rolled up and the coil can be pressed against the body with the supplied cable tie.
Most of the connectors are standard, full-sized and more or less loosely placed. The exception is a connector for inputting composite video and stereo audio in analog form, which is a socket for a four-pin minijack. There is no corresponding adapter for three RCA in the package. The pluses are worth recording as many as four HDMI inputs and three USB, one of which is even version 3.0 with a maximum current of up to 900 mA, this port is intended for connecting an external hard drive.
The user may prefer to use headphones with a Bluetooth interface to wired headphones (support for the A2DP profile is declared). To test, we have successfully connected to our test wireless speaker Sven PS-200BL.
Support for HDMI control is declared. However, in the case of our Sony BDP-S300 Blu-ray player, it works very limited: the TV itself switches (and turns on if it was turned off) to the HDMI input when you turn on the player and start the disc for playback. Also, the player turns off when the TV is turned off, and turns on when the corresponding input is selected in the TV menu. We do not know how HDMI control will work with other devices, perhaps better.
In Broadcast (Miracast) mode, you can transfer a copy of the screen of your mobile device and sound to your TV via Wi-Fi. In the case of a sufficiently productive smartphone (Poco F2 Pro) and with a direct connection of the smartphone to the TV (the access point was created on the TV), video output was obtained in Full HD resolution with a frame rate of up to 30 Hz inclusive without frame drops, even in the case of a complex dynamic picture. True, there are more compression artifacts, and the delay was more than 0.2 s. That is, in principle, you can watch a movie, but you won’t be able to work on a smartphone with output to a large screen. Also, from a PC running Windows 10 from Google Chrome, you can transfer a copy of the image of the current tab or the entire desktop (in 1080p resolution) and stream video from a file to a PC (finicky Chrome does not see MKV files) or from YouTube as a link for playing on TV …
Remote control and other control methods
The remote control body is made of black plastic with a matte surface. The buttons are mostly made of rubber-like material, and only the ring of cursor buttons is made of hard plastic. The button labels are contrasting. There are a lot of buttons, but they are located freely enough to press them conveniently, although, of course, you have to intercept the remote control. The remote control is hybrid, it can work both via IR and Bluetooth. The IR remote control works before pairing with the TV or when the TV is in deep sleep or disconnected from the network. In all other cases, the IR transmitter does not work, and commands are transmitted via Bluetooth, with the exception of the on / off command – it is always transmitted only via IR. Unfortunately, there is no backlight, but in the front there is an indicator, which in some cases glows orange, and a microphone hole. Google Voice Assistant is launched by clicking on the microphone button and can also be launched from the home page. This assistant will help you find the content provided by a number of programs and answer some questions (shows and pronounces the answer), for example, what is the weather outside the window now. However, there is almost no direct integration with the TV itself – you can use your voice to select TV channels, inputs, launch programs by name, and in some programs you can say text for search, but, for example, you cannot change the brightness or volume with your voice.
The remote control does not have coordinate input, for example, a gyroscopic “mouse”. The possibilities of the remote control, limited in the case of such a “smart” TV, would be compensated by connecting a keyboard and mouse to the TV, which is not forbidden at all. These input devices even work through a USB hub, freeing up scarce USB ports for other tasks, as well as Bluetooth. However, the delay from moving the mouse to actually moving the cursor around the screen is felt, which slows down the mouse experience somewhat. For the connected “physical” keyboard, you can select a layout (only one), including the most common Cyrillic version, while changing the keyboard layout (Ctrl + Space key combination) to English and back to the selected one is supported.
The keyboard and mouse can be used to navigate the TV interface and, of course, in programs. From the main and additional keyboard shortcuts set, for example, the keys for moving to the previous / next file in the multimedia player interface, return / cancel, go to the main page, mute, volume control, stop / play, start text [Win] and voice search [Search], switch between the last running programs. It should be noted that in general, the TV interface, as well as the preinstalled programs, is well optimized for using only the complete remote control, and the text, as already mentioned, can in some cases be spoken, that is, it is not necessary to connect a keyboard and mouse in general. For games, you may really want to connect joysticks, etc.
The software platform for this TV is Android TV, based on the Android OS version 9. The hardware configuration is explained by the CPU-Z program data:
The quality of the translation is good. The home page in Android TV consists of several horizontal ribbons with tiles of installed applications, recommended and featured content, and frequently viewed TV channels. The circles with the captions on the left explain what the content of the feeds refers to and allow you to start the corresponding program. At the top of the page there are icons-buttons for voice and text input of the search bar, for displaying system notifications, selecting inputs, for accessing timers and settings, as well as a clock. The home page settings allow the user to change a lot on it. Note that, in general, we had no complaints either to the stability of the work or to the responsiveness of the shell.
Play multimedia content
In superficial testing of the playback of multimedia content, we limited ourselves to a number of files launched mainly from external USB drives. Sources of multimedia content when using third-party programs can also be servers on the local network, for example, UPnP (DLNA). Hard drives, external SSDs and regular flash drives have been tested. The two tested hard disks worked from any USB port, and in standby mode of the TV itself or after a certain period of inactivity, the hard disks turned off (but they can periodically turn on if, for example, the recording schedule is active). Note that the TV supports USB drives with at least FAT32, exFAT and NTFS file systems, and there were no problems with Cyrillic names of files and folders. The standard TV player does not detect files on drives, even if there are not very many files (several thousand). However, in most cases this is bypassed by using third-party programs.
It makes little sense to test the playback of audio files using the built-in player, since there will certainly be a third-party program that will handle this well and as convenient for the user. In the case of raster graphic files, the capabilities of the built-in player are worth discussing, since only it can play these files in a true resolution of 3840 × 2160. All third-party programs, like the OS itself, display a static image at a resolution of 1920 × 1080. However, both the built-in player and third-party programs can output video in true 3840×2160 resolution using hardware decoding. We have confirmed the ability of the standard TV player to display bitmap graphic files in JPEG formats, including in the form of a slideshow with background music. The transition effect is one, the interval for changing slides is not adjustable.
Video playback tests were carried out mainly using the MX Player. Supports hardware decoding of audio tracks at least in formats (and their varieties) AAC, AC3, DTS, MP2, MP3, OGG, PCM and WMA. Most of the modern high-resolution files we tested were playable without problems in hardware decoding mode (in some cases in HW + mode), up to H.265 variants at 4K resolution at 60 fps. It supports playback of HDR video files (HDR10 and HLG; containers: MKV, MP4, TS and WebM; VP9 and H.265 codecs), and in the case of files with 10 bits per color, according to visual assessment, there are more shades of gradation than 8-bit files. By the way, in the YouTube application, we managed to watch videos in 4K resolution with HDR and even at 60 fps (the colors are pale, since this is a programmed HDR video shot from the screen).
Rarely, but there were video files with which the TV had problems. For example, DivX 3 in AVI could not be played, MPEG1 VCD and MPEG2 SVCD / KVCD did not zoom up to the nearest screen boundaries, but MPEG2 MP @ HL with 720p / 1080p resolution are reproduced normally.
Test videos to determine the uniformity of frame rotation helped to reveal that the TV, when playing video files, does not adjust the screen refresh rate to the frame rate in the video file, but if the Motionflow functions (albeit with the minimum values of the parameters) and Film Mode are enabled, the TV operates at refresh 120 Hz, so at least files with 24, 30 and 60 fps are output with equal frame duration.
The TV sony bravia 4k is equipped with an Acoustic Surface system. Its essence lies in the fact that the drives located behind the screen act directly on the screen panel, forcing it to emit sound. As a result, the user hears the sound coming directly from the screen, and not from the side or bottom. This circumstance significantly increases the realism of what is happening on the screen. The vibration of the panel in the area of the drives is well felt by hand. Such a sound reproduction system has its limitations: firstly, there are difficulties with the transmission of low frequencies, and secondly, the limited surface of the screen can lead to unwanted resonances. The former corrects the subwoofer placed in the rear center, and the latter is possibly partially compensated for by equalization of the signal.
Subjective testing of the built-in speaker system has shown that its volume is more than enough for an average-sized room. Even at maximum volume, the distortion is not very large. There are high, middle frequencies, there are low frequencies, but their lack is felt. The stereo effect is pronounced. There are no obvious parasitic resonances, but the sound is still harsh – the glass panel is clearly worse at coping with the transfer of mid and high frequencies in comparison with the loudspeaker diffuser. The TV acoustics convey voices well during conversation, copes well with typical pop music, but it is difficult to name it suitable for any type of music. For games, sports and news programs, for talk shows – excellent, while for better immersion in the atmosphere of a good movie with high-quality music and / or special effects that require clear sound and powerful bass transmission, it is still better to use external acoustics and better multichannel.
Plugging in headphones will disable the built-in speakers and adjust the volume in the headphones independently. The volume reserve when using headphones at 32 ohms with a sensitivity of 92 dB is huge, there is no noise in the pauses, there is clearly not enough low frequencies, the stereo effect is clearly expressed, in general the sound quality is good.
Note that the TV automatically mutes the sound in the absence of an audio signal (at least when connected via HDMI), but does not turn it on immediately. As a result, the beginning of the sound signal is eaten, it is slightly annoying, for example, when working at a PC – short system sounds are often simply not heard.
Working with video sources
Cinema modes were tested when connected to a Sony BDP-S300 Blu-ray player. An HDMI connection was used. Recall that this player outputs a maximum of 1080p @ 60Hz. The TV supports 480i / p, 576i / p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p signals at 24/50/60 Hz. The colors are correct, taking into account the type of video signal, the brightness definition is high, but the color definition for 1080i / p signals is slightly lower than possible. In the standard video range (16-235), all shades are displayed. For a 1080p signal at 24 fps, by default, frames are output with equal length interleaving.
In most cases, the TV does an excellent job of converting interlaced video signals to a progressive image, even with the most intricate interlaced half frames (fields). When scaling from low resolutions and even in the case of interlaced signals and a dynamic picture, the edges of objects are smoothed – the teeth on the diagonals are not very pronounced. The video noise reduction functions work very well without causing significant artifacts in the case of dynamic images. The function Smooth transition eliminates or at least reduces the visibility of gradients on smooth transitions between shades. There is a function for inserting intermediate frames. Its quality is very good (but even better), in most cases intermediate frames are calculated correctly and with high definition. By default, there is a trade-off between visible smoothness (little gating remains) and artifact visibility (few of them). The user can customize the operation of this function to suit his requirements, or, of course, disable it completely to watch a movie without the intervention of smart electronics.
When connected to a computer via HDMI, we received an image output in a resolution of 3840 × 2160 with a frame rate up to 60 Hz inclusive. In the mode with a resolution of 1920 × 1080, a frame rate of up to 120 Hz is supported, and exactly 120 original frames per second are output. Scaling to the resolution of the TV matrix (if necessary) is performed with high quality, without obvious artifacts and without significant loss of contrast of thin lines. In the case of a 4K signal with original color fidelity (RGB output or component signal with 4: 4: 4 color coding), the actual image can be displayed on the TV screen without degrading the color fidelity (Picture mode Game, all functions that enhance clarity disabled) … As a result, this TV can be used as a monitor for a PC – the clarity is original, there is no flicker, there is only some dynamic change in brightness depending on the average lightness of the scene, which in most cases can be put up with, and rare artifacts at contrasting borders, and what will be told below.
Under Windows 10, HDR output to this TV is possible by selecting the appropriate option in the display settings. At a resolution of 4K and 60 Hz, the output goes in 8-bit per color mode, supplemented by dynamic color mixing, apparently, using a video card at the hardware level. At 30 Hz and below – 12 bits per color (the TV itself is responsible for the 10-bit output):
Playback of test videos with 10-bit color and smooth gradients showed that the visibility of transitions between hues was much lower than with simple 8-bit output without HDR. The color mixing function in the video renderer settings was, of course, disabled. HDR content colors are close to expected, that is, bright and saturated. The overall HDR viewing experience is great. The absolutely black color combined with the high brightness of both large and point objects is surprising, without any artifacts in the form of halos or strange changes in brightness. An exception is the case of displaying a very light image in full screen, when the overall brightness decreases noticeably, but when viewing normal content, and not test content, this almost never happens. In the DisplayHDR test tool program, at 10% white, the brightness is set at a value of about 480 cd / m2 (the peak reaches 614 cd / m2), and on the white field in full screen – 176 cd / m2 (however, we are not sure what the settings have achieved maximum values). There is no significant short-term increase in brightness when switching from black to white. In the test with smooth gradients, there are more transitions between shades than in the case of 8-bit color encoding, but in dark areas, if you look closely to the screen, you can see low-contrast static and dynamic noise at the level of individual pixels. However, this noise practically does not affect the output quality of real images (movies, videos, photographs).
OLED technology, which is used to form the image on the screen of the Sony Bravia KD-55A8 TV, allows you to get the highest quality picture with true blacks, rich vivid colors, good viewing angles and without any artifacts in dynamics. The TV itself and the standard stand are distinguished by a strict design, albeit not attracting attention, but also not distracting the viewer from what is happening on the screen. Acoustic Surface Audio sound drives emit sound directly from the screen surface, bringing sound sources as close as possible to their location on the screen. In terms of functional equipment, the Sony Bravia KD-55A8 belongs to the class of advanced modern TVs, which are, in fact, multimedia combines with advanced network capabilities. At the same time, the Android TV platform used has a convenient interface with support for voice search and input, as well as external keyboards and mice, and does not significantly limit the user in the choice of software, which provides additional advantages in comparison with TVs that use proprietary solutions. The TV is ideal for home watching movies and TV shows in 4K and HDR. Lower quality videos, even low-definition TV programs, look good thanks to the many picture-enhancing features. It is not forbidden to play on the TV, except that the output delay in the case of very dynamic games can be high.
- High image quality
- Good HDR support
- Excellent multimedia experience expandable by using third-party software
- Chromecast support
- A well-working tween function
- Black frame insertion for sharper motion
- Voice search and speech input
- Very fast response time
- Good reception of digital terrestrial TV programs
- Dual satellite tuner
- Has USB 3.0 overcurrent port
- Automatic audio and picture adjustment function
- Cable management system
- Stand with two heights