The Best 4K Sony TVs in 2017 – 2018 [Updated: December 2017]

How Sony 4K TV  range differs from Samsung, LG, Panasonic etc. ?

Since 2006 when Samsung first overtook Sony, it has been growing with LG close on it’s heel in the high end/ flat panel Television market. Today Samsung has roughly 20 % of the TV market in terms of unit’s sold. LG and Sony come next. In the specific area of high end 4K TV – Premium Ultra HD  models , all 3 are competing fiercely. There is so much noise about the Samsung SUHD range launched in 2016 which competes very well with the OLED range by LG. LG went further and launched an even more feature laden but pricier range in 2017 which had the B7, C7, E7, G7 and unique W7 Wallpaper TV.  Samsung has recently launched the QLED or Quantum LED range as it’s successor to the SUHD.

But what of Sony – Has Sony quietly surrendered to superior technology and rapid launches by these fierce competitors or is it the proverbial dark horse, and yet old school warrior who will win this race ?

Sony 4K TV’s of 2017 are certainly competitive and have best selling models even if relatively low profile ones. In-fact Forbes magazine rated the XBR-55X930E as one of the best in 2017. Some have even preferred it over the Samsung KS8000 /9000 range of SUHDs. In 2017 , Sony also introduced it’s first large Size OLED TV – the A1.  The rest of the line up consists of the updated 800, 850, 900, 930 and 940 series. Also the Z9D LCD will carry over.

Fast Fact :  the Z9D is probably the only other high end 3D TV apart from the LG E6.

What improvements has Sony bought across it’s 4K TV model’s in 2017 ?

Sony has worked hard to bring about a lot of improvements in it’s latest TV set line up of 2017. These include:

  • Picture quality improvements. Smoother picture without colour banding due to Super bit mapping and HDR re-master. Richer Colour Details.
  • Brightness improvements – one factor on which it was lagging behind the KS series Samsung
  • Support for dolby vision in X93E, X94E, A1, Z9D
  • Also include the third HDR format called HLG in all the 2017 TV’s. Also better viewing of HDR as processor upgraded to HDR Processor X1

What difference does the Sony X-Reality Pro technology make to my TV viewing ?

In Sony’s own words: The X-Reality PRO Engine maximises the picture quality of the full range of input sources, everything from dazzling 1080p Blu-ray Disc® movies all the way to very low-resolution, highly-compressed Web video. In particular, Web video is extremely challenging for a video processor because of picture quality issues.  This is really a key issue because let’s remember you won’t have 4K content available at all points of time for your TV, and may display content from various sources. Due to this Engine , even normal 480 p DVD resolution movies appear really clear and sharp. The up-scaling provided Sony even in the starting 850E is right up there with Samsung KS series 8000 which is a more expensive model.

How does Sony compare with LG and Samsung in it’s 4k TV range of 2017 ?

Sony and Samsung KS range are very much head to head in comparison that it almost becomes a matter of personal choice. From the various reviews we’ve seen, people we’ve talked to and industry opinion , while Sony has a slight edge in dark levels and contrast handling in darker scenes and picture quality, Samsung is better in brightness, color vividity in normal lighting, lower  input lag and maybe what some would say a cleaner simpler remote.  Black bloom or halo effect which happens when bright objects shown against very dark background happens in both but somewhat lesser in Sony. You can check out the best Samsung 4K TVs of 2017 as well.

Is Sony a good TV for mix usage – movies, broadcast, games ?

Sony X900E , 930E , typically have a lag of around 40 ms varying between 10 ms to 50 ms which is acceptable for most gamers although slightly on the higher side. The picture quality, contrasts and brightness also make it a good choice for mixed use. In HD upscaling it compares even better than Samsung and it’s black and contrast handling is slightly better.  the X930E supports Dolby vision and other formats such as HLG as well.

How to decide which is the Best Sony 4k TV to buy in 2017 ?

Wow… that’s the question isn’t it ? That depends on which TV suits you – but if you’ve probably zeroed down to a Sony you will most likely have a good idea which TV features you are looking for. For a like on like comparison you’d have already compared it with the models of competitors like  Samsung, LG , even maybe a Vizio in the similar price range. You can always check out overall which are the best 4k TVs of 2017 here.

Which TV ?
The point to note is that you can go for a Sony mid-range model like the Sony X930E or even the Sony X900E to have a TV which can hold it’s own against the very best in LED / LCD conventional 4 K TV’s such as the Samsung 4K TV’s of 2017 (KS series) or even the new QLED’s by Samsung.   The difference in picture quality , color , brightness etc. will be minimal with Sony scoring above on some parameters and below on some against the best in Samsung / LG.  Sony mid range will most likely be cheaper.  And if you’re looking for OLED’s I would definitely suggest you compare the LG vs. Sony A1 Bravia. Even though the C7 and B6 have been reviewed as the probably the best OLEDs (price & feature mix), you definitely have a choice now.
SpecificationsZ9D SeriesA1E SeriesX940E SeriesX930E SeriesX900E SeriesX850E Series
Sizes65" / 75"55" / 65"75"55" / 65"49" / 55" / 65" / 75"65" / 75"
Resolution4K HDR Ultra HD4K HDR Ultra HD4K HDR Ultra HD4K HDR Ultra HD4K HDR Ultra HD4K HDR Ultra HD
Clarity4K X-Reality Pro4K X-Reality Pro4K X-Reality Pro4K X-Reality Pro4K X-Reality Pro4K X-Reality Pro
ContrastX-tended Dynamic Range ProOLEDX-tended Dynamic Range Pro XDR Contrast 10xX-tended Dynamic Range Pro XDR Contrast 10xX-tended Dynamic Range Pro XDR Contrast 5xDynamic Contrast Enhancer
BacklightingBacklight Master DriveIndividually controlled self-illuminating pixelsPrecision full-array local dimming and boostingSlim Backlight Drive+Full-array local dimming and boosting
HDR4K HDR X1 Extreme4K HDR X1 Extreme4K HDR X1 Extreme4K HDR X1 Extreme4K HDR X14K HDR X1
Motion ClarityLifelikeMotionflow XR 1440/120HzMotionflow XRMotionFlow XR 960/120 HzMotionFlow XR 960/120 HzMotionFlow XR 960/120 HzMotionFlow XR 960/120 Hz
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  1. David B May 6, 2017
    • Sam Sethi May 18, 2017
  2. Leena May 9, 2017
    • Sam Sethi May 10, 2017

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