Reviewed on Apr 27, 2014

Sony W800B

Usage Ratings
7.7Mixed Usage
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Score components:
  • 74% Picture Quality
  • 19% Motion
  • 7% Inputs
This television has been discontinued.
It was replaced by the Sony W800C

The Sony W800B is a really good TV for gamers. Its only major flaw is the loss of color saturation when viewed at an angle.

  • Very good for gaming. It has one of the lowest input lag times that we measured in 2014, as well as a special Impulse mode which reduces motion blur without increasing input lag.
  • Great picture quality in dark and bright environments.
  • Limited viewing angle. The colors change when you are not sitting directly in front of the TV.
  • Poor 3D capabilities. It has some crosstalk issues.

Test Results
Picture Quality 7.5
Motion 8.0
Inputs 9.5

Check Price

50" KDL50W800B Amazon CHECK PRICE Right
55" KDL55W800B Amazon CHECK PRICE Right


Sony W800B Design

The Sony W800B LED TV has a beautiful design. The frame around the screen is very thin. The top half of the TV is thin, but the bottom half is thicker.

Sony W800B Stand

The stand is a curved stainless steel rod, which is very sturdy and has a low profile. The TV comes with brackets to hang it on the wall, so you don't need to buy an additional wall mount (unless you want one that swivels).

Sony W800B Borders

0.47" (1.2 cm)

Sony W800B Thickness

Top half: 0.63" (1.6 cm) Bottom half: 2.13" (5.4 cm)


Picture Quality

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Score components:
4k : No
9.5 Contrast
Sony W800B Contrast
Black : 0.020 cd/m2
White : 105.2 cd/m2
Contrast : 5260 : 1

The blacks are great on this TV. It performs very well when you have the lights turned off in your room. The colors are good, and were easy to calibrate.

8.0 Black Uniformity
Sony W800B Black Uniformity

The backlight uniformity is good, but there are some clouding spots at the bottom the screen (which can barely be seen).

6.0 Gray Uniformity
Sony W800B Gray Uniformity

The uniformity of a gray screen is not that bad for an edge-lit LED, but there are still some darker spots, especially on the edges. You don't really notice it, though, when watching normal content.

6.2 Viewing Angle
Viewing Angle : 22 °

As expected with an LED TV with such great contrast, the colors change when viewed at an angle. They lose saturation and become whiter.

9.0 Average Room
Sony W800B Average Room
Reflection : 1.7 %
Surface Type : Semi-gloss

The Sony W800B has a very low amount of reflection for a semi-gloss screen. It is slightly better than the H6350 and a lot better than LG LED TVs like the LB6300.

7.7 Bright Room
Sony W800B Bright Room
Max white : 256.2 cd/m2

It also performs well in a bright room and can get bright, but some TVs like the Samsung H7150 can get a bit brighter. Unless you have a veranda, though, the Sony W800B can get bright enough.

10 3D
Sony W800B 3D Picture
3D : Yes


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Score components:
8.0 Motion Blur
Sony W800B Motion Blur

The amount of motion blur is average-good. It also features a backlight strobbing mode, which reduces the amount of blur significantly (more details and picture below in the Q&A).

Motion Interpolation
Sony W800B Motion Interpolation Picture
Motion Interpolation : Yes


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Score components:
9.5 Input Lag
Sony W800B Input Lag
Input Lag : 24.3 ms

When in game mode, the Sony W800B has the lowest input lag that we currently have measured so far. This is really one of the best gaming TVs we have ever tested.

Side Inputs
Sony W800B Side Inputs

1 Headphone Out

Rear Inputs
Sony W800B Rear Inputs

1 RF In
1 Component In
2 Composite In
1 Digital Audio Out
1 Ethernet

Smart Features

7.0 Smart TV
Sony W800B Smart TV

Unfortunately, the smart TV features are not very good. They do the job, but they are slow. Check out our review of Sony's 2014 Smart TV platform.


Conclusion Amazon CHECK PRICE Right

7.7Mixed Usage
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Score components:
  • 74% Picture Quality
  • 19% Motion
  • 7% Inputs
If you are a gamer, this is the TV for you. With its unique backlight strobing mode and very low input lag, it is a solid choice for video games. It also has very good picture quality for other uses, but if playing video games is not your primary purpose for this TV, you will be happier with either the Samsung H6350 or the Samsung H7150, depending on your budget.
Questions Found an error?

Let us know what is wrong in this question or in the answer.


Questions & Answers

Any suggestions for best settings?
The settings that we used are described in a sub-page of this review.
What is the best picture setting for watching movies on the Sony KDL55W800B?
If it is high bit rate media (like Blu-ray), the settings that we posted as a sub page of our review will be good. Otherwise, you will want to enable a few noise reduction options.
I am extremely pleased with your website, especially that you answer every question specifically. You guys are so thorough in reviewing and I am now going to buy this 55 w800B based on your recommendations. Thank you for your fantastic work ethic! I don't understand why noone else can review as you do!
Thanks for the feedback!
I'm trying to pick between the KDL55W800B (with bonus PS4) and the Samsung UN55H7150 at the moment. Both at the same price. Which do you suggest?
The UN55H7150 is a better overall TV. Strictly for gaming, the KDL55W800B is better (less input lag). For a mixed usage though, you will appreciate the better uniformity, screen finish, and extra features of the UN55H7150.
I bought this TV. The sellers informed me that it is a smart TV. I bought it in a hurry. Now I can't find options to browse.
To access the smart features, simply press the Home button on the remote. The web browser is located in the Apps tab.
MotionFlow: Impulse details

In game mode, you have the option to set the MotionFlow setting to Impulse. This does not significantly increase the input lag (only about 5ms). It is not the same thing as motion interpolation. It doesn't create new frames, but turns on the backlight only for a very small amount of time per frame. This reduces the persistence of the picture, and thus reduces the motion blur as well.

However, this mode isn't without drawbacks. It significantly reduces the brightness of the screen and adds a slightly visible flickering (about the same as an old CRT).

I am stuck between purchasing the Sony W800B and the Samsung H6350, both in the 50" size. My room is of average size, with average lighting components (ceiling light, windows opposite the TV). Unfortunately, the room is wider than it is deep, but I have decided against a plasma due to the excessive reflections (and the Samsung F8500 exceeds my budget). So I will ignore the viewing angle problem, since a 50" IPS doesn't seem to exist from any manufacturer. The other important factors for me include the overall picture quality, screen uniformity, motion handling, and sound quality. The TV will be used primarily for television and movies, and not for gaming. Can you provide a recommendation based on this information?
It is a close call, because the Sony KDL-50W800B is very similar to the Samsung UN50H6350, even down to the price. Both are really good, so chances are if you don't like one, you won't like the other anyway. Even side by side, it is hard to distinguish them. The Samsung H6350 that we tested had slightly better black uniformity, but the Sony W800B slightly better gray uniformity. The screen uniformity varies per unit though, so take this with a grain of salt. We prefer the motion handling of the H6350. The Sony had better calibration out of the box. If we had to make a call between the two for a non-gamer, our vote would be for the Samsung H6350. But honestly, it is a very, very close call between the two.
No question. Just wanna say this is one of the best review sites I have ever seen. Answers to questions are also very helpful. Thanks.
Thank you!
If you still have this TV, could you add pictures of motion performance with the 'Clear' and 'Clear Plus' settings? Because I hear these are the best settings for day to day use.
Unfortunately we don't have it anymore. When we test the W600B (most likely next week), we will take pictures of these settings. We did test it briefly, though. The amount of blur was between the Impulse and Smooth settings. It can't be used in game mode, though.
Update 1: The W600B doesn't have these settings, so we couldn't take the pictures. We will take them on the W850B or W950B in a few weeks.
Update 2: We took pictures of the different settings on the W950B. They are posted in the Q&A section of the W950B review.
Does the 55 inch w800b require a vesa adapter like the 50 inch does?
Yes, but you can probably make up your own with the correct bolts and spacers.
Best Buy is now carrying a KDL-50W700B and KDL-55W700B. How do you think these compare to the W800B series? According to the description, it has Motionflow XR 480, so it should be essentially the same without 3D and a different bezel.
It looks like the W800B, minus the differences that you noted. Seems like a slightly better value if you don't care about 3D. I am glad they don't have the 42" version like other countries have, because that one has a completely different panel type in it (IPS).
Would the Sony KDL50w800B or the Samsung PN51F5500 be better for watching sports, such as soccer and american football? These are the main two sports I watch. I also watch a lot of Blu-ray films and play shooters like battlefield 4 on my ps4. My room lighting can be controlled as well. Which one would be the ideal TV for these viewing experience? Thanks for you reply in advance, you guys do great work keep it up.
Tough choice, because they are both great, but completely different (one is an LED and the other is a plasma). If you sit directly in front of it, the Sony KDL50W800B has better blacks, but as soon as you sit at an angle, the Samsung PN51F5500 wins. Motion blur is better on the PN51F5500, but the Sony is still pretty good for this. Uniformity is also better on the plasma. If you watch it in complete darkness or in a very dim room, go for the PN51F5500. As soon as you have more than one light, though, the PN51F5500 reflects too much light. This is assuming you can live with the downsides of a plasma TV (flickering, dithering, ABL, buzzing noise, etc). If you can't live with one of those downsides, just go for the Sony KDL50W800B and you won't be disappointed.
The Sony KDL W800B doesn't have TRILUMINOS display technology. Does it make a difference?
No. It doesn't matter. Triluminos is simply three LEDs (RGB) instead of a white one for the backlight, behind the actual LCD panel. It's kind of like local dimming, but with colors. Not very effective.
Hi, thanks a lot for your great reviews. I have a question regarding the Samsung H6400 and Sony W800B. In an older post you said that Samsung is slightly better because of motion handling, but recently you suggested going for the Sony. I am just about to order one of these (looking for the best 50" under $1,000). Would you please let me know your final thoughts on which one to chose?
With all motion settings off, yes, the Samsung is slightly better for motion. But if you are a serious gamer, you will probably turn on the Sony TV's Impulse Mode, which gives it a leg up. Honestly, assuming you don't care about smart features (a category in which the Samsung wins by far), it is a very close call between the two, which is why we aren't as clear on which one is the best. Both are great. But if we have to make a call, it will be this: Gamers should go for the Sony (lower input lag + Impulse mode) where as non-gamers should get the Samsung (better smart features).
What is your recommendation between the Sony KDL-50W805B and the Panasonic TX-50AS650E
We haven't tested the US equivalent of that Panasonic yet. That said, it is an IPS panel so we can assume it has a better viewing angle than the Sony. On the downside, though, IPS panels also have a significantly lower contrast ratio, so the blacks will be grayish. If you sit directly in front, go for the Sony.
Does the Sony w800b use an IPS panel?
No, as you can see by our close up of the pixels, it does not.
I purchased a Sony KDL50W800B, but to my surprise it is not compatible with my swivel wall mount. It has its own mount, but it does not swivel. Can you please advise me as to whether there is a way to continue using the swivel mount for this model?
You can buy a VESA adapter like this one.
When are you going to review the W850b model?
We currently have the W950B with us. The W850B will be done early next week.
Update: The review is up.
I am a die-hard Sony fan. I am a newbie to the newer flat screen technology. Considering buying the KDL-55W800B. Can you elaborate what you mean when you say that the smart TV features on this model are not that great? All I really want to be able to do is stream movies, if that.
A more limited selection of apps, but the main downside is the slow loading time (especially of large USB drives). Our video review of the Sony platform will be out tomorrow, and will go into more detail. Netflix streaming is fine.
Nearly decided on the 50W800B. About 25% of my usage is gaming, I'd say. I'm a little concerned about Sony's clunky Smart TV platform, because I'm really looking forward to using it for Amazon, Netflix, and also video files via USB flash drive (NTSC format, mkv files). My biggest concern is your recent review that reported very slow USB read speeds. I currently use a PS3 for this, but it is only FAT32 compatible and does not support mkv, so I was excited about the Sony W800B's ability to do this. I won't be using a external HD or anything, but it would likely be a large USB flash drive (like the Sandisk Extreme Pro 3.0 128GB). Should I be concerned?
Yes, you should be a little bit concerned. It depends on the amount of files in your flash drive, though, not the size of it. For our test, we used only a 4GB flash drive, but with thousands of small non-video files. If you just put a few files at a time on it, you should be fine. But if your whole library of 1,000+ files is on it, forget about it.
Is it possible that 2013 Sony models have better contrast than 2014 models? I was in-store yesterday, watching four TVs side by side: 2013 series 6 and 8, and 2014 series 7 and 8. Last year's models seem to have much better contrast and a brighter picture. I asked a seller to max the contrast and brightness, and he did on a w8, setting it to a vivid setting, and still it could not get as bright as 2013 models. This would be a deal breaker for me so I am asking of your opinion.
No, they have about the same contrast. Do not confuse the brightness of the screen with the contrast of it. The contrast is the ratio between the white and black, whereas the brightness is only the white. We had to disable the ECO light sensor on our W800B to achieve our maximum brightness, because otherwise it was limiting the brightness based on the luminosity of the room. Also, do not touch the brightness setting to adjust how bright the TV is. Instead, play with the backlight setting.
Was there any noticeable ghosting when using Impulse mode with games running at 60fps?
In our picture of the impulse mode (above), the video frame rate is 60fps, so this should give you an idea of the amount of ghosting on the KDL-50W800B.
Sony KDL55W800B or a 2014 55" Vizio M-Series? I will be using it mostly for gaming, Blu-ray, Netflix, and Hulu. Also, do both of these sets have the Soap Opera Effect?
We haven't tested the Vizio M series yet, so we can't really compare them. Both have the soap opera effect (which can be disabled if you don't want it).
Update: We tested the Vizio M552i-B2. Unfortunately, it has an IPS panel, so the blacks are way better on the Sony KDL55W800B. It is a good TV, but the Sony is better.
So recently I was given a software update on my W800B and I discovered that when an external HDD/USB flash drive is plugged in, you can change the media player's view into "folder view" if you select options on your remote, which I haven't tried before. I am not so sure if this was the result of the update, but now, instead of loading all the thumbnails for all the videos that you have in your external HDD/USB (which is a nuisance, time consuming, and creates pointless loading time), you can go to the folder, which saves loading times, and you can stream videos without an issue!?!?! I can easily stream videos off my 1TB HDD now within seconds :D - this LED is a 10/10 for me now!
Wow, it would be great if they did solve that issue in a software update! We don't have the W800B with us anymore, so we can't confirm this. If someone else wants to try it, let us know and we will update this answer.
Can you confirm whether the Sony W630B is basically the same TV specs-wise as the W850B? Since the 3D on the W85B0 has been thumbs-downed by several reviewers, I figured I'd purchase the slightly cheaper W630B. But also, one big question I'd be pleased if you'd answer: can you change the base after-market to get the W850B base legs onto the W630B model?
We haven't tested it so we can't confirm it, but yes, that is what we expect. It looks like the same TV, but without 3D, and with a cheaper design. You can't change the base on it, though.
I thought I'd share more of my experience with you guys regarding the W800B. Though I know the 42" isn't available in the US, it shouldn't be that different from the 50" or 55", aside from the fact that they have active 3D and 42" has passive 3D. I also asked the sales guy, who did mention that the 42" has a VA panel, not IPS, but I read somewhere that only the 50" and 55" are VA and that the 42" is IPS. Regardless, this LED is brilliant, and for gaming it's perfection - at least, for me it is. Picture and sound quality are both amazing. The 3D is good as well. As far as games go, currently I have only tried with COD Black Ops II and it does make the gaming experience better.
On another note, it is also good for movies, and esp. mkv files. I tested this TV with a 2TB WD external HDD properly, as now that I have the TV and it was able to read the entire hard drive. It took about 30 mins to get all the thumbnails for all the videos, but during those 30 mins you can still skim through those files for which the thumbnails are created, so you can play them. The only disadvantage is that you cannot search for the video you are looking for and you need to scroll, which is a nuisance - especially if you have around 1.6tb worth of HD movies and series.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Does the 50W800B use the same panel as the 42W800B, which would mean the two have similar performance? Or does the 42W800B use a different panel that performs differently? Thanks.
No. First, the 42" isn't available in the US. Also, the 42" uses an IPS panel, which has a different picture quality.
How did you achieve such a low black level (0.020), when most review sites got 0.040? Is it rated this low because you measured it with impulse mode on? And what are your recommended settings for movies, because I can't use true cinema and film mode in game mode when watching Blu-rays.
All settings disabled, including impulse mode. The exact settings for our measurements are the ones that we posted. We do a few things differently in our contrast ratio measurements than other reviewers. We measure both black and white on the same picture: a checkboard pattern. We calibrate the white to hit the closest to 100 as possible. If you want to use True Cinema / Film Mode, set the scene to Cinema and then copy all the settings that we posted. This will give you the same picture quality, but let you control other settings as you please.
Which method/device do you use to test input lag? Bodnar?
Yes, we use the Bodnar tool (as you can see from the picture).
I Blu-ray movies most of the time and I am also a casual gamer (Xbox One). I don't care about the internal speaker because I already have home theater system. The 3D is just a plus, but not necessary, and the same goes for the smart features. I don't care about viewing angle or the reflections or lights on the TV, because when I look at it, its really dark in my room. I am stuck between the Sony kdl55w800b and the Samsung un55h6350. Which one should I choose? Great review and website. Thanks!
Both are great, so there isn't really a bad choice. Just get whichever one is cheaper (currently the Samsung UN55H6350 is $200 cheaper) because the picture quality in a dark room is very, very similar. You won't really notice the higher input lag of the Samsung if you put it in Game mode.
Wow the Q&A support at this site is incredible. I tried calling Sony for this support and they gave me really uninformed sales reps. I am currently deciding between the KDL-48w600b (~650$) and the KDL-50w800b (~900$ with a dell discount). I will mostly be using it for PS4 gaming. I do not care about 3D or interface/apps differences or thinness. Do you think the w800b is worth the extra $250 for picture/gaming quality alone? Thanks!
This is a kind of question that is hard to answer, because it depends on how you value that $250. The Sony KDL50W800B is superior in every way to the Sony KDL48W600B, including picture quality. But the cheaper KDL48W600B is still a good TV, and it will satisfy a lot of people. So if the KDL50W800B is in your budget, go for it. But if you feel uncomfortable spending that much, get the KDL48W600B, and you will still be happy.
I am a part-time gamer (about 25% of usage) and I have almost decided on the W800B, but am still also considering the Samsung H6350. As I understand from your reviews, both Sony and Samsung's best input lag is only in Game mode. But how is the lag in other modes? Ideally, I'd like to use one mode for both TV and gaming so I don't have to switch back and forth all the time. How is the display performance for TV/movies (no sports) while in Game mode on both displays? The small difference in price is not important to me. Thank you for your excellent info and reviews!
We haven't noted the input lag outside of game mode, but if I remember correctly, it is around 100ms for Samsung and slightly less for Sony. If you use different inputs for TV and gaming, you can just set a different default mode per input. We actually take all our measurements/calibrations in game mode on every TV, because this corresponds to a picture closer to that of the source (because all processing options are off). This is great for high bit rate content like Blu-ray or gaming. For cable TV though, you will want to turn on a few options. If you only game occasionally, just get the Samsung H6350. You will probably appreciate its better smart features, and its input lag in game mode is low enough.

You make a very compelling argument about the H6350. I think I'm sold, but one more question: How deep in the menu system does one have to go to change modes? I'd like to avoid my wife saying: "Can we just watch the movie already, please?". (You mentioned game mode in this response, but I think you recommend PC mode for gaming, no?) Also, doing more reading here on the H6350, I see there are potential issues with panel inconsistency on the 50". You recommended one person go with the 48" instead of the 50", because the 48" always seems to come with a Samsung panel. Considering that also represents a savings of almost $200, I think I'm going to do that too. Thanks again!

Game mode and PC mode both have the same input lag, so you can use whichever you prefer / find more convenient. We use PC for our test because everything is disabled by default, which is easier for us. Switching between modes is relatively easy, so don't worry about that.
As for the 50" vs 48", it indeed doesn't really makes sense to go for the 50", considering the price difference and panel lottery. So get the cheaper 48" instead.

I just bought and returned a Panasonic 50 inch AS700, because the backlight turns off completely when the scene is black, despite all "enhancements" being turned off (including dynamic backlight). Under some conditions, it would even turn the backlight off completely when there was still a small amount of detail on the screen, such a mouse cursor. Does this Sony do anything annoying like this that cannot be disabled?
This is a 'feature' on nearly all TVs. I don't know why they add that - nobody likes it. This Sony TV in game mode doesn't have this (and make sure to disable the ECO mode while you are at it, in order to have full control on the backlight).
Does the KDL50w800b have an audio output?
1 Digital Optical Audio Out and 1 headphone.
I'm looking for a good motion blur TV and was wondering if this TV has a real 120hz native refresh rate and whether that helps with games. I do not want a soap opera effect, but would like the least amount of LCD motion blur. Would this be a good choice?
Yes, it is 120Hz. But that is useless for games if you disable the soap opera effect. It will behave just like a 60Hz TV. With that being said, this TV has little blur, especially if you turn on Impulse. It is a great gaming TV.
I'm looking to get a new TV and am trying to decide between the Sony KDL50W800b and the Samsung PN51f5500 plasma. I play a lot of shooters, but also love watching Blu-ray films. I've never owned a plasma, so the deeper blacks are pretty intriguing. Which one would be the best choice in those regards?
The F5500 plasma actually has worse blacks than a few LEDs, including this Sony. They are more uniform though, and especially at an angle. It is the Panasonic plasmas that have better blacks, but they are now discontinued. So unless you need a wide viewing angle, go for the Sony KDL50W800B. This is especially true if you have a few lights in your room, because the Samsung PN51F5500 reflects a lot of light.
I currently have a Samsung f8000, which has developed a fault after a few months of ownership, so I am getting a refund. If I was to get a Sony w800b, would I notice a significant drop in picture quality compared to the f8000?
No, except for 3D and the finish of the screen (the F8000 is glossy, whereas the w800B is semi-gloss). The picture quality is in the same ballpark. The smart TV features are inferior on the Sony, though.
Hi, I live in New Zealand and Sony is now selling the KDL W800B. I read reviews about the KDL W829 (I think it is the US model), which were very positive. Most importantly, the reviews said that the W829 does not have the off-axis viewing problem that the 2013 Sony TVs did. Also, the W829 seems to have better motionflow (at 800hz rather than 400hz). Do you know anything about the viewing angle difference between the two? By the way, I would be very keen to see you guys review the Panasonic AS700 and AS740, which has IPS panels. It would be great to hear what you guys think about the contrast problem that these models appear to have.
The W829 is the UK model, not US. It has a VA panel (like the US version) so the viewing angle will never be as good as an IPS. If you want to see what an IPS panel looks like in our test, check out our review of the LG LB6300. Pretty much all IPS panels are in the same ballpark, so this should give you an idea.
Hey Cedric, great work here. What's the sound quality like on this and the LG 6300? Appreciate it!
We do not test for sound yet, unfortunately. We haven't found a way to measure it in a way that can be visually (or audibly?) compared between TVs, instead of just providing a subjective assessment like other reviews do. If you have an idea, feel free to propose something to us!
What is your opinion of the W800B 3D? Is the experience nice?
It is not very good, unfortunately. There is some noticeable crosstalk.
Do you have any recommended settings for movies using the cinema preset? I want to be able to use more of the processing settings, including Motionflow true cinema and clear, which I assume is not available in game mode.
Just use the same values, even if the scene is Cinema. Most options won't be grayed out anymore, but just copy the same value. It should produce the same picture quality. Then, just turn on the features that you want.
How would you say the Vizio P55 compares to the Sony KDL55W800B in terms of color, contrast, motion, and gaming? I have a Vizio P55, but i feel like I've been spoiled by the vibrant color of my old Bravia.
The P 55" has an IPS panel, so its contrast ratio isn't good. The KDL55W800B have a far better contrast and less motion blur. Input lag is about the same. Overall, the KDL55W800B is a better gaming TV.
I am considering buying the European version of this TV, the Sony 50W805B. I play a lot of PS4 and watch a lot of football. I've read a few reviews of it, but one thing is unclear to me. Do I have to play in game mode because of low input lag? Is the input lag much greater (intolerable) in other modes? Keeping in mind that it has one of lowest input lags ever, can it be that input lag is also low in normal mode compared to other TVs that have 30-50 ms input lag in game modes? I ask this because I have read that game mode dims picture too much in comparison with "normal" mode. Can it be played in bright, normal mode without considerable input lag or motion blur (I play Fifa 14 a lot on PS4)?
The input lag outside of game mode was around 100ms, if I recall correctly (we didn't write it down). The TV isn't too dim in game mode, however, as it is the mode that we used to measure the maximum brightness of 256 cd / m2, which is definitely not dim. You need to make sure to disable the ECO settings. Also, if you do not like a dim screen, don't enable Impulse mode on it.
Which do you think is better: Sony frame dimming or Samsung micro dimming? Does either cause bad black crush?
They are equivalent in their own way because none are actually local dimming. As for the black cursh, if you are talking about whole frame dimming, it can be disabled on both. On the Samsung, setting the input to PC will do this automatically.
Is there any difference in lag between the KDL50W800B and the KDL55W800B? I ask as I tested the 55" in game mode using Rock Band 3 which said the input lag was 42ms. Not sure if the 55" is that slow or Rock Band is not an accurate way to measure.
We don't expect a difference in term of input lag. Did you disable all the settings in Game mode and use Game-Original? Rock Band is not a very accurate way to measure the lag anyway. For example, if you use the visual cue, a frame is 1/30s (33 ms), so it is a pretty big margin.

Thanks for answering the question! I found that Rock Band 3 measures differently than Rock Band 2 when using the automated calibration on each disc. Rock Band 2 showed the KDL55W800B has an input lag of 24ms, almost exactly what you are showing for the KDL50W800B. I am thinking that the calibration technique in RB3 is the anomaly here.

Hi Cedric. I'm looking to buy this TV. I've been told the W790B (in Canada) is the exact same TV as this, except for the 240 vs 480 Motion Technology. Do you have any idea/can you decipher whether this is true? Many thanks!
Not sure, but it is easy to validate. Check to see whether it has the MotionFlow setting in the picture settings. If it does, it the actual number advertised doesn't matter. It will have the option to interpolate frames.
I usually plug my 1T harddisk into the USB slot on my TV to watch TV series and Movies. I heard that the W600B took time to load up all the icons and it might take up to over an hour(!) to do so. I would love to know whether it is the same with the W800B, or you know of a TV that is of similar quality and value but does not have this issue.
Yes, that issue is present on all Sony TVs that we tested this year. Hopefully they will fix it in a software update. Get a Samsung TV instead, like the H6350. The picture quality is really similar and it doesn't have that issue.
I am a big sports fan, and do not care about 3D. Should I buy the kdl60W630B or kdl55w800b? The kdl60W630B has Motionflow XR 240 and kdl60W800B has Motionflow XR 480. Is this good enough for watching sports? Thanks so much for your review. This website is so great!
We haven't tested the KDL60W630B yet. The actual MotionFlow number is useless and not an indication of the amount of motion blur. That said, the W630B does not have motion interpolation and the W800B does. Whether you want that option or not for sports is a personal preference, because while it increases the fluidity, it adds a lot of artifacts. The majority turn off that option, so you will probably want to go for the cheaper KDL60W630B.
I just recently bought a Samsung F8000, but I've found that it has too much input lag for gaming, so I'm now considering returning it and buying a Sony W800B instead. I understand that gaming will be better with the Sony, but I'm worried that it will have inferior picture quality compared to the Samsung, at least when it comes to movie watching. How do you think the picture quality of the Sony W800B would compare to the Samsung F8000, in particular regarding black levels and color accuracy? Would it be a significant step down?
Have you tried turning on Game mode or switching the HDMI input type to PC? This cuts the input lag of the F8000 by more than half. But to answer your question, the W800B isn't a big step down. The black levels are in the same ballpark. The color calibration out of the box isn't as good as the Samsung F8000, but it's nothing that can't be fixed.
I have been using an LG 24" monitor (Full HD, HDMI, 60hz, 2ms lag input) for the past four years as my main gaming screen, having had my Xbox 360, PS3, and now PS4 hooked up to it. I have been very pleased with its performance, and I still think it gets the job done. I would, however, like to get a monitor/TV that is bigger than my current one, but without losing the fast 2ms input lag that it has. I currently have my eyes set on the Sony W800B 50". Sure, expensive, but perhaps worth it? I do not care about its 3D capabilities at all, but I do like the 24.3ms input lag. It is slightly worse than my current monitor, but hopefully not notably so. Do you think it is worth the upgrade? I will only use it for console gaming.
Do not confuse input lag and response time. Your monitor's 2ms refers to the response time, not input lag. Its input lag is a lot higher - probably somewhere between 20ms and 60ms. The response time is the time it takes a pixel to switch from one color to another. Input lag is the delay between the source and the picture on the screen. Back to your original question: yes, the Sony W800B is very good, and it is an upgrade. Your LG monitor probably has an IPS panel inside. If that is the case, you will lose a bit of the viewing angle, but gain a lot of contrast.
Between Samsung H6400 and Sony W800B, which one do you feel is better? Picture quality is of greatest importance. Is the 3D on the Sony good? Also, I have never seen problems with Sony, while some Samsungs have problems.
In terms of picture quality alone, when calibrated correctly, they are very similar. However, the H6400 has better 3D and smart features. On the other hand, the W800B has lower input lag and better settings. Therefore, for gaming, get the W800B. For general usage, get the H6400.
Sorry for the questions. I can only repay your response by recommending your site. My TV was hit by lightning, so I was just thrown into the buyer's market! Ready to go with the KDL50W700B (Best Buy only - not much info out there), but I'm not sure if I have anything to worry about with the panel's manufacturer. Do you know who makes the panel for the 50W800B, and is it a decent panel? Does Sony ever outsource inferior panels? I'm reading some don't like what Samsung is doing with the "panel lottery". Side question - Would impulse mode be good for watching sports? Thank you, your info on this site is awesome!
Sony does not produce their own panels. They buy them from Sharp, AUO, and sometimes LG. Samsung's panel lottery doesn't refer to outsourcing panels; every manufacturer does that. Instead, it refers to the fact that two units of same model can have two different panels inside. Sony doesn't do that. Impulse mode is good for watching sports, assuming you don't mind the darker screen and flickering.
I just purchased a W800B (the US version) and simply love it. However, as much as tried, I can't get the Blu-ray to output in 1080p. Currently my Blu-ray resolution is 480i/p. I tried changing various settings, but to no avail. I am using an HDMI cable for this. Please help me!
The problem is not with the TV, but your Blu-ray player. Which player do you have? Check that its settings are set correctly.
I own the W800B. When I viewed the black bars in the store, both before and after the purchase, they appeared to be pure black. At home they have a glow to them, no mater how low I set the brightness and whether I'm in a light or dark room. Do I have a defective set?
No, it is normal. In stores, you can't see how the blacks are because of the very bright room. Your picture settings might need some adjusted, though. You should try the ones that we posted.
Does the Sony kdl50w700b have an audio out (optical) rear input to plug my TV Ears into so I can hear audio through my TV Ears ear phones, but my wife can still hear the TV's sound? Thank you.
There are two output options: either optical or analog (3.5 mm).
I am a fan of the reviews on your site and I'd like your opinion, as you've reviewed both TVs I'm interested in. I have been researching TVs to replace my six-year-old Sharp LC42D64U for the past several weeks. I plan on keeping this TV long-term. I've settled on either the 55" Samsung H6350 or the Sony W800B. By now, it feels like I've read every online review for both TVs. Both are priced similarly, and I'm really torn between the two. I only care about 2D image quality. I will be using it to watch HD TV and Blu-ray movies in a (mainly) dimly lit room. I don't do any gaming, and I don't watch sports, and I don't care about 3D, and I won't be using any of the smart TV functions as I use a dedicated HTPC and other devices instead. What I'm mainly looking for is the best 2D picture quality. What matters most to me is seeing fine details in very dark scenes, and low motion blur, while still having a natural looking picture. I plan to calibrate the picture on the TV, and I dislike the soap opera effect, so I plan to set motion interpolation to its lowest setting, or off completely. I have seen both TVs in person in-store, but it's hard to tell how their pictures will look once I bring them home and calibrate them for a darker setting. Can you give any advice on which would be a better option? Specifically for producing more fine details in darker scenes and still have low motion blur with a natural looking picture. Thanks very much!
Both are similar in terms of 2D picture quality, so you won't be disappointed by going either way. Overall, the Samsung H6350 has a slight edge in terms of uniformity, so if they are both priced the same, go for that one.
Hey, I just wanted to thank you guys and specifically your review of the W800B. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on this TV based on the reviews, comparisons and (most importantly) the Q&A's on this web site. Nice work you guys! Hopefully you get the kickback from Amazon link ;)
Overall, I'm very happy with this purchase. I was a little skeptical coming from Samsungs, which were my last two TVs, but I'll tell you, I like Sony's interface and menu settings much much better (makes Samsung's feel dated). The remote's a little weird and the lack of backlight is a bummer, but certainly not a show-stopper.
Gamng: This is what I do 75% of the time (PS4; Destiny, COD-AW, AC Unity, etc. Online and offline). Picture quality is great and color depth seems very good as well (still not as good as the plasma I replaced, but that's a different fruit entirely).
Motion blur/Input lag: Handles motion blur VERY well. There is a noticeable difference in blur reduction as well as input lag when Impulse Mode is enabled, but the display dims down a LOT! That being said, it's debatable (from my perspective) whether Impulse Mode is worth the drop in brightness. The only way I could tell the difference is leaving a game running where there's a lot of background action (on COD-AW it's the opening moment just after the drop ship crashes and you're standing on the building while the city is being destroyed in the distance). If I rapidly pan the joystick right and left, and continuously switch back and forth from Impulse to Normal mode, you can definitely see a reduction in blur, and response time (input lag) decreases slightly, but again, for me it's not worth the reduced brightness. I may switch it on for online shooter games, but by then I'll be used to where its at.
Smart Features are pretty slick. I didn't think I would use the smart functionality, especially since I have all that stuff on my PS4 and HTPC, but I find that's where I access most of my non-gaming entertainment now.
Anyway, thanks for your time and hard work on these reviews. They helped me a bunch!
A couple questions before I go: I used the AVS HD 709 calibration disc to set the basic settings but noticed the Sony doesn't have a "Contrast" adjustment. Brightness, yes. Contrast, no. Does Sony use a different term for contrast? I noticed there's Gamma and Picture, but those don’t really affect the white-level test too much (not like I’d expect anyway).
Also, I calibrated two HDMI inputs; one for the PS4 (with mostly gaming in mind) and one for my Media Center (PC). These are different base settings and different calibrations on each (Games and Movies respectively). When I switch to the "HOME" screen, which is the Smart TV side, and watch Netflix or Hulu, is this its own input per-se? In other words, does this have its own calibration settings? Or is it carried over from one of the other inputs?
Thank you for sharing your experience with it. I am glad you like it. 'Picture' is Sony's term for what is usually referred to as 'Contrast'. Just put it to the max. Very few TVs clip the white level test. The smart stuff has its own calibration settings.
What is the difference in picture quality between the 50W800B and the 50W700B?
We haven't tested the KDL-50W700B, but we expect that it has the same picture quality as the KDL-50W800B that we reviewed.
Got a 55 inch w700 yesterday to replace my 10-year-old Sony LCD projection TV. I chose it over the Samsung because I've loved all my previous Sony TVs. This w700 is great, except for a glaring flaw - terrible flashlighting. One corner is so bad that I don't think I'll be able to ignore it. Should I swap for an identical model, or maybe go down to the 50 inch? You noted in your review of the 50 inch that the uniformity was pretty good, but I doubt you'd have the same opinion if you saw this 55. I'm worried it's a size issue with Sonys and that's why the w950 was so bad.
No LED TV has perfect uniformity. If you'd like to send us an email with a picture of your screen, we can let you know if the flashlighting is typical, or if it warrants an exchange. If you're want to exchange, there's no need to size down, as there is variance even within units of the same model.
Hello. We are trying to decide between the Sony 55W800B and Samsung H6350. We watch a lot of sports, specifically American football and basketball, as well as movies. We don't really care about 3D or gaming. Which TV would handle the motion of sports better (without using the motion blur feature on the Sony that is mentioned for gaming--we don't want the darker screen)? Also, this is the best website I've been on. Thanks for your hard work!
Both TVs have good contrast and color uniformity, so they'll both do fine for movies. The Samsung H6350 has less motion blur, though, so it will be able to handle sports better. You should go with the H6350.
I haven't bought a TV in a while so I just discovered your site. I just bought the W700B which is the same panel as the W800B without 3D. I just wanted to thank you guys for the incredible work you're doing here. This is the best review site. I love how you break each category down and the reviews are consistent. I will be recommending your site to everyone I know! Have a great day!
Thanks, and enjoy your new TV!
Four years ago I got the Sony KDL-40EX500 and I want to replace it with this one. Is there much difference in picture quality? I mainly use it for watching football, Blu-ray movies, and normal TV.
Not really (unless you want to get Impulse mode for the blur, or the one with motion interpolation). The picture quality for LCD TVs has plateaued in the last few years. The best reason to upgrade is to get a bigger size.
Is input lag on the Samsung H6400 and H7150 that bad and extremely noticeable? Kind of up in the air with these three TVs.
Definitely not bad. It should be fine for 90% of gamers. Most people won't notice an input lag in the 40 ms range.
Just for watching TV (not gaming), do you suggest turning on Impulse Mode? Or does that affect image quality?
Not really, although picture quality isn't affected (besides the darker screen and flickering). For TV shows, blur is already in the footage (because of the camera shutter speed), so impulse mode won't help much there.
What do you suggest for 3D and gaming in the same price range?
The Samsung H6400 has better 3D. Gaming on it isn't as good, but it's still very good.
Does the Sony 50w800b deinterlace 1080i content? I'm looking to connect it to my HTPC, which outputs best at 1080i. Though HTPC can deinterlace, it stutters due to lack of processing grunt. It's only the OSD text from the HTPC that flickers. I would even be happy if the TV could suppress this through its motion processing.
Yes, every TV deinterlaces 1080i. I can't comment on the quality of it, though, because we didn't test that during our time with it.
I am a serious gamer and I am trying to decide between the Sony W800B, the Samsung H6350, and the Samsung H6400. I know the Sony would be a better fit due to the input lag being about 20 m/s lower, but is the extra money worth it? I would probably not get as big of a screen size if I went with the Samsung just to save on money.
If you are really serious, yes, it is worth it. But even daily gamers would be happy with the H6350 or the H6400.
I am probably going to buy the W800B, but I then I came across this mysterious Sony KDL42W815B. It seems to have the same specs as the W800B, judging from a Swedish site where it is available to buy, but I can not find any more information or reviews of it. For example, it has Motionflow™ XR 400 Hz, X Reality™ PRO, 100Hz, Full HD, and 3D. Would that by default give it about the same low input lag as the W800B? I guess the panel could be different, as the W815B is a smaller size. Is it available in the US? Maybe it has a different name there? Judging from the specs, do you think it seems to be about as good as the W800B, or worse in any way other than the smaller screen? Thank you for your great site and great answers!
The KDL42W815B is not available in the US and there is no equivalent. Specs mean nothing, unfortunately, so we can't infer a picture quality from them. Usually, 42" panels are IPS. If that is the case for that Sony, this means completely different picture quality. Better viewing angle, but worse contrast ratio.
I read in another review that this Sony model (KDL-50W805B specifically) would have its 3D-resolution below Full HD. Is that true, and do you think can Sony upgrade the firmware to fix it later? Is the crosstalk in 3D really bad compared to other modern but not highly expensive 3D TVs? I sometimes watch 3D movies and it would be nice if the 3D would be at least "OK". This is awesome site BTW and gives much more insight than your typical review site that mostly relies on subjective testing.
Not sure about if the 3D really is in 1080p (our test material can't show that), but either way, this TV had a lot of crosstalk. If you plan on watching 3D more than a few times, get another one. As a rule of thumb, both Samsung and LG TVs have better 3D.
I'm very interested in this TV, but I read on Amazon that the TV takes a long time to turn on. Is that true, and can you please tell me how long it takes to turn on?
Turning it on is fast, but there is a big delay to access any function. Check out our video of Sony's smart TV platform to see how long it takes and to get a feel for it.
What 60 inch TV would you recommend if I want 3D with as little crosstalk and ghosting as possible? I also plan to use this for a lot of gaming, and I'm hoping that the Smart TV features are good enough that I don't need to add a Roku or Apple TV. I have spent a huge amount of time researching this and just can't decide. I am looking to save some money, and am willing to spend as much as $1,500.
For your budget, the UN60H6400 has both good 2D and 3D picture quality. The smart features are also good enough to not need a Roku.
How far apart are the rear legs of the KDL-55W800B stand?
Couldn't find the diagrams for the 55", but here they are for the 50": The stand is probably the same size, which is 20.5" wide.
I will be buying this LED, but in the 42" size, mostly for gaming and movies plus series from external HDD, and I am very pleased with your review. I also ended up testing this LED with an external hard drive. Sad to say it didn't pick it up as fast as the previous model did, which took only less than half a min. to read a 500GB external HDD. Also managed to test it with a 16 GB USB with a 11GB MKV 1080p movie on it, and it picked it up in 5 sec, which is still perfect, and it looked great. Thought I'd add this bit since I did read somewhere in the comments about this. As long as it can pick up movies from an NTFS formatted USB, I'm OK with it. It shouldn't have any problems picking up movies that are of larger size, for instance a 25 GB MKV 1080p file, as long as it's that one file and not tons of em.
Thanks for sharing your experience with it.
Would all these tests - minus the 3D - be the same for the Best Buy exclusive KDL50W700B?
Yes, that is what we expect.
Can I connect the Sony W800B to my old Mac to use as a monitor for watching movies? My mac has mini-DVI (not mini-display), and I'm thinking about getting a mini-DVI to HDMI converter, but this would make no sound connection. There is HDMI 3 audio-in at the back of my W800B. Is it possible to make that work by adding an audio cable?
The easiest way is to get a Mini-DVI + USB to HDMI converter (you plug in both the USB and mini-DVI to your laptop), like this one. The USB is for the sound.
Hi. Thanks for the great reviews. I purchased the 50W800B based on this site's recommendation. While everything looks great so far, I'm noticing slight darkness, or dimming, at corners and sides. This is very slight dimness, and most of the time it's not noticeable except for with uniform colors. Is this something I can fix with settings, or is this a panel defect, aka DSE? Thanks in advance.
If you look at our picture of the gray uniformity test, you will see that our unit had the same problem. This is very common, and it is not called DSE. DSE is patches or bands in the middle of the screen. DSE is a real issue, whereas darker corners/sides is a lot less noticeable. If you look at all our gray uniformity test results, all LED TVs have either darker or brighter edges - even higher-end TVs. So do not worry about this. Only plasma or OLED TVs have perfect uniformity.
Hi, I have a great time reading your reviews, they've helped me a lot, and I bought two TVs last month because of your reviews and I'm not disappointed. But, I've recently wanted to buy a new TV for video games, and saw that the Sony W800B and W850B are good options. Unfortunately these models were not available, and the seller told me that the W790B was similar to those models. Can you please tell me if it's a good TV for video games, because you've haven't reviewed this model. Thanks.
The W790B is the Canadian version of the W800B. The picture quality should be similar, so yes, it should be a great gaming TV.
So to play PS4, is it better to have impulse mode on or off?
If you don't mind the darker screen and flickering, turn it on. There is less motion blur that way.
Is the W700b review coming soon?
No, we won't review that one, unfortunately.
What's the best TV you've reviewed for gaming in a dark room? I love y'all's site by the way.
It depends on the size. In the 50 to 55" range, it is the Sony W800B.
I bought an LG ln5400 last year and its gray blacks are getting on my nerves, since I only view the TV in complete darkness. How much better is the Sony w800b for gaming and dark room viewing? Thanks a lot for answering.
The blacks are about five times darker, so it is significant. It also has lower input lag and less motion blur.
Quick question: is the Sony W700B that Best Buy sells the same as the W800B, just without the 3D function?
As far as we know, yes.
Does the Sony W800B have good color accuracy and color quality, and would it have good picture for gaming? I mostly watch in a pitch black room.
Yes, and the calibration wasn't far off out of the box.
Can you see a difference between 0.020 cd/m2 and 0.030 cd/m2?
Side by side, definitely. Separately, not so much.
Would you recommend that I buy the Sony W800b now, or do you think Sony will replace it with a better TV for about the same price in 2015?
The picture quality of LED TVs has plateaued in the last few years. 2015 models will be in the same ballpark as 2014 ones.
My usage is watching movies. I very rarely play games (Xbox Kinect games). Which model do you suggest for a 50" TV? It's fine if it doesn't have smart features. I can manage with a Roku. 3D not required.
If you don't play games, get the Samsung UN50H6350 instead.
Hi. I have been back and forth between the Sony kdl50w800b and the Vizio E500i-B1. Through a killer deal on the Sony, they have a $10 difference in price. I do not do any gaming. Thought about the Sony, but primarily want to watch cable and Roku movies. Which TV (at same price) is the better deal for a non-gamer? Thanks!
If they are the same price, get the Sony KDL50W800B, even if you are not playing video games. It is still a better TV overall than the Vizio.
When I connect my desktop PC (GTX 780 graphics card), the refresh rate says 60hz, not 120hz. Any setting to boost the refresh rate for computer gaming? My guess is it's 120hz for 3D/soap opera effect.
Unfortunately, this TV does not accept a 120 hz input. The 120 hz it advertises just means that it can do motion interpolation.
Is there a difference in picture quality between the W800 and W630?
We didn't test the W630, but we don't expect a major difference in terms of picture quality (except maybe for the uniformity of the screen).
Would you recommend this TV over the Samsung f8500? I love the picture quality of the Samsung, but lower input lag would be nice too.
No. You're giving up a lot of picture quality. But if you need lower input lag, the W800B is at least a decent choice.
Whats the deal with the 700B model sold in Best Buy stores?
We haven't reviewed it, but we expect it's the same as the W800B, just without 3D and with a different bezel.
Hello. First off, thank you for the incredible reviews. Most of this stuff is a bit over my head but I appreciate how thorough you guys are.
Like many others I am stuck between the Sony W800 and the Samsung H6350 - maybe even the Vizio M-series. I do absolutely zero gaming. The only smart TV functions I would use are Netflix and HBO Go (exclusive to Samsung?).
I don't care about 3D. I use my TV mainly for cable programming, Netflix movies/shows, and sports. Picture quality and motion blur in sports are a HUGE concern of mine and what led me to choosing plasma previously (now that set has crapped-out). I've seen you steer other folks like me toward the H6350. Here's the thing, I am committed to 50", since it is the largest screen that my space will allow.
In the comments section of the H6350 review there is a lot of negative commentary regarding the panel version in the 50" model. I wouldn't want to purchase a premium brand only to be outfitted with an inferior panel. Is this a legitimate concern? Is it enough to deter me away from the H6350?
Since I mentioned it above, the Vizio M-series has received some glowing reviews all over the web. It's active LED zones seems very interesting. Ultimately, among these three, which would you recommend, considering overall picture quality and motion blur in sports in a 50" screen? Thank you!
There is a very slight difference between different panels. It's not something the average person will notice, so it's nothing to worry about.
If you're able to find the H6350, that's still the one we recommend, since it has the best uniformity of the bunch, as well as great contrast and little motion blur. If you can't, the Vizio M is a better choice than the W800B when it comes to blur, so go with the Vizio. Its uniformity is only a bit worse than the H6350, and it has great contrast, too.