The Sony X800D is a 4k LED TV with good picture quality. It performs well in dark rooms due to the good native contrast. It handles motion very well, with little motion blur. It also has the bonus of a sleek look, and enough inputs to suit everyone. Unfortunately when viewed at an angle, the picture quality deteriorates. Note that the 49" model has a different type of panel which performs closer to the X700D, but with a wide color gamut.
- Excellent motion handling
- Wide color gamut
- Low input lag
- Picture quality degrades at an angle
- Average peak brightness
- 11% Contrast
- 4% Black Uniformity
- 6% Local Dimming
- 6% HDR Peak Brightness
- 6% SDR Peak Brightness
- 6% Gray Uniformity
- 7% Viewing Angle
- 4% Pre Calibration
- 1% Post Calibration
- 6% 480p Input
- 9% 720p Input
- 11% 1080p Input
- 6% 4k Input
- 4% Color Gamut
- 4% Color Volume
- 2% Gradient
- 1% Image Retention
- 6% Reflections
- 1% 3D
Picture quality is good on the 43" Sony X800D. It offers a great contrast ratio and good black uniformity. The color reproduction is also very good thanks to the wide color gamut and the very good 10 bit panel. It can also handle low resolution content and fight glare pretty well. Despite this, the X800D is not perfect and like a lot of mid range LED TVs it has some issues like the average gray uniformity and the picture quality deteriorates when viewed at an angle. The low peak brightness and the lack of local dimming feature also reduce the final picture quality score. Note that the 49" model performs differently, and is closer to the X700D but with a wide color gamut.
Contrast ratio is good for the Sony X800D. The blacks are fairly deep and should procure a good picture quality in a dark room. Note that the 49" variation has an IPS panel, and so the contrast ratio is expected to be closer to 1000:1.
Black uniformity is relatively good. There is a bit of clouding on the test picture, but it should not be too noticeable during normal viewing.
There is no local dimming on the X800D. The video is for reference only.
The peak brightness is average. At around 375cd/m², it is good for dark room viewing, but may not be the best for a room with a lot of light. One thing is good though, it is that is does not change depending of the size of the test window and also it stays the same over a long period of time.
The SDR peak brightness is average for the X800D, and it is about 100cd/m² less than what you get when in HDR mode. For a dark room, this result is enough but may be a bit dim for a very bright room.
Gray uniformity is average on the X800D. The corners and side of the screen are a bit darker, but the center remains fairly homogeneous. Dirty screen effect should not be too much of a problem even for those watching sports like hockey, where it is usually very noticeable.
Viewing angle is not as good as an IPS panel, but not bad for an VA. The X800D keeps a good brightness, even at an angle, but it does lose a bit of contrast. Note that the 49" variation has an IPS panel, and so the viewing angle is expected to be better.
Prior to calibration the results are good. The colors are a little over saturated, but the white balance is very good.
The calibration is quite easy, and provides good results. All of the issues with the white balance can be fixed easily. The colors remain over saturated. You can see our calibration settings here.
The X800D features a wide color gamut. It covers almost all of the P3 space, which is great. When watching HDR content, colors are rich.
The Sony X800D has a good 10 bit panel but it is not perfect. You can see see on our test picture that there is some small banding in the dark blue, dark green and also in the grayscale.
Update 09/08/2016: Our original test was showing an incorrect color depth of 8 bit due to some incorrect drivers on our system, but after some correction to our test apparatus, we tested again the color depth and we can confirm that the Sony X800D does in fact have an 10 bit panel.
Note here that there is no image retention on the 43" version of the Sony X800D. Since we did not test the 49" version, which is an IPS TV (the 43" is a VA TV), we cannot say whether the 49" is retention free or not. But since IPS TV are more prone to image retention, there could be a chance that there is some image retention to some degree.
The X800D has a semi-gloss finish which helps to diffuse reflections. They appear larger, but are easier to see through. Deals with reflections well enough to provide good performance in an average room.
The Sony X800D doesn't support 3D.
The Sony X800D is great at handling motion. It has a low response time which results in very little motion blur. It is able to interpolate content up to the native refresh rate of 60Hz. Those who are sensitive to judder may notice it when playing movies over a set top box or home theatre PC, but blu-rays and streaming apps play smoothly.
Great motion performance. Response time is low which is good, and results in only a short trail following the logo.
The X800D doesn't have backlight flicker by default, but it is possible to achieve this by adjusting 'MotionFlow'. The flicker frequency of 100Hz is a bit strange.
The Sony X800D does not present judder on 24p content when played from DVDs, Blu-rays or movies streaming apps like Netflix or Amazon Video. Unfortunately even when using the 'CineMotion' setting, judder is present on both 60p or 60i, meaning that people who are sensitive to judder will notice when watching movies from a cable/satellite box.
The Sony X800D has a 60Hz panel. It can interpolate 30fps content up to 60fps. To do so without backlight flicker, change the 'MotionFlow' setting to 'Standard' or 'Smooth'.
This TV supports a wide range of inputs, which is great for those with lots of devices. It also features a low input lag which is good for most gamers. It has a 60Hz panel, and so can only display signals up to 60Hz. It also supports a wide range of resolutions, for those looking to use it as a PC monitor.
The input lag of the Sony X800D is quite low, which is good. To get the lowest input lag, select the 'Game' or 'Graphics' picture modes. This results in a lag of 33.3ms with an 1080p resolution, which should not be an issue for most people. When sending an HDR signal at 1080p, the input lag remains the same as under 'Game' or 'Graphic' mode.
- 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
- 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
The X800D accepts a 120Hz signal, but has a 60Hz panel so it can only display half of the frames. It supports chroma 4:4:4 at up to 4k @ 60Hz. To display 4:4:4, set the scene to 'Graphics' or 'Game'. This results in an input lag of 33.3ms. It accepts a 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 signal only HDMI 2 and 3, and requires 'Enhanced HDMI' to be enabled in the input settings.
There is one component in on the rear, which is shared with the composite in. There is also a composite in on the side, but the adapter for it is not included. An example of the adapter can be found here
The sound of the Sony X800D is below average. The frequency response is average, but it gets quite loud. Significant distortion occurs, especially at high volumes.
Average performance. The frequency response is decent at lower volumes, however, there is compression and pumping present under heavier loads. On the other hand, the maximum loudness and low-frequency extension are above average for a TV.
Poor distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion at 75dB and 85dB are very low. However, as we've seen with other Sony TVs, there's a dramatic jump in the harmonic distortion amount at maximum loudness. There was also audible aliasing present. However, these artifacts will be less audible in real-life situations.
The Sony X800D comes with a modified Android Smart OS. It can be a little slow to start up, but works well, feels refined and seems very stable.It has a wide variety of apps pre-installed with the option of downloading many more from the 'Google Play store'. The X800D is also 'Google Cast' ready, meaning that you can cast content from any compatible iOS and android device without any additional hardware. Photos and video can be viewed directly from an USB flash drive. Access to the 'PlayStation now' cloud gaming service also gives access to many more games not available from the 'Google Play Store' .The X800D comes with a basic remote, but includes voice recognition which works well.
There are loads of apps which come pre installed, and access to the 'Google Play Store' allows access to almost anything. A web browser is available, as are the typical popular apps, like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Video, and HBO Go. The X800D also includes access to the 'PlayStation Now' cloud gaming service.
There are no ads on this TV. Many featured apps add clutter on the home screen, though.
Remote features voice recognition. This is the same remote used by some other Sony TVs, like the X850D.
Differences between Sizes and Variants
We tested the 43" (XBR43X800D). Note that the 49" variation (XBR49X800D) has an external power brick, instead of the internal one in the 43". The 49" also has an IPS panel, so expect a lower native contrast ratio and wider viewing angle compared to the 43" model we reviewed and closer performance to the X700D but with a wide color gamut.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Sony XBR43X800D doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
Compared to other TVs
The Sony X800D provides a good picture quality and overall performance. For those looking for a TV to watch HDR content at a lower price, it is a good pick. It also works well for sports and video games due to the great motion handling.
The Samsung KU6300 provides similar picture quality, at a similar price. Unfortunately the motion handling isn't quite as good as the Sony X800D, and there is no support of a wide color gamut for HDR content. The Sony X800D provides better overall performance, and is the better pick.
The LG UH6100 is available for a lower price but doesn't provide the same level of picture quality as the Sony X800D, especially in dark rooms. It uses a less accurate pixel structure which doesn't perform as well. The picture quality is preserved better when viewed at an angle, but unless you have a very wide seating arrangement the Sony X800D is the better pick.
The Vizio M Series 2016 is available only in larger sizes. It features local dimming, but this doesn't work so well in the 50" variant. It also supports the Dolby Vision format, but does not have the wide color gamut of the Sony X800D. If you're looking for a 50" or smaller TV, go with the X800D.
The Sony W650D is a lower end model. It is available at a lower price, but doesn't have the features or picture quality of the Sony X800D. It is only a 1080p TV, and doesn't have a wide color gamut or support HDR formats. If you can afford it, the Sony X800D is the one to choose.
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Questions & Answers
Update 10/17/2016: We received a picture of the pixels of the 49" X800D and we can now confirm that it does in fact have an IPS panel. As such, it has a lower native contrast ratio and wider viewing angle than the 43" model we reviewed.
We haven't gotten a concrete confirmation yet. Yes, if the shape of the pixel is the same as the one we reviewed, it is VA. If you do so, please send us a picture to confirm this. Thanks!
Update 10/17/2016: We received a picture of the pixels of the 49" X800D and we can now confirm that it does in fact have an IPS panel.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to do this, as almost all PC equipment can't use CEC to control devices like TVs. One option is to get one of these and the software found here. This allows you to inject CEC commands to automatically control the TV as your PC wakes or goes to sleep.
One of our readers also pointed out that a power saving power strip with a master outlet could also maybe work to turn on the TV with this kind of computer setup.
The main difference for HDR is that the Samsung KU6300 is lacking the wide color gamut, which give color more saturation or a more vibrant/colorful final image. Note that for the moment, HDR content is limited and that the wide color gamut is only beneficial to HDR content. While watching SDR content (normal traditional content), wide color gamut does not make any difference.
In the end, the difference is not as big that if you would compare the KU6300 to the KS8000. So maybe for the value, the Samsung KU6300 is a better choice.
I’ve owned the Sony XBR43X800D for a few months now and have a few notes I’d like to share:
•Something almost nobody mentions, including Sony, is that this TV is DirecTV ready via an app if you have the Genie system. For some reason the app requires a wired Ethernet connection even though the TV supports Wireless-AC, which should provide plenty of bandwidth. However, the key mapping of the DirecTV functions on the Sony remote is challenging, to say the least. I think the app will function with a standard DirecTV remote but I setup an activity on a Harmony remote that maps all the keys into their normal locations.
•Something will get flaky after a while with the apps that requires a restart of the TV. I haven’t kept a log but it seems like it’s about two to three weeks between restarts. It’s not a big deal but you have to know where to find the restart and my wife can never remember where it is. My Windows Kodi boxes are more stable and restart faster when the need arises.
•The Android system has apps like Kodi and Plex for playing video libraries, which is great. However, the TV itself doesn’t have the ability to playback VC-1 encodes without constant stalls and stutters. This impacts a lot of older Blu-ray titles if they’ve been ripped with something like MakeMKV that doesn’t re-encode the video. AVC encodes play fine. It’s not an issue everybody will have but if you think you’ll use the apps on this TV to play Blu-ray rips then the ability may depend on how the discs were encoded and ripped.
•I’m not in love with the smart system, though I will admit that I rarely am. The main issue here is the fact that many standard apps are in the “Featured Apps” section which, unless I’m missing something, can’t be edited or rearranged in any way. Some of the apps I want to use are way over to the right in the list with a whole lot of apps up front that I’ll never use. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if I could install featured apps on the customizable bar for apps that I install myself, but the interface won’t allow that. Why is it so hard to get a simple Roku-like interface on a smart TV? In the end, I may chuck the smart interface for everything but DirecTV and plug a Roku into it.
Otherwise, this TV performs exactly as stated in the review. We use it as a bedroom TV and black levels, contrast, color, scaling and motion handling are all very good. If it weren’t for an OLED set this might be the best TV in the house.
The Vizio P is really only a bit worse than other TV with resolution under 1080p. Anything at 1080p or higher does look good. If you have a decent internet speed, all your streaming content should at least be 1080p or higher.