The Sony X930D is a great 4k UHD TV that offers good all-around picture quality, especially for movies. Its HDR mode is impressive, with very high peak brightness. It doesn't have any major flaws apart from the limited viewing angle and the high input lag.
- Great picture quality for movies
- Great motion handling
- Very bright
- Average-high input lag
- Loss of saturation at an angle
The Sony X930D has a decent look. Its frame and stand are made of plastic, but look metallic. Borders are relatively thin, and once it is in its stand, the TV feels sturdy. Its back and side inputs can be hidden behind removable plastic panels on the back of the TV. Cable routing is also possible behind those panels.
- 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
When it comes to watching TV or movies, the Sony X930D delivers the goods. Its contrast is good and will do justice to dark scenes. Color is great right out of the box, and the TV is able to remove judder from all content, which will ensure a smooth movie experience. Be it standard resolution or 4k UHD, all content looks good on the X930D. HDR, though it doesn't look perfect, is nice and bright.
Contrast is good, although not as good as that of many other TVs. The Sony X930D's blacks are not the deepest, but most people shouldn't notice this. We did expect better results from a high-end TV like this one, though.
There are a few clouding spots, but nothing that ruins the experience.
For an edge-lit TV, the local dimming is impressive, though still not quite as good as what you can get from a full-array backlight. The blooming is even more obvious if you turn on 'X-tended Dynamic Range'.
The Sony X930D can get very bright. For really bright highlights, both 'Auto local dimming' and 'X-tended Dynamic Range' have to be set to 'High'. Unfortunately, the TV brightness is also very unstable, and varies a lot when there is only a small highlight on the screen (as in our 2% or 10% window tests). For those two tests, the TV slowly cycles between 465 cd/m² and its peak value of around 1054 cd/m². See the additional review notes at the bottom of this review for more details.
Update: Updated with sustained brightness.
The SDR peak brightness is above average for the Sony X930D. While it can get very bright (with 'Auto local dimming' and 'X-tended Dynamic Range' set to 'High'), the brightness is not stable and vary over time, from very bright to about 400 cd/m², which is our sustained value in our test results.
There isn't much dirty screen effect. However, the edges and the corners are noticeably darker than the center of the screen.
Very narrow viewing angle. As with most LED TVs, the X930D's color becomes desaturated at wide angles.
Good results for color out of the box. Blue was lacking a little, which resulted in a slightly warmer picture. This was subtle, though, and most would be very satisfied with the default settings.
After calibration, white balance results are great. Although there are no specific color settings for the Sony TVs, adjusting white balance did improve color accuracy. You can see our recommended settings here.
The Sony X930D has a wide color gamut option, although its range of coverage isn't among the best we've seen. The wider color gamut makes a good visible difference for HDR content.
Our gradient test is free of any obvious problems and shows smooth color transitions across the board. The Sony X930D displayed one of the best gradients we have seen so far on a 10-bit panel.
Reflections aren't a big nuisance on the Sony X930D's glossy screen. Some rainbows might appear around bright objects, though. For anyone that has a bright room, this TV will work well.
As with most 3D TVs, the screen got darker once 3D was engaged. You might want to increase 'Brightness' when watching 3D content. There was no apparent cross-talk, which is good. The active 3D technology also ensures full-resolution 3D, although it is not as comfortable to watch as is passive 3D. No 3D glasses were included in the box.
Update 11/21/2016: The 65" size has been reported to have more crosstalk than the 55" we tested.
Because the Sony X930D has very low amount of motion blur, sports will look good on it, even when there is fast action on screen. Players, balls, or pucks will stay defined when moving at full speed. The only downside is the screen uniformity, which might reveal some dark spots on camera pans over playing fields.
The response time of the pixels is pretty quick, which means motion blur is not a problem. This TV isn't flicker-free, unfortunately (all other Sony TVs we reviewed in the last few years were), and this is more noticeable at a lower backlight level. The frequency of the flickering is high, though, so it isn't as noticeable as PWM on Samsung TVs.
With 'Motionflow' set to 'True Cinema' and 'CineMotion' set to 'High', you won't need to worry about 24p judder from any source, whether it's cable TV, streaming, DVDs, or Blu-rays.
With the Sony X930D's Motionflow settings, you can make video smoother by increasing the frame rate up to 120 fps. This applies even to cable TV and streaming. Note that this adds what some people call the 'soap opera effect' (SOE). For those who don't like the look of SOE, low 'Motionflow' custom values can be used to smooth out motion with only minimal SOE.
Although the time it takes for the TV to react to controller inputs is average-high, the low motion blur this TV produces, combined with its ability to accept the most commonly used PC inputs, makes it a great gaming TV. That said, any gamers playing competitively should look for a TV with much lower input lag.
Update 11/02/2016: After the last firmware update (PKG3.531.0108NAB), the input lag is reduced for both 1080p and 4k resolution, which is a big improvement over the last results. The table above has been updated with these new values. Input lag under game mode with a resolution of 1080p is now good enough for casual gamers (it was over 50ms before the last firmware update).
Under a 4k resolution, it is better than what we had before (SDR was 75ms and HDR was 110ms), but it is still a bit too high even for casual games.
- 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
- 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Most common PC inputs are accepted. As with other Sony TVs, little artifacts (flashing lines) are seen when a 1080p @ 120Hz signal is being displayed. 'Game' or 'Graphics' picture mode as to be selected at that refresh rate to get a sharp picture. To get chroma 4:4:4 (for sharper text) at 1080p @ 60Hz, use the 'Graphics' picture mode. For 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4, turn on 'Enhanced HDMI' for the input in use.
Unlike 2015's Sony X930C, the X930D doesn't have great speakers, and its overall sound quality is bad. It won't get that loud, and slight distortion is present.
Poor overall performance. Low-end cutoff and maximum loudness are below average, even for a TV. There may also be some compression and pumping at higher volumes.
Poor overall performance. Although there is not a dramatic rise in harmonic distortion at max volume (unlike other Sony TVs we have tested), the general level of distortion at all levels is rather high.
Sony's Android smart platform provides plenty of apps spread out across many different interfaces. Overall, it's a little confusing to navigate. If you look deep enough, though, you should find what you are looking for. As for inputs, there are plenty available, and all needs should be met. Something to note is that the TV come with a huge power brick that may be a problem to hide.
Differences between Sizes and Variants
We reviewed the 55" (XBR-55X930D).
Update: We have received reports indicating a higher contrast ratio for the 65" (XBR-65X930D) at around 4000:1. It would also have worse 3D with more crosstalk. If someone comes across a different type of panel used or differences between sizes, let us know and we will update our review.
Compared to other TVs
The Sony X930D is hard to justify with that many TVs that offer near as good picture quality for a much less money. Its competition is fierce.
The Sony x850d has the edge for sports and gaming while the X930D is a better pick for watching movies including HDR content. The X930D is the only one offering 3D.
The Sony X930C is slightly better for watching movies in a dark room while the X930D is the better TV for HDR. Sports will look better on the X930D too but gaming is a mixed bag. For games that asks fast reflexes like first person shooters, racing or combat games, buy the X930C. For slower pace games, the X930D has the edge.
The Vizio P is better for sports that don’t have much camera movements, like tennis. It also has the edge for watching movies in the dark and playing video games. The Sony X930D is better for sports with long traveling camera shots like football and hockey.
The Samsung KS8000 is better for watching movies in a dark room, playing fast reflexes video games and HDR. For slower paced type of video games, the X930D offer a better picture quality. The X930D also offer 3D and the Samsung KS8000 does not.
Conclusion CHECK PRICE
The Sony X930D is an excellent TV that will please almost everyone, especially those looking for good HDR picture. It has a very good picture quality for movies and it can get very bright. It also handles motion very well. Gamers might be turned off by the rather high input lag, though, and the picture quality isn't great when viewed at an angle.
Questions & Answers
The Sony X930D peak brightness isn't constant. It varies in time, even when the picture doesn't change. It alternates between two values slowly. See these results for the 2% window:
|Auto Local Dimming||X-tended Dynamic Range||Max||Min|
|High||High||987 cd/m2||350 cd/m2|
|Med||High||617 cd/m2||376 cd/m2|
|Low||High||618 cd/m2||377 cd/m2|
|High||Med||660 cd/m2||360 cd/m2|
|Med||Med||615 cd/m2||442 cd/m2|
|High||Low||520 cd/m2||360 cd/m2|
|Low||Low||541 cd/m2||374 cd/m2|
It also happens with the 10%, but not the 25% and above.
Note: This table was done without sending an HDR signal, which is why it is different than the measurements in our review.
Yes, the cable is rated for in-wall installation (the cable have a tag on it saying so). We were surprised at the input lag too but couldn't get it any lower than this. Local dimming was off when we took the measurements as well as all other video processing that could be turned off from the TV menu. This is just how it is. Rarely did a firmware update lowered an input lag so we wouldn't count on that too.
Update: Sony has now reported that "a tag on the DC power cord (the cord that connects the AC adapter to the TV) of some units is mislabeled as In-Wall Rated. The DC power cord should have a tag on it that states, Not For In-Wall Use.". The cable we received with the x930d has that mislabeled tag and is not in-wall rated. Thanks to one of our visitor for pointing that out.
Thank you for your constructive feedback.
Our viewing angle score isn't subjective, but a measurement of the angle at which the TV loses half its contrast (measured with spectro-photometer pointing directly to TV on a rotating table). Although colors doesn't shift the same way, from our tests measurements, side-by-side, in a bright room or a pitch black room, the Samsung KS9000 maintained a better picture quality when viewed from the side than the Sony x930d.
We agree that 1080p upscaling has a big importance nowadays. That particular resolution weights more than any other at 36% of our resolution score. It is followed by 720p, which is also common for cable TV.
We don't currently have a specific test for noise artifacts although we make some settings recommendations to attenuate the issue when present. It might be a good idea to add more information about this in our future review.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to send us your feedback.
When we review TVs, we take measurements so that they can be reproduced, and are consistent across different TVs using the same method. All these results (eg. the black and white brightness levels when displaying the checkboard pattern) are inserted into the system, and a score is calculated based on how these results compare. All of these tests are described on the website.
Since the review of the X930D was published, the weightings applied to each score for all reviews have been changed . Updates to any weighting changes can be found here. These weightings are changed to reflect the importance of various features (such as motion interpolation or peak brightness) to the average user.
We cannot comment on the reliability of TVs as we do not have enough information, however we have not heard of any significant differences between the brands.
You will find HDR10 on all UHD Blu-rays and on most of the streaming service for the moment. If you go with a TV set that do only HDR10, you should not have any problem finding any content with this HDR format for now and in the future. As for the Dolby Vision offering, it is very limited for now compare to HDR10.
For your choice of TV between the Sony X930D and the LG UH9500, you are right, the Sony will give you a much better image quality, since it use a VA panel. It will give you much more better black and contrast ratio. The only draw back is that it will lose some color saturation if not seen directly in front on the set vs the LG IPS panel.
We are moving to the 2017 line-up and as soon as the new set are available in store, we will start the review process on those new TVs.
But if you are still interested in the Sony X940D, we expect it to be slightly better than the X930D. The full array backlight of the X940D should give you better local dimming, better dark scene performance, less blooming and also a slightly better HDR.
About our testing, we try to measure how the TV will perform in as many use cases as possible. We do this by making each test measure one specific aspect of the TV independently of the rest. So some tests are only important to HDR content, or to lower resolution content, or to bright rooms, or to video games. This way no matter what you use the TV for, we can show you what's important for you.
I am having a lot of issues with the HDMI Inputs. The first problem that I started noticing was with my Comcast X1 cable box. What was happening is that if I turned off the TV and came back the next day to watch cable the TV would display the message that there was no signal. The only thing that would make it work was to unplug the cable box and plug it back in. I thought the issue was the cable box so it was changed 3 times. I switched out cables, switched out HDMI inputs, even removed the TV from a power strip (as suggested by Sony Support) and I am still experiencing this issue.
I also noticed an issue with my Apple TV. Same type of scenario - where I would come back to watch the device on my TV (Apple TV gen 4) and the best way to describe without posting pictures is that areas of the screen/menu that should have been grey showed up black. You could not properly navigate through the menus of the Apple TV to make it work. I tried doing the same thing, switching out Apple TV and cables inputs etc. and still had the same issue.
It's almost like the tv is not understanding what's coming through the HDMI. All these devices work perfectly well on other Sony TVs in my home. Support has not been really helpful. At this point I just want my money back - I don't want them to fix a tv I just paid $2,000 for.
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