The X940E is a great large 4k HDR smart TV. It produces some of the best blacks found on LED TVs, and it can get quite bright. The excellent local dimming and ability to display a wide range of colors results in a great HDR experience. The X940E has some motion blur though, which makes it less of a good choice for sports or video games but doesn't impact the excellent movie performance.
- Very deep and uniform blacks
- Very bright
- Exceptional local dimming
- Image degrades when viewed at an angle
- Fast moving objects often have visible trails
The design of the X940E is familiar to any Sony fans due to the minimalist and industrial look. It has a small, central stand which supports the TV well and can still fit on most table tops. The TV provides excellent cable management with guidance out the back of the stand, and has excellent build quality.
The X940E has a central stand, similar to most Sony TVs such as the X930E. Despite the small footprint, it still supports the large TV well.
Footprint of the 75" TV stand: 20.1" x 12.8"
The X940E never gets more than a little warm, and the heat is well distributed across its surface.
- 11% Contrast
- 6% Local Dimming
- 6% SDR Peak Brightness
- 6% HDR Peak Brightness
- 6% Gray Uniformity
- 7% Viewing Angle
- 4% Black Uniformity
- 2% Gradient
- 4% Pre Calibration
- 1% Post Calibration
- 6% 480p Input
- 9% 720p Input
- 11% 1080p Input
- 6% 4k Input
- 4% Color Gamut
- 4% Color Volume
- 1% Image Retention
- 6% Reflections
- 1% 3D
The Sony XBR75X940E LED TV has an impressive picture quality. Dark scenes look amazing due to the high contrast ratio and the excellent black uniformity, especially when the TV is in a dark room. When set in a bright room, the picture quality remains good, since the TV can get very bright to fight any glare from a bright lamp or window and it can also deal very well with reflections. The overall gray uniformity is average, but luckily not too much dirty screen effect is visible. The viewing angle is disappointing though, so the X940E is better suited for people who have a living room with a narrow seating arrangement, as the picture quality is best only when sitting in front of the TV. The X940E has excellent local dimming and a high HDR peak brightness, so highlights really stand out when compared to normal SDR content. The Sony X940E is really a top performer when it comes to HDR.
The Sony X940E has a great native contrast ratio. Hovering near 5000:1, the X940E can display dark scenes very well with deep blacks. This high contrast ratio is especially good when the TV is set in a dark environment.
When the Local dimming is activated, the contrast ratio goes up to an outstanding 11634:1, which is one of the highest contrast ratios we have measured for an LED TV.
The local dimming feature on the X940E works extremely well and looks about as good as the Sony Z9D when compared side-by-side. The X940E can display our moving highlight very bright while keeping the rest of the screen really dark and with limited blooming. The time reaction is also very fast and the turning on and off of the dimming zones is not really noticeable.
Outstanding SDR peak brightness. The TV's local dimming helps to make highlights in dark scenes incredibly bright, but even the TV's worst case brightness, the 100% white window where local dimming can't be used, is still pretty bright. The TV's brightness does decrease a little as it warms up; our measurements were done after the TV had warmed up. Overall the TV is a bit less bright than its cousins, the X930E and Z9D. A plot of brightness over time is shown here.
Outstanding HDR peak brightness. The TV's brightness in the real scene test is close to its best case brightness, indicating that the TV's local dimming is effective even in more realistic scenes. However the TV isn't as bright during extremely bright scenes like our 50% and 100% white window tests, because local dimming isn't as effective here, but even in these worst case scenes the TV is still pretty bright. The TV did decrease its brightness a little as it warmed up; our measurements were taken after the TV was warmed up. Overall the TV is a bit less bright than the X930E and Z9D. A plot of brightness over time is shown here.
The gray uniformity of the X940E is ordinary and it is situated in the same ballpark as the X930E and the 2016 Z9D. It suffers from the same problems with darker edges and corners. The middle of the screen is fairly free of imperfections, which is a good since dirty screen effect is kept to a minimum.
Looking at our test picture of the 5% gray, the X940E is a bit worse looking than on the X930E. The bottom edge of the screen is a lot brighter than the rest of the screen and we confirmed this by measuring the luminosity of the screen in that region and it was clearly brighter than the middle or top of the screen. There are also large horizontal bands that seem darker than the rest of the screen. Both of those issues could be noticed during dark scenes and especially when the TV is set in a dim lit room.
Surprisingly, the local dimming strongly influences the gray uniformity. When the local dimming is set to 'High', the uniformity looks much more better as you can see here, but if set to 'Low' then the large bands that are visible on our 5% gray picture (local dimming set to 'Off') are much more visible, as you can see here. We recommend not to use the 'Low' setting of the local dimming as it can introduce some banding in dark scenes.
Disappointing viewing angle. Colors shift when viewed from a small angle, while brightness decreases and blacks become grey at moderate angles. This is a better viewing angle than many other TVs with VA panels, but still not as good as IPS or OLED panel TVs.
The X940E has an excellent native black uniformity with some minimal clouding in the upper right side of the screen, but this is not really visible while looking at normal TV content.
With local dimming turned on, the black uniformity becomes almost perfect and no issues can be seen. This is a very good example of how effective the local dimming is on this TV.
The Sony X940E can display our gradient test image without any problems, as you can see on our test picture. From the light to the dark shades, everything is smooth, even the grayscale. Note that this test what was done with the 'Smooth gradation' feature turned off.
The XBR75X940E is pretty accurate out of the box. There is a bit too much red and blue toward the higher end in the white balance, but even then we are still hovering close to a dE of 3, which it still very acceptable for home use. The gamma is almost spot on and the Color dE is very acceptable. This is in line with other Sony TVs tested before, as they tend to be very accurate out of the box.
After calibration, which was pretty easy and fast to do, the X940E performed extremely well. The white balance was easily corrected via the 2 point and 10 point calibration setting and as a result, the gamma was flattened to track almost perfectly to our 2.2 target. As with other Sony TVs, there is no color management system to further correct the color accuracy even though the color dE was brought down via the corrections applied to the white balance. In the end, the Sony X940E is really accurate.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Wide color gamut, though not as wide as on some other high end TVs like the Samsung Q7F, KS8000 or Sony's A1E. The TV is fairly accurate for most of its color range, but like many other TVs it struggles with reproducing deep greens in HDR content, which also ends up hurting its cyan performance.
The TV's EOTF almost flawlessly follows the HDR PQ curve up to where it clips at its peak brightness. This EOTF was measured in the Custom picture mode, the EOTFs for the Cinema Pro and Game modes are shown here and here.
Decent color volume. The TV shows its wide color gamut remarkably well for both extremely bright and dark colors, though dark P3 greens and reds become a little undersaturated. Its color volume is only really limited by its gamut.
The Sony X940E dos present some image retention right after the 10-minute burn-in scene of our test clip, but the retention looks very dim and it fades really fast. After 2 minutes of recovery, nothing could be picked up by our analysis process, which is a good result. Even though it has some very minor image retention, this isn't a problem.
The X940E doesn't support 3D, like most TVs in 2016.
Unfortunately the X940E has a long response time, so motion blur may be seen depending on the content. For movies this isn't an issue, but for PC use or some games a long trail can be seen. The TV uses PWM to dim the backlight, but the frequency is high enough to not be noticeable. It is possible to reduce the frequency to clear up motion significantly. Some minor judder is present when watching movies from a PC or cable, but most people won't notice this. Fans of motion interpolation can introduce a strong soap opera effect on the 120Hz panel.
The response time of the 75" X940E is worse than most other LCDs, resulting in a long (but faint) trail following moving objects. This isn't noticeable in all content, and isn't an issue for watching movies but does cause visible blur behind 60 fps games or sports.
This is a similar result to the 65" Z9D we tested.
The Sony X940E uses PWM to dim the backlight, at the same 720Hz frequency of the Z9D from 2016. This is fast enough that it isn't noticeable and motion appears smooth. It is possible to decrease the flicker frequency to 60Hz and clear up motion, for those who don't mind visible flicker. To do so, set 'MotionFlow' to 'Custom' and increase the 'Clearness' slider.
The Sony XBR75X940E can only display 24p movies playing via 24p sources like DVDs and Blu-rays player smoothly. 24p movie playing via 60p/60i sources like cable or satellite boxes do present occasional judder even with 'Motionflow' set to 'True Cinema' and 'Cinemotion' set to 'High'.
Similarly to what we have seen for other 2017 Sony TVs, this is likely a firmware problem that could be fixed. We will update the review if we find that this issue is fixed in a future firmware update.
The X940E can interpolate lower frame rate content up to the panel's native refresh rate of 120Hz. To do so, set 'MotionFlow' to 'Custom' and increase the 'Smoothness' slider. For 30fps content it is also necessary to set 'CineMotion' to 'Medium' or 'High'.
The Sony X940E supports all the common input signals, including HDR, and should be able to properly display any content. It has good 4k input lag, but its 1080p input lag may disappoint competitive gamers.
Low input lag for a 4k input, which should please all but the most competitive gamers; but higher input lag for a 1080p input. This should be good enough for most people but may disappoint competitive gamers. Both the Game and Graphics picture modes have low input lag, and can show 4:4:4 color properly. Overall the input lag is very similar to the X930E and Z9D, which also use the Sony x1 Extreme processing engine.
- 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
- 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz
- 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
All the common input resolutions are supported. 4k @ 60 Hz @ 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 color is only supported on HDMI inputs 2 and 3, and only when 'HDMI Enhanced Format' is enabled. 4:4:4 color is only properly displayed in the Game or Graphics picture modes.
When using the TV as a PC monitor, 1080p is listed as the default resolution. 1080p @ 120 Hz is properly supported but must be added as a custom resolution, because it isn't listed by default.
HDMI 2.0 full bandwidth is only possible on HDMI inputs 2 and 3, and only when 'HDMI Enhanced Format' is enabled.
Dolby Vision support will be added in a future update.
The X940E produces a slightly better than average sound, but like almost any TV, it will greatly benefit from being combined to an external sound system such as a soundbar.
Decent Frequency response. The X940E produces a response relatively close to target, but it like most Sony TVs has some amounts of pumping and compression at higher volumes. Aliasing of higher frequencies is also present.
Below average distortion performance. The X940E has reasonable THD at a lower volume, but it steeply rises as levels are raised.
The Sony X940E ships with Android TV 6.0 Lollipop, but received an update to Android TV 7.0 Marshmallow prior to testing. Marshmallow brings a few new features to Android TV, such as a picture in picture mode and multitasking menu, but it fails to address the main problems with the Android TV platform, namely ease of navigation, lag and frame drops, and a lack of smart features in the remote.
Other smart features of Android TV remain unchanged. The Google Play Store still has a larger selection of apps than many other smart platforms. Content can be cast to the TV from a smartphone or tablet using the TV's "Chromecast built-in" functionality, or played from a USB drive connected to one of the TV's three USB ports. The remote has a built in microphone for voice search, which works well.
The TV has no ads in its main interface, but third party apps can have ads. There is an option in the TV's settings to opt-out of personalized advertising for these ads.
The first row of the home page is filled with suggested content. In the 'Home' section of the TV's settings you can opt out of all sources of suggested content until all that's shown is a line saying 'No recommendations available at this time'. After the TV has been restarted more sources may appear but can also be disabled.
The remote is rather large with a lot of buttons. Fortunately most of the commonly used buttons are clustered within easy reach around the navigation pad in the center, except the power and input buttons at the top which are hard to reach. The remote has a built in remote for Android's voice search, which only searches for content and lacks the advanced voice command features found on other smart platforms such as Samsung's Tizen. The remote is identical to those of the X930E and X900E (same model number).
Differences between Sizes and Variants
We tested the 75" (XBR75X940E), the only size available at the moment.
If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Sony XBR-75X940E doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review.
|Size||Model||Alternative Name||UK Model|
Compared to other TVs
The X940E is a great LED TV, but it faces steep competition in its price range from OLED TVs. It does have the advantage of being larger than average though.
The Sony X900E is a slight step down in Sony's range of LED TVs compared to the X940E. It offers very similar performance, but it has worse local dimming and doesn't get quite as bright. If you mind the slight reduction in brightness for HDR, the X900E is the TV to get since it is significantly cheaper.
The C7 is LG's current entry-level OLED model. It isn't found in the same 75" size as the X940E, but it has better picture quality, motion and input lag than the X940E. It isn't as bright, but if you don't mind the size difference it is a better TV.
The Z9D is the top of the line TV from Sony. It's a very similar TV to the X940E. The Z9D does get a bit brighter, but most people won't really notice the differences between the two, making the X940E seem like a bargain in comparison.
The Samsung Q7F is the entry-level model in their QLED line of LCD TVs. It can produce a substantially wider range of colors, and it has better motion and input lag. Its overall picture quality is worse though since its local dimming is not nearly as good as the X940E and it cannot get as bright for HDR. Since they're both found around the same price, most people will be better suited with the X940E.