Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Stand
    2. Back
    3. Borders
    4. Thickness
    5. Temperature
    6. Build Quality
  3. Picture Quality
    1. Contrast
    2. Local Dimming
    3. SDR Peak Brightness
    4. HDR Peak Brightness
    5. Gray Uniformity
    6. Viewing Angle
    7. Black Uniformity
    8. Gradient
    9. Pre Calibration
    10. Post Calibration
    11. 480p Input
    12. 720p Input
    13. 1080p Input
    14. 4k Input
    15. Color Gamut
    16. Color Volume
    17. Image Retention
    18. Reflections
    19. 3D
    20. Pixels
  4. Motion
    1. Motion Blur
    2. Image Flicker
    3. 24p Playback
    4. Motion Interpolation
  5. Inputs
    1. Input Lag
    2. Supported Resolutions
    3. Side Inputs
    4. Rear Inputs
    5. Total Inputs
    6. Inputs Specifications
  6. Sound Quality
    1. Frequency Response
    2. Total Harmonic Distortion
  7. Smart Features
    1. Apps
    2. Ads
    3. TV Controls
    4. Remote
    5. In The Box
    6. Misc
  8. Sizes and Variants
  9. Compared
  10. Conclusion
  11. Q&A
Reviewed on Apr 28, 2017 , Ian Cumming, Eric Bousquet, Mehdi Azzabi

Sony Z9D
TV REVIEW

Usage Ratings
8.2Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
8.9Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
8.0TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
Score components:
7.7Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
8.1Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
Score components:
8.7HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Score components:
8.6HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
7.9PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Type : LED
Resolution : 4k
Refresh Rate : 120 Hz

The Sony Z9D is a great full-array 4k LED TV. Picture quality in a dark room is among the best you can find, mostly thanks to its excellent local dimming capabilities. It gets impressively bright, making it a top choice for HDR. Unfortunately, it suffers from issues with motion, and picture quality deteriorates when viewed at an angle.

Test Results
Design 8.5
Picture Quality 8.5
Motion 6.4
Inputs 7.9
Sound Quality 4.6
Smart Features 8.0
Pros
  • Exceptional local dimming
  • Gets very bright
  • Deep and uniform blacks
Cons
  • Lots of motion blur, fast moving objects will often have faint trails following them
  • Picture quality deteriorates at an angle

Check Price

100" XBR100Z9D SEE PRICE
65" XBR65Z9D SEE PRICE
75" XBR75Z9D SEE PRICE
8.5

Design

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Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D Design Picture
Curved : No

The design of the Z9D is great. The small stand supports the TV well and fits on most tables, and the look is quite simple from the front. When viewed from the side the TV is a bit thick, but this isn't an issue for most people. Unfortunately the arrangement of inputs makes some of them quite difficult to access if placed close to a wall.

Stand
Sony Z9D Stand Picture

The stand of the Z9D has a small footprint but supports the TV quite well. It looks quite similar to the X930D.

Footprint of the 65" TV stand: 10.2" x 17.2"

Back
Sony Z9D Back Picture
Wall Mount : Vesa 400x300

The rear of the TV has removable covers which are held on with magnets and clips. They hide the cables from all HDMI ports and route them through the base of the TV. The covers blend in well due to the texture of the rear. If wall mounted, many of the ports may be difficult to access as they face towards the center of the TV.

Borders
Sony Z9D Borders Picture
Borders : 0.71" (1.8 cm)

The borders of the TV have an average thickness. They look great, with a gold tint around the edges.

Thickness
Sony Z9D Thickness Picture
Max Thickness : 3.27" (8.3 cm)

The TV is quite thick when viewed from the side. It may stick out a bit when wall mounted, but looks quite good.

Temperature
Sony Z9D Temperature picture
Maximum Temperature
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What it is: The peak temperature found on the TV.
Good value: <35°C
Noticeable difference: <5°C
:
36 °C
Average Temperature
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What it is: The Average temperature measured on the TV
When it matters: If the TV is placed in an enclosed space.
Good value: 30
Noticeable difference: 5
:
32 °C

The Z9D is surprisingly cool given its high peak brightness. Its local dimming works well to make different areas of the screen only as bright as they need to be, thus saving power and reducing temperature.

9.5 Build Quality
Sony Z9D Build quality picture

The build quality of the Z9D is excellent. The TV feels very solid and well constructed, with better build quality than any other 2016 models we have tested.

8.5

Picture Quality

The Sony Z9D has an impressive picture quality for an LCD TV. With its great contrast ratio and its excellent black uniformity, the Z9D provides a superb movie watching experience, especially in a dark room. Blacks are very deep and dark scenes are shown well. If set in a bright room, the Z9D does a great job at dealing with reflections and since it can get very bright, it can easily overcome any glare from bright lights or windows. The gray uniformity could be better but since there isn't too much dirty screen effect, watching sports on the Z9D is still decent. HDR movies on the Z9D looks impressive. The high peak brightness paired with amazing local dimming features and accurate color reproduction really make any HDR content shine. The biggest downside of the Z9D is that the picture quality degrades fast when moving off center due to the narrow viewing angle.

8.5 Contrast
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What it is: Brightness difference between white and black. This is the main component of picture quality.
When it matters: Always, but especially when watching dark scenes.
Score components:
Sony Z9D Checkerboard Picture
Native Contrast
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What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
4322 : 1
Contrast with local dimming
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What it is: Ratio of the white brightness divided by the blacks measured on our checkerboard test pattern with local dimming turned on (maximum) with a white target of 100 cd/m².
When it matters: Dark scenes in a dark room.
Good value: > 3,000
Noticeable difference: 500
:
7976 : 1

The native contrast ratio is great on the Z9D. At around 4300:1, this is enough to make dark scenes with deep blacks look very good. This is also important for people who watch TVs in a dark room, as a lower contrast ratio would make blacks look grayer than what they really are.

It is when local dimming is turned on that you really see where the Z9D outperforms other LED TVs, as the contrast ratio is almost doubled on our checkerboard pattern to reach an amazing 7976:1 ratio. This shows how remarkable the local dimming is on the Sony Z9D.

9.5 Local Dimming
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What it is: The lights behind the LCD layer adapt to the picture displayed, improving the contrast ratio.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Local Dimming
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What it is: Whether it has a feature that controls the LEDs behind the LCD layer, to match the picture and darkens the dark portion of it.
When it matters: On LED TVs only. Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
:
Yes
Backlight
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What it is: Configuration of the lights of the backlight.
When it matters: Effectiveness of the local dimming.
Good value: Full-array/direct lighting is better for local dimming. As for the uniformity of the screen, it depends on the implementation. Some edge-lit TVs have more uniform blacks than some full-array TVs.
:
Full-Array

The Sony Z9D has an excellent local dimming feature. In fact it is one of the best that we have tested yet, as it easily outperformed the Vizio P Series 2016 in a side by side comparison, which was the LED TV with the highest local dimming score in 2016.

The large number of dimming zones really sets the Z9D apart from other local dimming TVs, as blooming is very limited, even when a very bright highlight is displayed on the screen. The reaction time is also very fast, as the zone transitions are smooth when following the moving highlight in our test video.

9.5 SDR Peak Brightness
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What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and with SDR content.
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; SDR content.
SDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
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What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more regular movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over SDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in SDR.
:
741 cd/m2
SDR Peak 2% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1251 cd/m2
SDR Peak 10% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1621 cd/m2
SDR Peak 25% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in SDR video.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1339 cd/m2
SDR Peak 50% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
901 cd/m2
SDR Peak 100% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
677 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 2% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for SDR content.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1235 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 10% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1583 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 25% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in SDR video.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1320 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 50% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
895 cd/m2
SDR Sustained 100% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over SDR signal.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 400 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
672 cd/m2

Outstanding SDR peak brightness. All content will be shown very brightly, even in very bright rooms. When showing dark content like our 10% white window the TV's local dimming makes highlights amazingly bright. Unfortunately in bright scenes like our real scene test clip the local dimming isn't able to make highlights as bright, but even the full-screen brightness is brighter than the peak brightness of most TVs. Overall the luminosity is similar to the X930E, but much brighter than any other 2016 TV we've tested.

A plot of peak brightness over time is shown here.

9.8 HDR Peak Brightness
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What it is: How bright the screen can get. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright living rooms; bright objects; HDR content.
HDR Real Scene Peak Brightness
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What it is: The maximum luminosity the TV can obtain while playing a movie or while watching a TV show. This scene was selected to represent a more realistic movie condition. All measurement are made with the TV set to be as bright as possible, but with a 6500k white. Measured with local dimming, max backlight and over HDR signal. Scene: here.
When it matters: When watching movies or watching TV show in HDR.
:
1375 cd/m2
HDR Peak 2% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1316 cd/m2
HDR Peak 10% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, present on screen for a short time; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1653 cd/m2
HDR Peak 25% Window
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What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1357 cd/m2
HDR Peak 50% Window
Show Help
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
906 cd/m2
HDR Peak 100% Window
Show Help
What it is: The maximum luminosity, even if only maintained for a short time, of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
678 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 2% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 2% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright highlights, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1294 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 10% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 10% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright objects, persistent throughout a scene; especially for HDR content.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1607 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 25% Window
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What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 25% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms; bright objects in HDR video.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
1332 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 50% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 50% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
899 cd/m2
HDR Sustained 100% Window
Show Help
What it is: The lowest maximum luminosity (usually after it has stabilized) of a white square covering 100% of the screen, with the TV set to be as bright as possible. Measured with local dimming and over HDR signal (if supported).
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Good value: > 1000 cd/m2
Noticeable difference: 100 cd/m2
:
673 cd/m2

Outstanding HDR peak brightness. As seen in our real scene test, the TV's local dimming is able to make highlights in HDR content incredibly bright. When showing very bright content such as our 100% white window the TV can't get anywhere near as bright, however very few scenes in HDR content will have the whole scene being that bright at the same time. Overall the brightness is similar to the X930E, but much brighter than any other 2016 TV we've tested.

A plot of peak brightness over time is shown here.

6.8 Gray Uniformity
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What it is: Evenness of colors onscreen (not just gray).
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Score components:
Sony Z9D 50% Uniformity Picture
50% Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 50% gray.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 2.5%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
3.941 %
50% DSE
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What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Solid colors. Sports, panning shots.
Good value: < 0.165%
Noticeable difference: 0.025%
:
0.203 %
Sony Z9D 5% Uniformity Picture
5% Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average squared difference of pixels when displaying a mid 5% gray.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 1.15%
Noticeable difference: 1%
:
1.22 %
5% DSE
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What it is: High-frequency variance of uniformity. Dark spots on the screen.
When it matters: Dark scenes.
Good value: < 0.116%
:
0.129 %

The gray uniformity of the XBR65Z9D could be better. The standard deviation is high and is mostly caused by the darker sides and corners of the screen. There is also a warmer zone just below the center that spans horizontally across almost the whole TV which may affect the standard deviation.

On the bright side, not too much dirty screen effect is noticeable, as we measured only 0.203% which is just a bit over what we consider to be a good value. If you look at our test picture, you can clearly see that the center of the screen is pretty even, which is the region that you would most notice the dirty screen effect.

Looking at the 5% gray test picture, there is a noticeable darker vertical band running from top to bottom but overall, nothing too bad can be noticed and the Std. Dev. and DSE numbers are within a reasonable range, which is good.

5.1 Viewing Angle
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What it is: Color accuracy when viewed from the side.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Score components:
LCD Type
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What it is: Type of LCD technology used by the TV.
When it matters: Different technologies have different viewing angle properties.
Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle.
:
VA
Sony Z9D Color Shift Picture
Color Shift
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What it is: Angle where the colors noticeable shift compared to when viewed from directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
19 °
Sony Z9D Brightness Picture
Brightness
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What it is: Angle where the brightness drops to 50% of the brightness directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
40 °
Sony Z9D Black Level Picture
Black Level
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What it is: Angle where the black level drops to 50% of the black level directly in front of the TV. 0 ° means directly facing the TV. Measurements are up to a maximum of 75 °.
When it matters: Large living rooms with multiple viewing positions.
Good value: > 50°
Noticeable difference: 10°
:
35 °

Poor viewing angle, but a little better than most VA TVs. Colors wash out when the TV is viewed from even a small angle. People sitting to the side of the TV and viewing it on an angle will not enjoy as good picture quality as people sitting in front.

9.3 Black Uniformity
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What it is: Evenness of blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Score components:
Sony Z9D Native Black Uniformity Picture
Native Std. Dev.
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What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks.
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
0.776 %
Sony Z9D Black Uniformity Picture with Local Dimming
Std. Dev. w/ L.D.
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What it is: Average of the squared difference of the blacks with Local Dimming enabled
When it matters: Dark scenes viewed in a dark room.
Good value: < 2%
Noticeable difference: 1%, but keep in mind that it varies a lot by unit, even of the same model; yours likely will not end up exactly like ours.
:
0.555 %

The black uniformity is good on the Sony Z9D. The native black uniformity (without local dimming) is great and is a good sign of the quality of this set. When compared to the X930E, both look very similar but the Z9D has the edge over the newer set with slightly more uniform blacks.

The big difference happens when you turn on the local dimming on the Z9D. Comparing the native black uniformity test picture with the one with local dimming, the difference is outstanding. The excellent local dimming feature of the Z9D removes almost all blooming.

10 Gradient
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What it is: How finely levels of color can be displayed.
When it matters: Details in shadows, sky and skin tones. Matters more for HDR content.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D Gradient Picture
Color Depth
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What it is: Number of bits per pixel to represent a specific color. Note: we consider 8-bit with dithering to be equivalent to 10-bit, as long as the 10-bit gradient looks smooth.
When it matters: HDR content like UHD Blu-ray players. Won't matter for cable TV, regular Blu-ray movies, video game consoles or content displayed from a Windows PC. Those are limited to 8-bit color.
Good value: 10-bit.
Noticeable difference: 1 bit.
:
10 Bit

The Sony Z9D can display our gradient test image without any perceivable tint problems and also without any banding seen on 8-bit panels. Color banding should not be a problem on this TV, which is excellent, especially for HDR movies.

8.7 Pre Calibration
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What it is: TV's color accuracy before a full calibration. Only the picture mode and backlight level were changed.
When it matters: All video on an uncalibrated TV. This represents most people's use cases.
Score components:
Sony Z9D Pre Calibration Picture Sony Z9D Pre Gamma Curve Picture Sony Z9D Pre Color Picture
White Balance dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all video.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
2.66
Color dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.92
Gamma
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What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.21

With the factory settings, the Sony Z9D color is a bit warm, but overall it is very accurate. With both the white balance and color dEs being less than 3, this Tv could be used as is by any TV enthusiasts without color accuracy issues.

9.6 Post Calibration
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What it is: TV's color accuracy after a full calibration with a spectrophotometer.
When it matters: All video on a TV that has been professionally calibrated. This isn't that useful, because most TVs can achieve a pretty good calibration if you spend enough time on them.
Score components:
Sony Z9D Post Calibration Picture Sony Z9D Post Gamma Curve Picture Sony Z9D Post Color Picture
White Balance dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of shades of gray.
When it matters: Overall color temperature of all videos.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
0.25
Color dE
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What it is: Average inaccuracy of colors.
When it matters: All colors.
Good value: < 3
Noticeable difference: 1
:
1.17
Gamma
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What it is: Brightness of shades of gray.
When it matters: Shadows.
Good value: Between 2.1 and 2.3 (our target is 2.2)
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
2.2

The calibration process was done without any problems and can be completed quickly as the TV was already quite accurate out of the box. The error in the white balance was brought down to almost nothing (0.25 is negligible) and as a consequence, the gamma curve flattened to track our target curve of 2.2.

As with other Sony TVs, the Z9D does not have a color space management feature. Despite this, the color dE was brought down a bit due to the white balance corrections

You can see our recommended settings here.

8.0 480p Input
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What it is: Quality of a 480p input.
When it matters: Standard definition TV, DVDs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D 480p Picture

Upscaling of low quality content such as DVDs is good. Details are preserved.

8.0 720p Input
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What it is: Quality of a 720p input.
When it matters: HD channels, some streaming videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D 720p Picture

720p content such as cable looks good. The image is clear and jagged edges are smoothed.

9.0 1080p Input
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What it is: Quality of a 1080p input.
When it matters: Blu-rays, streaming video, video files, video games.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D 1080p Picture

1080p content such as Blu-rays or high quality streaming looks great. Details can be seen clearly and the image isn't too soft.

10 4k Input
Show Help
What it is: Quality of a 4k UHD input.
When it matters: Streaming video, UHD Blu-rays, some PCs.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D 4k Picture

No issues can be seen with native 4k content.

8.0 Color Gamut
Show Help
What it is: How many colors the TV can display.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
Score components:
Wide Color Gamut
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV has an option to enable wide color gamuts.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos and UHD Blu-rays.
:
Yes
Sony Z9D Color Gamut DCI-P3 Picture
DCI P3 xy
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
86.29 %
DCI P3 uv
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the DCI P3 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: DCI P3 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
96.10 %
Sony Z9D Color Gamut Rec.2020 Picture
Rec 2020 xy
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1931 xy.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
64.60 %
Rec 2020 uv
Show Help
What it is: Coverage of the Rec.2020 colorspace on CIE 1976 u' v'.
When it matters: Rec.2020 content. Includes HDR, UHD Blu-rays.
Good value: > 90%
Noticeable difference: 5%
:
71.70 %

The TV's wide color gamut and great tone mapping help it accurately reproduce most colors in HDR content. The big exception is deep greens, which it can't make deep enough even for DCI P3 content. The Samsung Q7F and LG C7 can show deeper greens than the Z9D and have wider color gamuts as a result.

7.0 Color Volume
Show Help
What it is: How many colors a TV can display at different luminosity levels.
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Sony Z9D P3 Color Volume Picture
Normalized DCI P3 Coverage
Show Help
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
79.627 %
10,000 cd/m² DCI P3 Coverage
Show Help
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
60.652 %
Sony Z9D 2020 Color Volume Picture
Normalized Rec 2020 Coverage
Show Help
What it is: How much of the Rec. 2020 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
Good value: 80 %
Noticeable difference: 5 %
:
61.534 %
10,000 cd/m² Rec 2020 Coverage
Show Help
What it is: How much of the DCI-P3 colorspace a TV can display at different luminosity levels when compared to an ideal 10,000 nit TV
When it matters: HDR content. Includes some streaming videos, UHD Blu-rays and HDR games.
:
46.890 %

Decent color volume. The Z9D does a great job showing its wide color gamut at a range of brightness levels, its color volume is only really limited by its color gamut.

10 Image Retention
Show Help
What it is: How much a static image is retained on a TV screen after a certain amount of time.
When it matters: When watching TV show, playing video games or when using your TV as a PC monitor.
Sony Z9D Image Retention Picture
IR after 0 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured right after the static image exposure, without recovery time.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 2 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 2 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 4 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 4 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 6 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 6 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 8 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 8 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %
IR after 10 min recovery
Show Help
What it is: Image retention measured after a recovery time of 10 minutes.
When it matters: When changing channels while watching TV, right after changing the type of content (i.e. stopping playing video game to watch a movie) or changing input.
Good value: 0 is perfect.
Noticeable difference: 0.015%
:
0 %

The XBR65Z9D is free of image retention. Looking at our test picture, no faint remnants of the burn-in scene can be seen. This is an excellent news for gamers who are thinking about getting this TV.

8.5 Reflections
Show Help
What it is: How much light is reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Bright rooms.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D Reflections Picture Sony Z9D Bright Room Picture
Reflection
Show Help
What it is: Ratio of ambient light reflected by the TV.
When it matters: Ambient light in the room.
Good value: < 1%
Noticeable difference: 0.5%
:
1.1 %
Screen Finish
Show Help
What it is: Type of coating on the screen.
When it matters: Bright objects in the direct reflection path (for example, opposite the TV).
Good value: Glossy is good for ambient light, but not for direct reflections.
:
Semi-gloss

The TV is good at handling reflections, but not as good as some other high-end TVs such as the KS8000 or C7. It has a very smooth semi-gloss finish so reflections are quite well defined but there is some diffusion across the screen. This shouldn't be an issue for most people.

9.0 3D
Show Help
What it is: Optional 3D video capability on TV.
When it matters: 3D movies and videos.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D 3D Picture
3D
Show Help
What it is: If it can display a picture in 3D.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
:
Yes
3D Type
Show Help
What it is: The 3D technology used by the TV.
When it matters: 3D movies & videos.
Good value: Active have better resolution, but flickers. Passive is more comfortable, but loses half the vertical resolution.
:
Active
2D to 3D
Show Help
What it is: Feature that converts 2D content to 3D.
When it matters: If you want to watch 2D content in 3D. Note that the quality is not as good as that of native 3D.
:
Yes

3D movies look good on the Sony Z9D. There is a noticeable flickering due to the active technology used on this TV. We did a side by side comparison with another TV (LG C6) with the same movie playing on both and we were able to notice some occasional crosstalk on the Z9, but we had to really look for it to be able to notice it.

Pixels
6.4

Motion

The motion handling of the 65" Z9D is sub-par. It has a few slow transitions which limit the motion performance, producing some blur which may be an issue for fast-paced content. The TV flickers the backlight, but at a high frequency so it isn't noticeable. It is possible to produce more visible flicker which helps to clear up some of the motion blur. Movies from a Blu-ray player are smooth, but some sources such as a PC experience small amounts of judder. This isn't noticeable to most people. The Z9 has a 120Hz panel which is able to interpolate lower refresh rate content.

5.6 Motion Blur
Show Help
What it is: Amount of blur on fast movement.
When it matters: Sports, video games.
Score components:
Sony Z9D Motion Blur Picture Sony Z9D Response Time Chart
Response Time
Show Help
What it is: How quickly pixels can change color.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 20ms
Noticeable difference: 10ms
:
29.9 ms
Overshoot
Show Help
What it is: When TV’s pixels adjust too far; how quickly they come back.
When it matters: Fast movement.
Good value: < 10ms
Noticeable difference: 10ms
:
0 ms

The response time of many transitions is worse than most LCDs, resulting in visible blur following moving objects. This is most visible for moving black content on a white background, or vice versa, due to the long 0-100% transition. It can be seen in the moving logo image above, as the trail continues past the left side of the image.

Update 05/05/2017: It is likely that the long response time of the 65" model is different for the 75" model, and may not be an issue for most people.

9.5 Image Flicker
Show Help
What it is: Luminosity pattern when displaying images
When it matters: Sports, video games, when TV is used as a PC monitor
Score components:
Sony Z9D Backlight Picture
PWM Dimming Frequency
Show Help
What it is: Flickering pattern at different luminosities.
When it matters: For people sensitive to flickering.
Good value: N/A or high frequencies (> 300 Hz)
:
720 Hz
BFI
Show Help
What it is: Option to turn screen black between frames
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: Yes
:
Yes
Sony Z9D BFI Picture Sony Z9D BFI Frequency Picture
BFI Frequency
Show Help
What it is: Lowest possible frequency of flickering pattern
When it matters: Reduces eye tracking blur in sports or video games
Good value: 60 Hz
:
60 Hz
BFI In Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Option to insert black frames when in the best settings for gaming
When it matters: Reducing eye tracking blur for video games
Good value: Yes
:
Yes

The Z9D uses PWM dimming to reduce the backlight. Due to the high flicker frequency, this isn't really noticeable and motion appears smooth. It is possible to reduce the flicker frequency to 60Hz using the 'MotionFlow' setting and increasing the 'Clearness' slider. This helps to clear up motion blur but produces visible flicker.

7.1 24p Playback
Show Help
What it is: Whether 24p content can play without any judder.
When it matters: Only 24p content (mostly just movies).
Judder-free 24p
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 24p signal.
When it matters: Blu-ray and DVD movies; 24 hz PC signal.
:
Yes
Judder-free 24p via 60p
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60p signal.
When it matters: Movies from streaming devices (Apple TV, Fire TV, etc.); 60 hz PC signal.
:
No
Judder-free 24p via 60i
Show Help
What it is: Judder-free movies over 60i signal.
When it matters: Movies from cable/satellite boxes.
:
No

The Z9D can display 24p movies playing from 24p sources like DVDs and Blu-rays without any judder.

When it comes to 24p movies playing via 60p/60i sources like cable or satellite boxes, the Z9D was not able to remove judder from the source completely, even with 'Motionflow' set to 'True Cinema' and 'CineMotion' set to 'High'. When doing this test, the Z9D was able to remove judder approximately 80% of the time, but on some occasions judder was noticed.

We also noticed some signs of interpolation artifacts when 'Motionflow' is set to 'RealCinema' and 'Cinemotion' is set to 'High', similar to what we noticed when testing the X930E. Since most Sony TVs don't suffer from judder playing 24p content over 60p/60i sources, we think there may be a bug that also affects the Z9D. As with the X930E, we will update this review if it gets fixed in a future firmware update.

10 Motion Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Also known as 'Soap Opera Effect'. It is an optional feature that increases the frame rate of the video, smoothing movement.
When it matters: If you like the look of smoothed video. Not everyone does.
Motion Interpolation (30 fps)
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 30 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 60 fps.
When it matters: 30 fps or lower videos. Includes movies, TV shows, some video games.
:
Yes
Sony Z9D Motion Interpolation (30 fps) Picture
Motion Interpolation (60 fps)
Show Help
What it is: Whether the TV can take a 60 fps input and heighten the frame rate to at least 100 fps.
When it matters: 60 fps videos. Includes some video games, some sports channels.
:
Yes
Sony Z9D Motion Interpolation (60 fps) Picture

The Z9D has a 120Hz panel which is able to interpolate lower frame rate content. To add motion interpolation (also called the soap opera effect) set 'MotionFlow' to 'Custom' and increase the 'Smoothness' slider. Increase 'CineMotion' to 'High' to reduce the threshold for interpolation, resulting in the strongest effect. Note that this will introduce some artifacts.

7.9

Inputs

Show Help
Score components:

The Z9D supports all the common input resolutions, and should be able to properly display all content. It has very low input lag for 4k signals which makes it feel very responsive. Its 1080p input lag isn't as good but should be low enough for most gamers.

7.6 Input Lag
Show Help
What it is: Delay between input and onscreen reaction.
When it matters: Video games; when TV is used as PC monitor.
1080p @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV with a 1080p @ 60Hz input.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
41.3 ms
1080p With Interpolation
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag when the motion interpolation feature is turned on.
When it matters: When you want to play video games with the Soap Opera Effect enabled.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
100.3 ms
1080p @ 60Hz Outside Game Mode
Show Help
What it is: Input lag in picture modes other than the specific game mode.
When it matters: For playing video games while retaining access to all features of the TV.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
104.0 ms
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
When it matters: PC monitor.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
40.9 ms
4k @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz.
When it matters: Video games and also when TV is used as PC monitor.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
24.5 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4.
When it matters: PC Monitor
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
24.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz + HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz with HDR.
When it matters: HDR Video games.
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
24.4 ms
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 + 8 bit HDR
Show Help
What it is: Lowest input lag possible on TV when displaying 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 with HDR enabled at 8 bit
When it matters: PC Monitor with an HDR capable graphic card
Good value: < 40ms
Noticeable difference: 15 ms
:
24.5 ms

Low input lag in Game and Graphics modes. The 4k input lag is very good, and should please all but the most competitive gamers. The 1080p input lag isn't as good, but it is still low enough for most people. All these input lag numbers are very similar to the X930E, which also uses the Sony x1 extreme processing engine.

10 Supported Resolutions
Show Help
What it is: Different resolutions supported by TV.
When it matters: PC monitor usage.
Score components:
  • 20% 1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 1080p @ 120Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz
  • 20% 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
1080p @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 1060p @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and 60 fps gaming.
:
Yes
1080p @ 120Hz
Show Help
What it is: 120 fps 1080p signal supported.
When it matters: PC gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 30Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 30 hz signal.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz
Show Help
What it is: 60 fps 4k signal supported.
When it matters: PC productivity and gaming.
:
Yes
4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4
Show Help
What it is: Crisp text on 4k @ 60 hz signal.
When it matters: Productivity and 60 fps gaming in 4k.
:
Yes

All the common input resolutions are supported. 4:4:4 color is only shown properly in the Game and Graphics picture modes. 4k @ 60Hz @ 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 color is only supported on HDMI inputs 2 and 3, and only when 'HDMI Enhanced Format' is enabled.

When using the Z9D as a PC monitor the default resolution is 1080p @ 60Hz. 1080p @ 120Hz is shown properly without any artifacts or jagged upscaling, but it is not listed as an available resolution so you have to add it manually as a custom resolution.

Side Inputs
Rear Inputs
Total Inputs
HDMI : 4
USB : 3
Digital Optical Audio Out : 1
Analog Audio Out 3.5mm : 1
Analog Audio Out RCA : 0
Component In : 1 (shared)
Composite In : 2 (shared)
Tuner (Cable/Ant) : 1
Ethernet : 1
DisplayPort : 0
IR In : 1
SD/SDHC : 0

The TV has a shared composite/component port and an additional small composite port that needs an adapter, which unfortunately is not included. An example of a compatible adapter is found here.

Inputs Specifications
HDR10
Show Help
What it is: Standard HDR format.
When it matters: Most common format. All UHD Blu-ray discs are required to have it.
:
Yes
Dolby Vision
Show Help
What it is: Better format, due to its dynamic nature.
When it matters: Currently, only available via streaming.
:
No
5.1 Passthrough ARC Dolby Digital
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough ARC DTS
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS 5.1 signal to receiver via HDMI ARC.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical Dolby Digital
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass Dolby Digital signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
5.1 Passthrough Optical DTS
Show Help
What it is: TV can receive and pass DTS signal to receiver via digital optical.
When it matters: 5.1 audio on DVDs and Blu-rays.
:
Yes
HDMI 2.0 Full Bandwith : Yes (HDMI 2, 3)
ARC : Yes (HDMI 3)
USB 3 : Yes (1)
HDCP 2.2 : Yes (HDMI 1,2,3,4)
CEC : Yes
MHL : No
Variable Analog Audio Out : Yes

Sony has announced that the Z9D will receive Dolby Vision support in a future software update.

4.6

Sound Quality

The Z9D's sound reproduction capabilities are disappointing. While a lot of buyers of this TV will probably place it in a well-equipped home theater, it's still well below other TVs of this stature.

4.8 Frequency Response
Show Help
What it is: Sound level at different frequencies.
When it matters: For balanced sound.
Score components:
Sony Z9D Frequency Response Picture
Std. Dev. @ 70
Show Help
What it is: Variance of the sound level at different frequencies.
When it matters: 70 dB.
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
5.34 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ 80
Show Help
What it is: Variance of the sound level at different frequencies.
When it matters: 80 dB.
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
5.43 dB SPL
Std. Dev. @ Max
Show Help
What it is: Variance of the sound level at different frequencies.
When it matters: Max volume.
Good value: < 4 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
6.76 dB SPL
Max
Show Help
What it is: Max volume on the TV at a distance of 1 meter.
When it matters: For listening to loud audio.
Good value: > 90 dB
Noticeable difference: 2 dB
:
89.3 dB SPL
Low-end Cutoff
Show Help
What it is: How low of a frequency at which the bass starts.
When it matters: Movies; gaming.
Good value: < 50Hz
Noticeable difference: 10Hz
:
226 Hz

Bad frequency response. Signature is very bass-heavy, and higher frequencies are not well represented leading to issues with clarity. Like most Sony TVs we've reviewed, it also suffers from aliasing at higher volumes.

4.2 Total Harmonic Distortion
Show Help
What it is: Pureness of a single frequency.
Score components:
Sony Z9D Total Harmonic Distortion Picture
Distortion @ 70
Show Help
What it is: Amount of distortion.
When it matters: 70 dB.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.179
Distortion @ 80
Show Help
What it is: Amount of distortion.
When it matters: 80 dB.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
0.048
Distortion @ Max
Show Help
What it is: Amount of distortion.
When it matters: 85 dB.
Good value: < 0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.100
:
2.21

Very poor distortion performance. THD levels are relatively high at most volumes, but they get especially bad at higher levels.

8.0

Smart Features

Show Help
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Sony Z9D Smart TV Picture
Smart OS : Android TV 6.0

The Sony Z9D runs Android TV, which tends to be more difficult to navigate than other smart platforms but also has access to the Google Play Store, which has more apps and content than many other smart platforms. The 'Action Menu' button on the remote helps to relieve navigation difficulty by providing a list of commonly used settings so the user doesn't have to navigate to the TV's main settings very frequently. The remote also has a voice search function that can help the user find content directly without having to navigate the TV's interface. Content can also be cast directly to the TV using its 'Chromecast built in' functionality, or played from a USB drive plugged into one of the TV's three USB ports.

Apps
Sony Z9D Apps Picture

The Z9D comes preinstalled with all the popular apps such as Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Video. Many more apps can be downloaded from the included Google Play Store.

10 Ads
Show Help
What it is: Whether or not ads can be found on the TV's smart platform.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
Score components:
Ad-free
Show Help
What it is: The TV's ability to provide an ad-free experience.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
Yes
Opt-out
Show Help
What it is: Whether you can opt out of the ad services or not. A TV only passes this test if it allows you to remove them completely, not only disable the personalized advertising.
When it matters: When using the smart features.
:
N/A

The Z9D has no ads in its main interface, though individual apps may have ads. There is an option to opt out of personalized advertising for these ads in apps.

The first row of the home screen is a list of suggested content. In the TV's settings you can opt out of all sources of suggested content until all that remains is a line saying "No recommendations available at this time". However when you opt out of all the listed sources of suggested content and restart the TV, previously unlisted sources may appear, so the process of disabling all the sources must be repeated multiple times.

TV Controls
Sony Z9D Controls Picture

The TV only has three physical buttons. The center button changes between multiple functions such as input, volume and channel, while the (+) and (-) buttons increment the function. The center button also serves as the TV's power button when it is held down.

Remote
Sony Z9D Remote Picture
Remote : Basic

The included remote is rather large and has a lot of buttons. Fortunately most of the commonly used buttons are clustered around the center direction pad where they are in easy reach; the main exceptions are the input and power buttons which are a little hard to reach. The remote has a microphone for voice search, which works well. Overall the remote is almost identical to those of the X930E and X900E.

In The Box
Sony Z9D In The Box Picture

  • Manual
  • Batteries
  • Remote
  • IR Blaster
  • 2 x 3D glasses

Misc
Power Consumption : 91 W
Power Consumption (Max) : 270 W
Firmware : PKG6.0612.0004NAA

Differences between Sizes and Variants

We tested the 65" (XBR65Z9D). For the most part, we expect our review to be valid for the 75"(XBR75Z9D) and 100"(XBR100Z9D) variant as well.

Update 05/05/2017: From the test results that our readers have reported, the 75" model may have a faster response time, resulting in improved motion.

If someone comes across a different type of panel or if their Sony XBR-65Z9D doesn't correspond to our review, let us know and we will update the review. Note that some tests such as the gray uniformity may vary between individual units.

Size Model Alternative Name UK Model
65" XBR65Z9D XBR-65Z9D KD-65ZD9
75" XBR75Z9D XBR-75Z9D KD-75ZD9
100" XBR100Z9D XBR-100Z9D KD-100ZD9

Compared to other TVs

Sony Z9D Group Shot Picture
Top left: LG C7 (OLED55C7P). Bottom left: Sony X930E (XBR55X930E). Middle: Sony Z9D (XBR65Z9D). Top right: Sony A1E (XBR55A1E). Bottom right: Samsung Q7F (QN55Q7F).  Unlike our other photographs, this picture wasn't taken under a controlled environment, so do not draw conclusions from it.

The Z9D is an exceptional LED TV, but it faces equally exceptional TVs in its price range. It's difficult to justify it when OLED TVs a lot less.

LG C7
55" 65"

The LG C7 is LG's current entry-level OLED TV. It has exceptional picture quality thanks to its ability to produce perfect blacks, and motion blur is virtually non-existent. It's only real disadvantage compared to the Z9D is its brightness, since it can't get nearly as bright as the Sony. For watching movies in a dark room some people may prefer the brightness of the Z9D, but overall it's very difficult to justify the price difference.

Sony X930E
55" 65"

The X930E is one of Sony's high-end models for 2017. It doesn't have quite the stature of the Z9D, but it's a better TV overall. Motion is much better, and it gets equally bright. The Z9D does have a much better local dimming system, which enhances movies in a dark room a great amount. Even with that in mind though, it's a few thousand dollars more expensive, and most people will be happier with the X930E.

LG B6
55" 65"

The LG B6 is last year's entry-level OLED TV. It's very similar in performance to the C7 from this year, for a lot less money. In general, The B6 is a much better buy than the Z9, since it provides a better experience for a fraction of the price.

Samsung Q7F
55" 65" 75"

The Samsung Q7F is from their QLED line of LCD TVs for 2017. It can produce a significantly wider range of colors than the Z9D, and produces better motion, but it is significantly dimmer and is overall not as good a TV as the Z9D.

Conclusion SEE PRICE

8.2Mixed Usage
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What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
Score components:
The Sony Z9D is a great TV for a mixed usage. Picture quality is great overall, it gets bright and deals with reflections well and input lag is good for gaming. It does have issues with motion, making it imperfect for sports watching.
8.9Movies
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What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
Score components:
Outstanding choice for movies in a dark room. Mostly thanks to its local dimming unmatched by other LED TVs. The Z9D can produce very deep blacks and can darken black bars flawlessly. Blooming can still be seen though, and it cannot match OLED for displaying starry skies or other scenes with small light sources.
8.0TV Shows
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What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
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Great TV for watching TV shows. It looks good at every time of the day, and lower resolution content looks sharp. Android TV also has all the popular apps such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon video.
7.7Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
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The Sony Z9D does a good job with sports. The screen is decently uniform with minimal blotchiness. Unfortunately, the TV's slow response time causes long trails to follow fast moving objects such as players on fields.
8.1Video Games
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What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
Score components:
Very good TV for video games. Input lag is low, especially in with 4k games. However, the Z9D produces a lot of motion blur. This can cause fast motion games to look a bit blurry, but it can thankfully be circumvented by using the TV's flickering feature.
8.7HDR Movies
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What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
Score components:
Remarkable HDR performance. The Z9D is an exceptionally bright TV that produces a very satisfactory HDR experience. It also has a wide color gamut, which allows the TV to produce vivid colors.
8.6HDR Gaming
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What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
Great HDR gaming TV. HDR picture quality is excellent, and input lag remains low. Unfortunately, the TV's motion can be a bit of an issue.
7.9PC Monitor
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What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
Score components:
Good PC monitor. The Z9D is capable of displaying every resolution we test, including 1080p @ 120hz. However it has a narrow viewing angle, so corners and sides of the screen darken if sitting too close, and the long response time for 0-100% transitions results in a trail following a mouse pointer on a white background.
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Questions & Answers

4 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
4
You stated in the review that 120hz 1080p was supported in a custom monitor mode. Could you elaborate on which input you got it to work and what timings for the custom resolution you used?

"When using the Z9D as a PC monitor the default resolution is 1080p @ 60Hz. 1080p @ 120Hz is shown properly without any artifacts or jagged upscaling, but it is not listed as an available resolution so you have to add it manually as a custom resolution."

We tested 120 Hz with all inputs, and they all passed a frame skipping test and 4:4:4 color test (while in game mode). We made a custom resolution in Nvidia control panel and set the timings to 'CVT Reduced Blank', but other timings may work as well.
2
Thanks for your review! Your comments about the motion blur are interesting.

Looking at your settings I think one thing you should consider for SDR content is to have the backlight at Maximum and Motionflow at Custom with Clearness at 3. Using this setting helps a lot with motion and still maintains over 100 cd/m2 fullscreen brightness. I posted here a table I created showing the brightness impact of the various Motionflow settings, including the impact of the 'Xtended Dynamic Range' setting.

Thank you for your testing, the quantitative impact of clearness is interesting. We leave it up to the user whether to enable clearness or not, as some people find the flickering bothersome, though you're correct that it does clear up motion nicely. Our testing on the Z9D's flickering and 'Clearness' setting is found here.
1
Does the ZD9 have any dead pixels on the panel? And do any of the TVs you reviewed recently have this as well?
Our Z9D did not have any stuck pixels, nor have any 2017 TVs we've tested so far. Some 2016 TVs we tested had stuck pixels, but we were sometimes able to fix them by running this tool.
0
Regarding the Z9D's local dimming, were you able to ascertain roughly how many zones it has? Sony has often commented that the set has significantly more zones than most FALD sets, but they've always kept the number somewhat of a secret.
We didn't try to count the number of zones as it's very difficult. It does have many more zones than any TV we've tested so far. In the picture menu it had the granularity to brighten lines of words and dim the black spaces in between them.
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