The Sony A8H is an excellent OLED TV that delivers incredible picture quality for any type of content and is a fairly decent upgrade over its predecessor, the Sony A8G OLED. It produces perfect blacks with its infinite contrast ratio, which is great for those who like to watch in a dark room. It handles reflections exceptionally well, and its decent peak brightness is enough to fight glare in brighter lighting conditions. It has wide viewing angles, so the image remains accurate even if you're sitting off to the side. Its response time is almost instantaneous and it has a low input lag; however, gamers might find the lack of variable refresh rate (VRR) support a bit disappointing. As always, there's a risk of permanent burn-in with OLED panels, although it shouldn't be an issue for most. Its Android TV platform is user-friendly, it runs smoothly, and you should have no problems finding what you need from the immense Google Play Store.
The Sony A8H is an excellent TV for most uses. It delivers excellent picture quality with its infinite contrast ratio and near-instantaneous response time. It upscales lower resolution content well, which is great for watching cable TV or sports. HDR content looks good thanks to its wide color gamut and decent peak brightness. Unfortunately, although its input lag is great, it doesn't support advanced gaming features like VRR. Additionally, like all OLED TVs, there's a risk of permanent burn-in.
The Sony A8H is an exceptional TV for watching movies. Like all OLED TVs, it can produce perfect blacks, great for dark room viewing. There's no backlight, so you won't get distracted by any blooming around bright objects. It can remove judder from all sources, but there's a bit of stuttering in lower frame rate content.
The Sony A8H is a great TV for watching TV shows. It has outstanding reflection handling and it gets bright enough to overcome glare in most rooms. Its viewing angles are excellent, so you can walk around doing chores while watching and still get a good-looking picture. Lower resolution content from cable TV is upscaled well, without any artifacts. Like all OLEDs, there's a risk of permanent burn-in, but this shouldn't be a problem if you watch varied content.
The Sony A8H is an excellent TV for watching sports. Its near-instantaneous response time results in almost no motion blur, and on top of that, it has an optional black frame insertion feature that can further improve motion clarity. Visibility shouldn't be an issue for most lighting conditions, as it gets decently bright and it handles reflections extremely well. Its viewing angles are excellent, which is great for watching a big game with a large group of people.
The Sony A8H is an excellent TV for gaming. It has a low input lag, fast response time, and its infinite contrast ratio makes it the perfect choice for gaming in the dark. However, it doesn't support VRR and it doesn't have an 'Auto Low Latency Mode'. There's a risk of permanent burn-in, but it shouldn't be an issue if you watch a varied content.
The Sony A8H is an excellent TV for watching movies in HDR. Like all OLEDs, it's able to produce perfect blacks, and it doesn't have any issues with blooming since there's no backlight. It has a good HDR color gamut and it gets bright enough to make highlights pop in HDR content, especially if you're watching in a darker environment. There's a bit of stutter when watching lower frame rate content, which is caused by the TV's near-instantaneous response time.
The Sony A8H is a great TV for gaming in HDR. It has low input lag, and its near-instantaneous response time makes fast-action games look crisp. HDR games look amazing, as the TV's infinite contrast ratio allows it to produce perfect blacks. It has a good HDR color gamut and it gets bright enough to make highlights stand out. And since there's no backlight, there's no blooming around bright objects. Sadly, it doesn't support any VRR technologies to reduce screen tearing.
The Sony A8H is a great TV for use as a PC monitor. It has a low input lag, fast response time, and excellent viewing angles, so the edges of the screen won't look washed out if you sit up close. It supports most common resolutions, except for 1440p, and it can display chroma 4:4:4 properly. Unfortunately, there's a risk of permanent burn-in, which can happen with static content like a desktop user interface.
The Sony A8H has an exceptional design. It's simple, the bezels are extremely thin on all sides, and it comes with Sony's two-way position stand, which allows you to set the TV higher up on its feet to make space for a soundbar. The TV looks and feels premium all-around.
The Sony A8H comes with Sony's two-way position stand, which has two height settings. The higher setting provides enough room for most soundbars, so the lower portion of the screen doesn't get obstructed. The stand comes in four pieces: two feet and two brackets. The brackets and the feet can be set in different configurations to achieve the desired height.
Footprint of the 55" stand in the elevated position: 41.3" x 12.8".
The back of the screen itself is metal, but the rest is made out of plastic. There's not much in terms of cable management; you can only route the cables through the back of the stand. If you choose to wall-mount it, it's compatible with Sony's SU-WL855 slim wall-mount.
The bezels are extremely thin, even thinner than the A8G's.
The TV is extremely thin and shouldn't stick out when wall-mounted.
The TV is a mix of metal and plastic. It feels solidly-built and there are no issues with its construction. There's a bit of flex in the back panel, but nothing of concern. The stand supports the TV well and there's almost no wobble.
Like all OLED TVs, the A8H has an infinite contrast ratio, as it can turn the pixels off completely. This results in perfect blacks, which is great for dark room viewing.
The Sony A8H doesn't have a local dimming feature since there's no backlight. OLED panels can turn off pixels individually, so there are no issues with blooming, and subtitles are displayed perfectly.
Decent SDR peak brightness. The brightness varies depending on the scene. It's better suited for a dark to moderately-lit room, as it may have trouble overcoming glare in a very bright environment. That said, it's a very decent upgrade from the A8G.
During our testing, we observed that the peak brightness ramps up over some time and then drops very quickly once it reaches its peak. This happens during static scenes and can take up to 45 seconds to ramp up to its peak brightness. This isn't noticeable in normal content, though.
We measured the SDR peak brightness after calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode, 'Expert 1' Color Temperature, and with Peak Luminance set to 'High'.
Decent HDR peak brightness. There's a lot of variation in brightness across different content. This is enough to deliver a good HDR experience.
We measured the HDR peak brightness before calibration, using the 'Custom' Picture Mode and 'Expert 2' Color Temperature. Brightness was set to maximum and Contrast was left at '90', which is the default.
Outstanding gray uniformity. There's almost no dirty screen effect, which is great for watching sports. Uniformity in dark scenes is better, and we didn't notice any vertical or horizontal lines in near-black scenes on our unit. However, it may happen later on after more extensive use, and it can also vary per unit.
The Sony A8H's viewing angles are excellent, making it suitable for large rooms and wide seating arrangements. However, there's still some color shift at moderate viewing angles.
OLED panels can turn the pixels off completely, resulting in perfect black uniformity. The deviation is caused by the camera.
Outstanding reflection handling. You shouldn't have any issues using this TV in a bright room.
Out of the box, the Sony A8H has great color accuracy. Except for the color blue, the inaccuracies with most colors shouldn't be noticeable to the naked eye. Gamma is nearly perfect, but white balance is a bit off. The color temperature is on the warm side, which results in a slight reddish tint.
After calibration, the color accuracy is exceptional. Gamma, color temperature, and white balance are all nearly perfect. Color accuracy has improved a bit, but there are still some issues with the color blue.
You can see our recommended settings here.
Upscaling of 480p content such as DVDs looks good and there are no upscaling artifacts.
720p content like cable TV is upscaled well and there are no upscaling issues.
Native 4k content is displayed perfectly. We didn't see any signs of the issue that the A8G had with text rendering when using the TV as a PC monitor.
The Sony A8H has a four sub-pixel structure, just like all other OLED TVs. The four sub-pixels are never on at the same time. You can see the green sub-pixel in this photo.
The Sony A8H has an excellent HDR color gamut. It has superb coverage of the commonly used DCI P3 color gamut, and its coverage of the wider Rec 2020 is decent. The EOTF follows the PQ curve almost perfectly, with only some brightening in darker scenes to avoid crushing. And like other Sony OLED TVs, it has a very sharp roll-off towards the TV's peak brightness. The 'Game' mode EOTF is nearly identical, which you can see here.
If you find HDR content too dim, you can make it brighter by setting Advanced Contrast Enhancer to 'High', Peak Brightness to 'High', and Brightness to maximum. These settings will result in this EOTF. You can also increase the Gamma slider and the Black Level for an even brighter image, although they weren't used for our EOTF measurement.
Good color volume. It displays dark colors well due to its superb contrast ratio, but it has a bit of trouble displaying very bright colors.
Exceptional gradient handling. There's only a little bit of banding in the darker shades of gray, green, and red. Enabling Smooth Gradation removes most of it; however, there's still some banding in the greens. That said, it's more noticeable in our test pattern than in normal content. Do note that using the Smooth Gradation feature can cause a loss of fine details in some scenes.
There's a bit of temporary image retention, but it usually goes away after a few minutes.
This test is only indicative of short term image retention, and not the permanent burn-in that may occur with longer exposure to static images.
Like all OLED TVs, the Sony A8H is susceptible to permanent burn-in. However, we don't expect it to be an issue for most people who watch varied content. Sony has built in two features that can help minimize the risks, which you can read about here.
If you're concerned about the risks of permanent burn-in, then check out the Sony X950H, which is an LED TV.
Like all OLED TVs, the response time is near-instantaneous, which results in almost no blur trail behind fast-moving objects. There's a tiny amount of overshoot in the 0-20% transition, but it shouldn't be noticeable.
The TV doesn't use PWM since there's no backlight, but it isn't flicker-free. The slight dip in brightness is due to the TV's 120Hz refresh rate, which is about every 8ms.
Update 07/22/2020: We've retested the BFI and can confirm that when playing 24p content, the flickering frequency is 96Hz with the Clearness slider set to '1' or '2', and setting it to '3' lowers it to 48Hz.
The Sony A8H has an optional black frame insertion feature. It can flicker at 60Hz or 120Hz, regardless of the refresh rate of the content, meaning that you can set it to 60Hz or 120Hz flickering in 60fps content, and the same goes for 120fps content. To get a 60Hz flicker, set Motionflow to 'Custom', then set Clearness to '3'. For a 120Hz flicker, the Clearness slider should be set to '1' or '2'.
Update 07/15/2020: We've retested the motion interpolation with different content, and noticed a good amount of artifacts in scenes that have a lot of movement. This is likely due to the TV continuing to interpolate during intense scenes, whereas other TVs tend to stop.
The A8H can interpolate lower frame rate content up to 120fps to make motion look smoother. It does a good job in slow-moving scenes, but unfortunately, it introduces a lot of artifacts when the action gets intense. To enable motion interpolation, set Cinemotion to 'Auto' and adjust the Smoothness slider to your preference.
Due to the TV's near-instantaneous response time, lower frame rate content can appear to stutter. If the stuttering bothers you, enabling motion interpolation can help.
The Sony A8H can remove judder from all sources. Although it doesn't require any change in the settings to remove judder in 24p content, it's recommended to set Cinemotion to 'Auto', as without it, there are still a few frames that are out of place. For 60p, 60i, and content from native apps, set Cinemotion to 'Auto', Motionflow to 'Custom', and leave the Smoothness slider at '0'.
The Sony A8H doesn't support any variable refresh rate technologies.
The Sony A8H has great low input lag, a significant upgrade from the A8G. It's low as long as you're in 'Game' mode, and PC users can be in either 'Game' or 'Graphics' mode, although 'Game' mode is what we used for testing and is the recommended one. The 'Game' mode input lag should be fine for most casual gaming, but not so much for competitive gaming.
To use motion interpolation, set Motionflow to 'Custom', adjust the Smoothness slider to '3', and set Cinemotion to 'Auto'.
The Sony A8H supports most common resolutions, but it gets a bit complicated when it comes to 1440p. Native 1440p @ 60Hz doesn't quite work, as it's indicated in the display info panel as a downscaled native 4k image. However, it's possible to force a native 1440p @ 60Hz image, it just displays it with a huge border around. As for 1440p @ 120Hz, it's able to do so, but it skips frames.
The TV can display chroma 4:4:4 properly at all supported resolutions; you only need to be in 'Game' or 'Graphics' Picture mode. For full bandwidth signals like 4k @ 60Hz + 10-bit HDR, the HDMI signal format must be set to 'Enhanced format' for the input is use.
There's a composite input to connect older devices like DVD players. Unfortunately, it requires an adapter and it isn't included in the box.
The Sony A8H is advertised as HDCP 2.3 compliant, but it isn't something that we test for.