When MotionFlow is turned off, the motion blur is very good. The motion blur trail is one of the shortest we have seen for an LED, although it doesn't insert black frames. Also, it features a strobed backlight mode called Impulse, which doesn't increase input lag (see picture in the Q&A section).
Sony's smart TVs interface is laggy. It takes a while to boot when first opening the TV. Forget plugging a big USB drive in it; it took us 15+ mins to load up the list of files on ours. Check out our review of Sony's 2014 Smart TV platform.
The remote provided is only a basic one, which is a shame for a TV in this price range. Using it for navigating smart features like the web browser is cumbersome.
The Sony W850B LED TV is really great. If you are a gamer and are looking for a TV in 60", look no further; this Sony W850B is the one you want. For mixed usage, you can save a few hundred by going for the Samsung H6350 instead, which also has a better smart platform.
Like all 2014 Sony W series TVs, the Sony W850B also has its 'Impulse' motion flow setting available in Game mode, which clarifies movement with increasing input lag. It reduces the apparent motion blur by quite a lot, but it darkens the picture and produces a little bit of flickering. If you play video games with most lights turned off, you will want to use this feature.
First of all, really great and helpful website! So I just picked the Sony KDL60W850B over the H7150 mainly because of the colors and the deep blacks that look better on the Sony than the H7150, at least to me. I've been playing with the picture options and also tried several calibration settings that I found all over the web, but I'm not completely satisfied with the final look of the picture. The TV is in a somewhat bright room and I'm mainly using it for general TV watching via Comcast HD cable box, or movies from my external storage device. I don't play any games. I would appreciate it if you guys would post your recommended picture settings for the environment and the material that I'm watching most of the time! Thanks!
Start off with the ones that we posted (but in Cinema instead of Game). From there, turn on one processing setting at a time until you like the picture. The main ones to try are the noise reduction filter, smooth gradation, reality creation, and details enhancer.
I don't care about 3D. I watch cable TV and play a lot of PS4/Xbox One. Three TVs in mind: the Sony W800b, the Sony W850b, and the Samsung H7150. I will sit eight or so feet away and will be watching in a mostly dark to average room. I hate artifacts and input lag. Is the clouding on the W850b bad enough that I would notice it all the time? One other thing: I hear the smallest size of the Sony TVs in their models (800,850) are better than the bigger ones. Did you notice this?
The bigger the TV, the more likely it will have uniformity issues. This is true for all brands, not just Sony. The clouding on our W850B was indeed bad, but we probably just got a bad one. We don't expect it to be the norm. As for which one to get, if you don't care about 3D/smart features, get the Sony KDL60W850B.
Great! Cannot wait to hear how W850b does in the test. Matte screen coating really impressed me in store. (Sorry no question, Keep up the great work!)
It will likely be at the end of the week instead of the beginning as we'd previously stated. We can't currently use our studio room because of water damage. They are currently fixing the ceiling.
Update: We just picked up our W850B. The review will be up tomorrow morning.
Definitely the Sony KDL60W850B. Not only do you gain 5", but the picture quality is better in almost every respect (except for viewing angle and 3D). The W950B has an IPS panel, which produces a contrast of about four times lower.
I recently bought this TV (Sony KDL-60W850B). The set I got has a large dark spot near to the middle of the screen running from top to bottom. It also has one or two smaller dark spots at the top of the screen just below the frame. In the light the screen doesn't appear flat. Instead it appears to have creases in it. I am probably describing it incorrectly, but maybe you know what I mean? Other than that I can see it has the potential to be a great TV. I am having another set delivered very soon. Was I unlucky this time?
You did get unlucky. It sounds like you got a TV with a bad case of dirty screen effect. It isn't uncommon for LED TVs to have that kind of problem, but it tends not to be that bad. If you notice it again with your replacement, feel free to send us a photo of your screen. We'll be happy to let you know whether it's within the normal range of what you can expect.
So I'm a pure gamer, in that it is what I will use the TV for 99% of the time. I am between the Sony W850B and W800B. I would really like to go with a larger model from the 850s (60in/70in), but I play a LOT of really dark games; i.e. The Last of Us, Dark Souls, etc. Also, I am a huge fan of turning the game's brightness settings as far down as possible. My friends say they can't see anythingm but my argument is that that's how the developers intended you see the game in certain parts; that that's why they have the options slider. Its cheating to turn it up and have everything look grey.
So I'm just concerned with the 850B's Black Uniformity. I can live with a 55in easily enough. Should I play it safe and go with the 55W800B? Awesome site and videos, by the way.
If I had the same usage/setup as you and got the same KDL-60W850B unit that we reviewed, I indeed would not be happy with the black uniformity. I would return it and exchange it for the same model. The black uniformity is something that varies a lot per unit of the same model, and we probably just got a bad one. It could probably have also happened with the W800B. Usually, thicker TVs are less prone to this, so it was a surprise that our W850B had this problem. In your case, I would just buy the W850B and exchange it if it is bad. Don't expect perfect uniformity though; all LEDs have uniformity flaws.
I am deciding between this KDL60W850B and the Sharp LC-60SQ15U. Could you advise me as to which one might be better? The Sharp has 240Hz and 4K capability.
We didn't test that Sharp, but don't look at the refresh rate or the so called '4k capability'. This is not the same as if the TV was really 4k. It is a 1080p TV. The 4k capability is useless. It just means it can downscale a 4k signal, which can already be done by anything that can output 4k. For example, you can already watch 4k YouTube videos on your computer, even if its resolution is lower than 4k. As for the 240Hz, it is also useless. The refresh rate in TVs is not an indication of motion blur. Even when the motion interpolation feature is used, there isn't a difference between 120Hz and 240Hz.
Having a hard time deciding between a 65" W950B or a 70" W850B. Size isn't the main factor for me, and I will be using it mainly for gaming (mostly FPS). The picture quality isn't a deciding factor, and what narrowed down the two choices is the excellent input lag. Would a difference of 6ms (18ms in 950b and 24ms in 850b) be noticeable in very fast games? The price is similar where I am, so basically what it comes down to is whether the better input lag of the 950 is worth the worse picture quality. What would you do?
The 6ms input lag difference is definitely not noticeable. Very few people can even distinguish between a 25ms and 40ms input lag, so don't worry about that. The 24ms of the W850B is really good, so go for it.
Great review. I hope to see more like these in the future. I got myself the KDL60W855B based on your review (slightly different panel according to store) and the screen uniformity is excellent.
Dislike the menu navigation as its a bit sluggish but the "Auto (24p)" scene setting works very good ootb without having to select those manually, so no need to be in the menus a lot. When you start a PC or console game, for instance, you don't have to bother selecting the right display settings, as it would do that based on the HDMI content type, which your device will supply automatically.
Also, switching between resolutions and refresh rates is nearly instant, without any annoying osd popping up for x seconds.
Impulse mode does work as advertised, but the flickering is too annoying to make it useful (for me, at least; I had the same problem with plasma flickering). I only had to lower the brightness from 50 to 40 to get deeper blacks for cinema, but that would differ per room situation.
Overall very impressed with this TV, especially considering the current price and screen size.
If Sony can make future 4K displays just as good as this one, they're gonna have a nice lineup to compete with Samsung/Panasonic/LG.
Thanks for sharing your experience with it. It is indeed a great TV.
I love your reviews and keep watching them over and over. I was wondering whether you think the Sony 70w850b is really worth it. I'm gonna use it for watching blu-rays and playing ps4. Is the picture quality good and smooth? I also hear a lot of radial banding issues with this model.
It is a great TV. The 70" is prone to the radial banding issue, though, but if you are lucky and get a good one, it is worth it.
I had a Sony 70R550a I have to replace with my warranty. The 70W850b looks to be the closest match, except that it has active and not passive 3D. You rated the 3D as being "not perfect". I've read a couple reviews on Amazon, and in the comments section they noted that after a firmware update they had much better 3D. Can I ask, did you update your firmware? Perhaps the 3D is better now?
We didn't update our firmware, so maybe it is better now. If you do end up with that TV, let us know if the 3D is better after the firmware update.
I just purchased the Sony 70W850B. It doesn't appear to have the banding issue you refer to. Can I assume I will not have this issue in the near future and I should be safe keeping this TV? With all the negative talk about the banding, I wonder if I should return now while I still can.
If you haven't noticed any radial banding within two days of setting up your TV, you're probably fine. Moving the TV, or a sudden change in temperature, can create new uniformity issues. Be mindful of that and you should have no problems.
You said "When MotionFlow is turned on, the fluidity is increased and the blur reduced. This option can't be used in Game Mode though, because of the increase in input lag."
However, you also said "the Sony W850B also has its motion flow setting available in Game mode, without an input lag increase".
Which statement is correct? These statements appear to contradict each other.
Thanks for noticing this contradiction. It has been clarified. One of the MotionFlow options, called 'Impulse,' operates by flickering the backlight of the TV, and not by interpolating frames. Both work to clarify movement, but the flickering option does not increase input lag (it does dim the screen, though), whereas the interpolation feature does, because of the processing necessary for interpolation.
Awesome site! I'm having a very difficult time deciding between the 55H6400 and 60W850B (the latter is like $400 more). You say the TVs are similar in terms of quality, but I intend to game on it in 3D (similar to the ones someone posted earlier i.e. dark souls, last of us, games that utilize a lot of dark environments). I also tend to not use game mode, since it heavily darkens the screen. Would I be better off with the Samsung, even with its smaller screen, or should I get the Sony? Please advise.
Get the Samsung then, because 3D is better on it. The screen being 5" smaller isn't too bad, considering the lower price.
Assuming I don't care about 3D, smart TV functionality, and all the extras, which TV has the best picture quality while also being good for console gaming? The Sony W850B, the Samsung H1750, or the Vizio P Series? I'm considering the 60"-65" screen sizes.
The Sony W850B is the best TV for gaming, thanks to its low input lag and little motion blur, and it has very good picture overall. The Samsung H7150 has slightly better picture quality, thanks to its better uniformity and contrast, but isn't quite as good for motion blur and input lag. The Vizio P has too much motion blur to be good for gaming.
Overall, the W850B will be the best choice for your needs, so go with that.
What is your recommendation between the Sony KDL60W850B and the Samsung UN55F8000?
We haven't tested the W850B yet, but based on the smaller W800B, it should be a really good gaming TV. Go for the Sony. Not only it is cheaper, but you gain 5".
Update: Indeed, the W850B is a really good gaming TV. The picture quality for other things is about the same, but the Samsung UN55F8000 has better software features and remote.
What is the recommended custom picture and audio setting for this TV? Do you have specific setting recommendations for each picture adjustment? And the equalizer?
Check out the third page of this review for screenshots of the picture settings that we used, as well as some comments on them. We usually describe what one or two settings do in each review, so also check out our other reviews of Sony TVs to figure out what all the options mean. As for audio settings, unfortunately we don't currently test and calibrate the sound on TVs. We will probably start doing so next year.
I just got the 60W850B and I'm using your settings, which look great for Blu-ray content, but for some of my downloaded video content the picture does not look good. It looks very hazy. Content is 720p. You say in the calibration settings that I should add some of the noise reduction settings. Any recommendations as to what and how much? And what about HDTV?
It is pretty much a personal preference. Turning on too much processing will produce a fake picture with big artifacts. Turning all of them off makes it hazy, like you said. Try playing with the following: Detail Enhancer, Edge Enhancer, Reality Creation, Noise Reduction, and MPEG Noise Reduction.
Is the Black Corrector setting worth having on in any capacity? Have noticed it doing something, but am concerned that it's simply darkening parts of the picture that might not have been intended to be darkened. I'm assuming it's simply post-processing on the image and have it disabled.
This is a great website by the way. Your review heavily influenced my decision to pick up the W850B and I am very happy with it so far. Input lag is superb for an LCD television.
No, do not turn on that setting. It does exactly what you described. It is a processing feature that doesn't change the pure black level. It simply darkens the dark gray, so you lose details in the shadows.
Black uniformity was a major issue for me with this TV. Do you think the Samsung UN55h7150 would be a better option? This TV had a great picture, but the blacks at night were a big problem.
The UN55H7150 that we tested did indeed have better black uniformity than our KDL60W850B. That said, the backlight uniformity is really a roll of dice. It varies a lot per model, so we might just have been unlucky with ours.
I plan to buy an LED TV in the range of 55-60". I'm divided between the Sony W950B, Samsung H6400, Sony W850B, or even the Sony X850B. I know the price differences between these are quite big, but that really isn't an issue. Just need a good TV! Extremely light gaming, mostly the usual TV watching, movies and such. Most of the viewing in bright to medium lit room.
If you don't care about smart TV features, get the Sony KDL60W850B. Otherwise, the UN55H6400 has better smart features and 3D with a comparable picture quality.
I just bought a Sony KDL60W850B and it has a bad case of clouding. Should I return this TV, or will it be the same on all KDL60W850B?
It varies per unit. Before returning it, try 'massaging' the screen. Pick a dry cloth and apply slight pressure to the area affected by clouding, rubbing in a circular motion. You don't need to apply much pressure. It doesn't always solve the problem, but it is worth a try in case it does.
You have, I believe, the best site for educating oneself on the nature of TV technology. I am interested in a comparison of the new Vizio P series vs. the M series, or advice on whether I should go up in cost to get a Samsung or Sony. From reading your reviews, I am concerned with the panel lottery with these companies.
The panel lottery is not something to be concerned with, and it does also exist with Vizio TVs. We should probably write an article about this to clear up some myths. We will start reviewing Vizio TVs in a few weeks. We don't expect the picture quality to surpass those of Sony or Samsung, but they could be a good value for their price. Update We tested two Vizio TVs so far (E and M). They are a great value for their price, but not better than pricier Samsung or Sony TVs.
I just want to say that I really enjoy your reviews and they really helped me make my decision to purchase the KDL-60W850B last week. So far I'm very happy with the picture quality and I like your picture settings for Blu-rays. I do have some questions about over the air channels: Some come in 1080i, some 720p, and some 480p. I've been playing around with some of the picture processing modes to see how the picture changes. Are there any you would avoid turning on? Do any add significant artifacts to the picture? I'm sure it probably just comes down to playing around with them and to personal preference, but I was just curious to see if you had any suggestions.
Yes, it is a personal preference. The more of them you activate, the more artifacts will show up. You will have to experiment a little bit, depending on your taste. Personally, I prefer to only turn on 'Details Enhancer' and leave everything else off (even the noise filters).
Hi. This is a great site and one I will visit often. I have the 70w830b "Costco version" and overall the TV is as you describe here. In general, I really like the TV, but I do have some banding. Generally it shows up on shots with white backgrounds, and sometimes watching baseball it appears as a lighter vertical area on the right hand side. It is mild and I don't notice it much while watching movies or regular TV content. I agree with some of your comments about over-thinking it and believe I may be. I have seen screenshots of other w850bs that show perfection with 0 banding, so I know they exist. I realize there is no perfect TV, but in your opinion, is there an acceptable level of banding, or should I exchange the TV and hope for a better one? I am on the fence at this point.
Without a picture, it is a bit hard to tell if it is acceptable. The rule of thumb is if you don't see it 95% of the time when watching normal footage, don't worry about it. In your case, it seems to be slightly worse than average. Exchange it for another one. You might not necessarily get a better one, but at least it will give you a little bit of peace of mind.
If I can get either the Sony KDL70W850B or the LG 65UB9500 at the same price, which one would you recommend? Main use is TV/Movies and Video Games; interested in 3D. I'm installing it in a dedicated narrow room with dimmed lights or full darkness, seating at about 15 feet from the TV. Not a fan of active 3D (Sony), but a bit worried about the input lag of the LG. Could use the extra 5" on the Sony, but maybe compensated by the UHD on the LG? Thanks!
We didn't test that LG, but it has an IPS panel. That means great color accuracy at an angle, but poor blacks. It has passive 3D, so the 3D will be a lot better than with the Sony. Due to your dark room, you will prefer the better blacks of the Sony KDL70W850B, so go for that one unless you really want 4k and/or the better 3D of the LG.
Bought a Samsung 64f8500, but the flickering was too much to handle (they even replaced the panel and power supply, but it still had the issue). So, I bought the Sony 60W850B. I am having a very hard time liking it. :( The picture just looks "milky" to me. Not just the blacks, but overall. It's not terrible, but enough to take all of the enjoyment out of watching anything. I've been tweaking the settings, but is that *really* going to make a big difference, or is it only going to impact, say, the last 5%? (Meaning 95% pre-post adjustments are essentially equal). Otherwise I'm thinking of returning this and getting something truly cheap, like a Vizio M or an F5300 (and risk the flickering problem that I *never* had on my 50" Fujitsu from 2003/4). Thanks for the help!
In all likelihood, you will also notice flickering with the F5300.
Our suggested calibration would get you about 95% of the way to a perfect picture, so if you've followed that and you're not satisfied, you probably just don't like the look of LED TVs. Their contrast tends to be worse than what you'd get with a plasma, which would explain why you find the look a bit "milky." The Vizio M offers very good picture for the price, so if you're not satisfied with the W850B and want to save a bit of money, it would be a good choice.
The 60" Sony 850b is now only $200 more than the Samsung 6350. Is there going to be a significant difference watching fast-moving sports in terms of ghosting, blur, etc? I've hesitated with the Samsung TV because the Clear Motion index #s aren't as high. Whats the better purchase? Save the $200 and opt for Samsung, or for the small price difference does the Sony win hands down?
The two are very similar in terms of overall picture quality. The W850B does have less motion blur, but the difference isn't all that significant. It has much lower input lag, though, so it's a much better choice if you play any video games.
Clear Motion Index and refresh rate numbers don't have any bearing on picture quality or motion blur, so don't take those into account. If the $200 difference isn't a big deal to you, you should get the W850B. Otherwise, the H6350 is almost as good for motion blur.
Thanks for all your help. When the Sony 60inch 850b dropped in price I felt as though I made a comfortable/educated decision to purchase this unit. While waiting for it to arrive my next step is purchasing HDMI cables for it. Do you have an opinion about which cables to buy (10mbps,18,22,etc)(1.4 vs 2.0)(gold-plated)(length)? The stores try to get you to buy expensive, but I've heard it's just a gimmick. I'm not electronics savvy, so any advice helps. Thanks
The HDMI cable doesn't matter for 1080p TVs. Just get the cheapest of the length that you need. For 4k TVs, though, bandwidth and HDMI version does matter.
We just had a 70 inch Sharp die after six months. We are considering a 70 inch Sony. Are there any comparable TVs we should look at?
There aren't many TVs available in 70", but the Vizio P702ui-B3 and M702i-B3 are both good options, though their motion blur won't be as good as the W850B's. Apart from that, they'll all have similar quality when it comes to contrast and uniformity. The Vizio P is also 4k.
I just purchased this TV thanks to your excellent review. The feet seem slightly off on the unit I purchased. When attaching the feet, are they normally flush with the bezel of the TV? There is a slight gap on mine and they seem to make the set angle very slightly forward.
Not to our recollection. That sounds like it could affect the stability of the TV. Try removing the feet and firmly reinserting them to see if you can close the gap.
I'm looking to get a 60" or 65" LED TV, and not a 4k. I want to get one that will have the best picture and motion blur quality. It will be for watching TV and movies, as I'm not a gamer. I want to stay away from a glossy screen. Wanted to know what your advice is. Thank you.
The Sony W850B is your best bet. It has very little motion blur, good picture quality, and does not have a glossy screen.
I simply don’t see what is good about the motion blur in this set with MotionFlow turned off. That picture you displayed looks like tons of motion blur to me. It gets better with MotionFlow turned on, but it still looks the same as everyone else's sets with their motion interpolation turned on. I fail to see how this TV is good for motion blur and the Vizio TVs are not.
Our score reflects the length of the trail following the logo, and not the blurring of the text. The trail length for the W850B is much shorter than that of the Vizio M or P, which is why its score is higher.
I'm looking to buy the Sony KDL-65W850C, but am concerned about the clouding issues with their direct-lit TVs. Are you planning to review the TV anytime soon (in the next day or two) or do you have recommendations? The $1,500 price tag for a 65" is too good to resist at the moment. I will use it to watch sports, as well as for some light gaming, and maybe Netflix. I already have a Roku - Do you think its worth the premium compared to the KDL60W850B?
We'll only be reviewing the W850C in about three weeks. Picture quality wise, it probably won't be better than the KDL60W850B. More likely the same. So the advantage of the new W850C is the new Android OS and the 5" extra.
Hi. About Sony's 60W850B, what is the score of the 3D functionality and what is your comments about 60W850B 3D? Thanks.
Sorry about that, our new design of the old reviews is hiding some scores and the text that goes along with it. We gave it a 7 score, and the original text was: "The 3D isn't perfect. There is a little bit of crosstalk.".